Iowa Learning Farm participates in Midwest Strip-Tillage Expo

Matt Helmers demonstrates the Iowa Learning Farms' rainfall simulator. (Jackie Comito)Matt Helmers demonstrates the Iowa Learning Farms' rainfall simulator. (Jackie Comito)

Iowa Learning Farm team members, agronomist Mahdi Al-Kaisi and agricultural engineer Mark Hanna, will be presenters at the Midwest Strip-Tillage Expo '07 in Waterloo, Iowa. Tillage specialists from three states will join together on July 31 for the Expo held at Hawkeye Community College.

The program will include concurrent educational presentations and field demonstrations starting at 9 a.m. and repeated at 1 p.m. Al-Kaisi will be presenting information regarding strip tillage for continuous corn, and Hanna will discuss selecting the proper tools for strip tillage.

Other educational programs include presentations on fertility management for strip tillage and auto-steer and -guidance technology. At noon, a panel of veteran strip tillers will discuss their experiences and techniques.

Field demonstrations will give farmers a chance to compare features of a variety of strip-tillage equipment and related products, including auto-guidance systems and fertilizer injectors. Manufacturers' representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

The Iowa Learning Farm's rainfall simulator will be demonstrated during the lunch hour. The rainfall simulator illustrates the potential impacts of conservation and land management practices by distributing rainfall on five different surfaces. The runoff from these scenarios is collected in glass jars so one can see the results. The rainfall simulator shows how keeping various amounts of residue on the land surface can reduce sediment loss.

The Midwest Strip-Tillage Expo is organized by research and extension programs of Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Hawkeye Community College. There is no charge for the expo. Lunch will be available for a nominal cost.

For more information on the field day go to

The Iowa Learning Farm's focus is on helping strong conservationist farmers teach other farmers about systems that will improve the quality of the soil and water on their farms, while remaining profitable and sustainable. The Iowa Learning Farm is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa National Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and Iowa Farm Bureau.

Carol Brown is a communications specialist for The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

This article originally appeared on page 213 of the IC-498(17) -- July 2, 2007 issue.

Updated 07/27/2007 - 10:28am