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Iowa Learning Farms’ August webinar focuses ‘Losing Ground’

By Staff | Aug 13, 2011

AMES – The Iowa Learning Farms’ August webinar, to be held Wednesday, at noon, will feature Rick Cruse, who will discuss the report “Losing Ground.” The webinar is part of a series, hosted by ILF, held on the third Wednesday of each month. The webinars are held over the noon hour through Adobe Connect. All that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.

The “Losing Ground” report is based on research by Iowa State University (ISU) scientists and the Environmental Working Group (EWG). The report shows that Iowa farms are losing topsoil up to 12 times faster than government estimates. But, aerial surveys conducted by EWG, indicate that soil erosion and runoff are worse than the research numbers suggest. Many fields are scarred by gullies that channel soil and chemicals into streams, which is not accounted for in ISU’s erosion estimates. Cruse is one of the ISU scientists who aided in the report, working with the Iowa Daily Erosion Project.

Rick Cruse is a professor of agronomy at ISU and director of the Iowa Water Center. His research focus is on soil management and soil erosion processes. He recently served on the National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology, a bioenergy advisory council to the chief U.S. EPA administrator and has served on the Iowa Climate Change Advisory Council. Cruse teaches two graduate level soil management classes at Iowa State University.

To connect to the webinars, go to: connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/. Cruse will be able to answer questions from webinar “attendees” via the Adobe Connect chat box. The ILF website homepage contains links for archived webinars from previous months: www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf.

Upcoming webinars include: Drake University’s Agricultural Law Center fellow Edward Cox will present information on the land tenure project with the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in September. ISU agricultural and biosystems engineer Mark Hanna will discuss farm energy saving measures in October. Please contact ILF with other topic ideas for future webinar sessions.

Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the US EPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.


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