Events

Conservation in Action Tour

August 21st, 2019

Event Schedule for August 21st, 2019

Stop 1: Couser Cattle Company, Nevada

Since 1977, Bill and Nancy Couser have been building their cattle and cropping operation into a model of economic and environmental sustainability. Today, their son Tim represents the third generation on the place, and manages the cropping side of the business. Together, the Cousers continue to forge paths to new levels of sustainability, pioneering manure management, stover harvest, cover crops and edge-of-field practices, many of which are demonstrated on their 220-acre AGvocacy Learning Farm. We'll learn from Bill, Tim and other speakers about:

• Maximizing opportunities for marketing corn and corn stover

• Managing cattle manure to benefit soil health and water quality

• Precision technologies for row crop production

• Edge-of-field practices, including saturated buffers and bioreactors

Stop 2: New Century FS, Melbourne

As trusted advisors, suppliers and custom applicators, ag retailers play pivotal roles in the adoption of conservation practices. At New Century FS Melbourne Service Center—a Responsible Ag Certified facility—location manager Dan Hart and his team will introduce us to the world of commercial-scale handling of fertilizer and crop protection products and the individualized, field-scale crop advising and application that help farmers achieve their

conservation and production goals. As we explore the state-of-the-art facility, we will encounter:

• The perspective of Certified Crop Advisors on supporting conservation goals

• Fertilizer handling, seed treatment and anhydrous application systems

• A demonstration of a cutting-edge precision fertilizer spreader wagon with multi-product

rate and placement capabilities

• Ag retailer insight on incentives to conserve crop nutrients

• The FS sprayer operator training simulator

 

Stop 3: LICA Demonstration Farm, Melbourne

The Iowa Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA) bought an 80-acre parcel near Melbourne in 2005 as "our own sandbox to play in," in the words of former Iowa LICA chair Tim Recker. Today, it is home to a wide variety of in-field, edge-of-field and below-ground practices. This portion of the tour will include more free time to wander the farm or compare notes with other participants. Contractors and engineers will serve as hosts at various sites around the farm, sharing insight into:

• The contractor's role in implementing conservation systems

• The construction and function of in-field and edge-of-field systems

• An introduction to Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy

• Water quality outcomes of constructed and agronomic conservation practices

 

Stop 4: Tesdell Century Farm, Slater

Since 1884, Lee Tesdell's family has been farming near Slater. Today, the 80-acre operation is a highly diversified farm that reflects the deep commitment of Tesdell and Cindy Cunningham to soil health, water quality and conservation. One of the most striking examples of that commitment is the farm's prairie strips, which Tesdell planted in cooperation with Iowa State University. He and the university's STRIPS research team use the 3-acre strip project as a demonstration of the power of diversity in building soils, habitat and a bright future for the farm.

From Lee and several other speakers, presentations will include:

• The land management philosophy and conservation systems on Tesdell Century Farm

• An introduction to Prairie STRIPS: Science-Based Trials of Row-cops Integrated with

Prairie Strips

• The latest research on the co-benefits of prairie strips to profitability, soil health, water

quality, and wildlife habitat

• Seeding Cover crops into corn

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