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Dordt College News

Field Day, bioenergy demonstration Sept. 1 at Dordt farm

August 30, 2010

Dordt College and Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and Iowa State University Extension will host a field day Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Dordt College’s Agriculture Stewardship Center (located two miles north of the college on Highway 75). The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with a free supper. The program begins at 6 p.m.

On-farm trials demonstrated will include Pioneer®’s corn rootworm "refuge in a bag," Avicta® treated corn seed for nematode control, wide vs. narrow vs. twin row soybeans, corn population study, early vs. late planted soybeans, till vs. no till soybeans, and wide vs. narrow row corn.

Dr. Greg Tylka from the Tylka Nematology Lab at Iowa State University will discuss corn nematodes. Joel DeJong, an ISU extension agronomist, Josh Sievers with the Northwest Iowa on-farm Research Project, and Mike Schouten, Agriculture Stewardship Center Steward, will be on hand to discuss other farm topics.

Dr. Chris Goedhart, chair of the agriculture department at Dordt, will discuss the ag research project the college has been conducting with Practical Farmers of Iowa and Marshalltown Community College, funded by a $138,000 grant from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE).

Side-by-side field comparisons have been planted at the Dordt College and Marshalltown Community College. Each crop site has replicated blocks with either a continuous-corn system or a three-year “gateway to sustainability” rotation of corn, soybeans, and winter/spring small grain/forage with legume underseeding. Student interns at each school (with faculty assistance) are documenting the environmental impact, energy, and economics of these systems and will share their findings to date.

The project is designed to demonstrate a basic cropping system that uses a fraction of the energy that continuously planting corn does yet has the same net energy output. The rotation system also supports a diversity of farm enterprises in a sustainable way.

The Dordt Ag Club will serve a grilled meal beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Everyone interested in this agricultural research is welcome to attend.

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