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Webinar to Examine Nitrogen Losses from Hydric Soils
Iowa Ag Connection - 10/09/2018

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar that aims to improve the understanding and management of nitrogen losses from hydric soil landscapes on Oct. 17 at 12 p.m.

The leaching of nitrate and emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, are key environmental impacts of Corn Belt agricultural systems. Steven Hall, Iowa State University assistant professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology, is leading a research group that studies the biological and geochemical processes that control the cycling of organic matter and nutrients across the plant-soil-water-atmosphere continuum. One focus area is the interactions across that continuum in former prairie potholes. These occasionally flooded hydric soils in topographic depressions can contribute disproportionately to nitrogen losses at the landscape scale, suggesting the promise of management interventions that specifically target these features.

"Efficient crop nitrogen use, farm profitability and environmental impacts of nitrogen loss are intimately connected," said Hall. "Innovative management of cropped hydric soils could yield disproportionate environmental and economic benefits."

The Iowa Learning Farms webinar series takes place on the third Wednesday of the month. To watch, go to www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m. on Oct. 17 to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by 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 of Iowa Learning Farms include 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).

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