EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release has been updated from a version published on August 12, 2021 to include a recording of the webinar.
AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar that took place on Aug. 18 at noon featured Ehsan Ghane, assistant professor and extension specialist at Michigan State University. Ghane conducts research in the areas of drainage water management and water quality, and frequently provides educational sessions for diverse groups including producers, drainage contractors and the public, regarding best practices for design of water management systems.
In the webinar, “Designing Drainage Systems for Maximizing Profit and Protecting Water Quality,” Ghane showcases the intuitive Drain Spacing Tool which can be utilized to estimate the optimum spacing of 4-inch lateral drains that can maximize economic return on investment for a drainage system. The tool incorporates field-level soil and weather data to inform site-specific planning. He also discusses the relationship between drainage systems and nutrient (primarily phosphorus) loss from fields.
“Farming is a business that must always balance investments against revenue, and drainage is one area where maximizing the return on investment is an important part of the decision process,” said Ghane. “This tool simplifies planning and helps maximize potential profitability of fields being drained while also minimizing nutrient impacts on water quality. I am eager to help the webinar audience learn about the Drain Spacing Tool and answer questions about how it can be used to improve crop profits in Iowa.”
About Iowa Learning Farms:
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, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources, EPA Section 319 Grant Program and GROWMARK, Inc.
— Iowa Learning Farms
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