Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

LC Logo Iowa Learning Farms June Webinar: Saturated buffers

Date: Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Start: 11:30 am End: 12:15 pm

Location: Online webinar

Contact: Carol Brown, Iowa Learning Farms communications, (515) 294-8912, cbrown1@iastate.edu

This month’s Iowa Learning Farms webinar will feature Dan Jaynes, a research soil scientist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, in Ames, and a collaborating professor in Agronomy at Iowa State University. He will be discussing his work with saturated buffers for nitrate removal, research that is supported by competitive grants from the Leopold Center.

Riparian buffers are areas of natural plants and trees located between waterways and farmland. They are a proven technology for reducing sediment, phosphorus, and nitrate contamination of surface waters, and help to reduce nitrate from shallow groundwater that flows through the buffer. Unfortunately, in tile-drained areas of the Midwest, buffers are not particularly effective in removing nitrate from the groundwater because the tile lines discharge directly into surface waters, bypassing the buffers. Saturated buffers are an attempt to “re-plumb” the riparian buffer, redirecting some of the field tile drainage into the buffer as shallow groundwater flow. As the water flows through the buffer, both denitrification and uptake by the perennial plants in the buffer remove nitrate and keep it out of the adjacent stream.

Dan Jaynes has studied the fate and transport of agrichemicals in the landscape for the past 30 years and authored 110 peer-reviewed scientific publications. Current areas of research include characterizing the impact of farming practices on nitrate losses to surface waters, investigating the spatial and temporal patterns of yield variations in corn and soybean fields, and developing new designs and management practices for tile drainage to reduce nitrate losses to surface waters.

The webinar is part of a free series, hosted by ILF, on the third Wednesday of each month. The webinars are held over the noon hour through Adobe Connect. All that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.

Related information

Listen to the  archived webinar  [Adobe Connect website]

News release [ILF website]

View other ILF webinars  [ILF website]

The webinar archives are also available in podcast through iTunes.

About ILF: Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable.

Partners are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa.