By Kapil Arora
Various aspects of farmland drainage will be the focus of a day-long workshop Dec. 10 at the Polk County Extension office in Altoona. The program begins at 8:15 a.m. and will adjourn at 4:15 p.m.
“This workshop is being offered due to increased interest in this topic the past year,” said Kapil Arora, field agricultural engineer with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The morning session will focus on sub-surface drainage design concepts, wetland determinations, Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and long-term benefits of tiling. The afternoon session will include discussions on economics, nutrient cycling in soils, controlled drainage, bioreactors, saturated buffers and managing drainage water quality with wetlands. Legal issues related to tiling and Iowa drainage laws also will be covered.
Attendees will learn information essential to designing and planning a new drainage system or retrofitting an existing system while learning about environmental impacts and new technologies that may be useful in minimizing negative environmental impacts.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach speakers include Kapil Arora, field ag engineer; Kelvin Leibold, farm management specialist; Matt Helmers, professor and extension engineer; Mike Castellano, associate professor in agronomy, Jamie Benning, water quality program manager, and John Baker, Iowa Concern attorney. USDA-NRCS drainage specialist Jim Gertsma is also scheduled to speak.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa Farm Bureau of Polk County, various industry partners, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service are sponsoring the program. Industry representatives from Prinsco, ADS, Midwest Plastic Products, and Agri Drain will be available during the workshop to answer any questions. The workshop qualifies for Certified Crop Advisor credits, which have been applied for.