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Webinar to address flood recovery for cropland

By Staff | Sep 4, 2011

AMES — As waters recede from farmland that has been covered for several months by Missouri River flooding, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension are jointly planning a workshop for Monday, Sept. 12 to address cropland issues.

The workshop will be conducted via webinar at several viewing sites in both states from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Extension agriculture staff will host the workshop sites and facilitate questions to the panel.

In Iowa the viewing sites will be in Fremont County in Sidney, Harrison County in Logan, Mills County in Malvern, Monona County in Onawa and Woodbury County in Sioux City. ISU Extension in West Pottawattamie County is hosting the session at the Lied Multipurpose Center, 3501 Harry Langdon Blvd, Council Bluffs.

Topics to be covered during the webinar and extension presenters include sedimentation and debris removal, by Shawn Shouse, ISU Extension ag engineer; managing post flooding soils, flooded soil syndrome, by Mahdi Al-Kaisi, ISU Extension soil specialist; cover crops for soil health, by Paul Jasa, UNL Extension engineer; and leases and crop insurance on flooded land, by William Edwards, ISU Extension farm management specialist. Rick Koelsch, UNL associate dean of extension, will moderate the panel.

“It is important for us to share information with those tasked with caring for farmland post flooding, but it is also important for Extension to hear the concerns and specific issues these folks have on their land,” said ISU’s Shouse. “There is science that we can apply to this situation, but there is much that comes from farmer experience.”

Physical damage to farm ground may include obvious things like erosion and sand deposition. But some effects are invisible, having to do with the loss of soil microbes and soil structure. Land managers need to start planning and acting as the waters recede so that the soil can be productive again for next year.

“Using webinar technology helps us reach the most people on both sides of the river without having them travel great distances,” said John Wilson, UNL Extension educator and event co-chair. “It also allows for informal discussion at each site among those who have been most affected by the flood and with extension staff.”

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