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Searching for "water quality"

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A Closer Look: Beavers as Superheroes of Water Quality
Beavers offer a host of ecosystem benefits, including improved water quality, increased water storage, and added habitat for other wildlife. This publication explores best management practices for the rural landscape—identifying ways to work with beavers, not against them.
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A Closer Look: Iowa Farmland Ownership and Water Quality
Land management and conservation practices utilized by farmers and landowners play a key role in improving water quality by reducing loss of nutrients to waterways. This publication explores who owns Iowa’s farmland and who influences land management decisions.
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A Closer Look: Harmful Algal Blooms
While algae are naturally occurring, excessive growth leads to challenges with water quality. Algae reproduce rapidly, or “bloom,” in conditions with warm, slow-moving water rich in nutrients, especially phosphorus. Some algal blooms release harmful toxins that can have significant public health impacts.
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Master Gardener - District Mens Perfect Weight Tee
Size Chart

An effortless, perfect tee for everyday wear.
  • 100% ring spun combed cotton
  • 32 singles (high quality yarn thickness)
  • Tear-away label
  • 1x1 rib knit neck
  • Shoulder to shoulder taping
This garment is produced with a screen print of the ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener mark.

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Master Gardener - District Womens Perfect Weight Tee
Size Chart

An effortless, perfect tee for everyday wear.
  • 100% ring spun combed cotton
  • 32 singles (high quality yarn thickness)
  • 1x1 rib knit neck
  • Shoulder to shoulder taping
This garment is produced with a screen print of the ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener mark.

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Master Gardener - Port & Company Ladies Long Sleeve Fan Favorite V-Neck Tee
Size Chart

You'll be the biggest fan around of this 100% ring spun cotton tee.
  • 30 singles (high quality yarn thickness)
  • 100% ring spun cotton
  • Ladies fashion fit
  • Removable tag for comfort
  • Rib knit collar
  • Shoulder to shoulder back neck taping
This garment is produced with a screen print of the ISU Extension and Outreach Master Gardener mark.

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Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy: Aiming to Improve Water Quality
This publication highlights the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy’s efforts to improve water quality in Iowa. To reach the Strategy’s goal of reducing nutrient loading to the Gulf of Mexico by 45%, large scale implementation of conservation practices and significant financial investment are needed.
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Treat Your Water Well
If you rely on a private well for your household water and haven’t tested it in the last two years, you may be at risk for harmful nitrate exposure. This publication explores risk factors, why nitrate is a concern, and ways to protect your household.
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Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual - Addendum: Decision Tools for Conservation Professionals
Iowa’s conservation efforts are focused on improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat while remaining productive and profitable. This publication is designed for conservation professionals to help guide their clients in assessing, selecting and incorporating edge-of-field conservation practices most appropriate to their land and goals, and is a companion publication to the Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual (CLG 105).
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What to Expect: Establishing Prairie Vegetation on Your Farm
This publication informs Iowa farmers and landowners about the process and benefits of establishing small areas of perennial prairie vegetation to benefit soil health, water quality, and wildlife. Establishment of prairie vegetation takes both time and active management—this publication aims to help farmers and landowners set reasonable expectations while sharing consensus best management practices for successful establishment and management.
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Water Quality in Swine Barns: How do we define it?
The importance of water in swine production cannot be overstated, as it is essential for normal metabolic function and is the nutrient consumed in the largest quantity by pigs. Water also is critical for regulating body temperature, excreting waste, and is required to maximize feed consumption. Therefore, insuring pigs have access to water adequate in both quality and quantity is paramount.
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Whole Farm Conservation Best Practices Manual
Improving water quality, soil health, and wildlife habitat while remaining productive and profitable is the focus of many conservation efforts in Iowa. Confidence in practice selection and management is essential for implementing conservation practices. This publication provides best management recommendations for farmers and landowners getting started with conservation and water quality practices by helping select and incorporate in-field and edge-of-field conservation practices most appropriate to the decision maker's land and preferences.
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Rusty Soils and Filmy Water: Helpful or Harmful?
Today, iron is visible to us where it forms rusty-colored minerals in springs or small streams, stains soils, and forms metallic-looking rocks that are often mistaken for meteorites. These minerals often form when iron dissolved in water precipitates, like how seawater leaves salt behind when it evaporates. Have you found iron where you live? Why is it there? How do you know if it is naturally occurring or some type of contamination?
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Conversion of Confined Animal Production Facilities and Other Unused Agriculture Buildings for Fish Culture
Tank culture offers an alternative to traditional pond aquaculture and can be used in indoor facilities such as unused barns or other buildings. Tank culture systems are examples of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS). For example, equipment or structures already in place in a former hog operation can be converted for use as a RAS. By retrofitting equipment and reusing water, a RAS can be developed to produce fish in a cost-effective manner. The conversion can require a significant investment, however, so before beginning it is important to gather as much research-based information as possible and to learn about fish culture, water quality, marketing, and other aspects of aquaculture.
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Floodplain Connectivity
Floodplains enhance water quality and reduce downstream flooding.
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Streambank Alluvial Units
This publication reviews how streambank composition affects water quality.
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Corn Quality: Concerns When Grain Does Not Reach Maturity
The 2020 growing season brought challenges to Iowa corn growers. Drought and the August derecho wind damage are the two primary events that may have impacted corn quality and feed value. Grain that does not reach maturity or is stressed during the growing season (weather, nutrients, disease, weed competition) may be more prone to quality issues, and thus require different considerations for handling and storage.

This publication is intended for swine producers who grow corn and manufacture feed on-farm, feed mills, and nutritionists.
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Wine Faults Series
A top priority for winemakers is to produce high quality wine that does not contain any faults or defects. A wine fault is an unpleasant organoleptic characteristic including look, smell, or taste. Wine faults can come from a chemical or a microbial origin and some off-odors can be the result of multiple faults. It can be challenging to identify some of the common defects, as wine faults are not always straightforward. Factors such as the type or style of wine, the stage of production, the wine age, and the person smelling or tasting all contribute to the perception of a wine fault.
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Series introduction
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Volatile Acidity
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Ethyl Acetate
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Brettanomyces
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Cork Taint
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Spoilage by Lactic Acid Bacteria
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Geranium Taint
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Hydrogen Sulfide and Volatile Sulfer
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Oxidation
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Excessive Sulfur Dioxide
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Tartrate Crystal Precipitation
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Protein Haze and Protein Stability
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Refermentation
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Farmer Experiences with Fall Grazing Cover Crops
Establishing cover crops following grain production is a proven tool to protect soil, reduce erosion, improve water quality and enhance soil quality, as well as forage for livestock. Little research has focused on using cover crops for fall feed, however. This publication provides information from producers across Iowa who have fall grazed cover crops for two or more years and shares their experiences.
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Reducing Food Safety Risks at Produce Farms - Agricultural Water
Reducing food safety risks is critical for growers. This poster highlights safety risks associated with agricultural water and is part of a series that can be displayed on produce farms to help remind workers of how to keep themselves and the produce they are growing safe.
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Reducing Nutrient Loss: Science Shows What Works
Iowa has been working for decades to protect and improve water quality through best scientific management, land use, and edge-of-field practices to reduce nutrient loss from farmland.

The Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy is a science and technology-based framework to assess and reduce nutrients to Iowa waters and the Gulf of Mexico.
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Establishing and Managing Pollinator Habitat on Saturated Riparian Buffers
Conservation practices for water quality and pollinator habitat can be complementary - using some of the same land and resources can multiply ecological benefits for water and wildlife. This publication discusses the ways saturated riparian buffers can be used for planting pollinator habitat. It provides information on site selection, preparation and establishment, management and seed mixes.
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The Iowa Watershed Approach - Wetlands
Wetlands are strategically placed to capture surface runoff and drainage water. This Iowa Watershed Approach publication walks readers through the impact wetlands have on water quality, financial incentives and other benefits.
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Nitrogen Use in Iowa Corn Production
Nitrogen is essential for growth and reproduction of crops and is involved in many important plant biochemical processes. Nitrogen management is critical for optimal yields for corn production systems. This publication discusses long-term research done in Iowa and shows corn yields average about 60 bu/acre for continuous corn and 115 bu/acre for corn following soybean when corn is not fertilized. However, corn fertilized with N will easily yield 200 bu/acre or more. This means soil management and nitrogen fertilization practices, such as using economical optimum N rates, should be used to help optimize crop yields, use N efficiently, and enhance water quality.

The regional Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator website, which has been helping farmers determine profitable nitrogen rates since 2005, can be found at: cnrc.agron.iastate.edu. This tool provides a process to calculate economic return to N application with different nitrogen and corn prices and to find profitable N rates directly from recent N rate research data. Using the Maximum Return to Nitrogen concept within the calculator helps farmers implement the most economical nitrogen rate inputs, which helps moderate water quality issues.
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The Iowa Watershed Approach - Water and Sediment Control Basins
Water and sediment control basins are designed to capture runoff during storms and slowly discharge that water through a stable outlet. This eliminates erosion while also removing pollutants. This Iowa Watershed Approach publication highlights the importance of water and sediment control basins and the benefits they provide.
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Applying Woodchip Bioreactors for Improved Water Quality
In the quest to manage nitrate levels in Iowa’s waters, researchers are developing new ways to keep both soil and water healthy.

The use of woodchip bioreactors is just one tool Iowa State University Extension and Outreach specialist recommend to help manage nitrates levels.

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Cleaning Iowa's Waters with Saturated Buffers in Iowa Watersheds
Working with private land-owners in Iowa Water Quality Initiative Watersheds, saturated buffers are being established and monitored as a nitrate management practice within tile-drained watersheds. This resource will give you more information about the practice.
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Drainage Water Quality Impacts of Various In-field Nutrient Management Practices: Comparison of Biofuel Systems Site
This publication discusses the results of in-field nutrient management practice research conducted at the Iowa State University Biofuel Systems Site.
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Drainage Water Quality Impacts of Various In-field Nutrient Management Practices: Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm
This publication discusses the results of in-field nutrient management practice research conducted at the Iowa State University Northeast Research and Demonstration Farm.
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Drainage Water Quality Impacts of Various In-field Nutrient Management Practices: Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm
This publication discusses the results of in-field nutrient management practice research conducted at the Iowa State University Northwest Research and Demonstration Farm.
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Drainage Water Quality Impacts of Various In-field Nutrient Management Practices: Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm
This publication discusses the results of in-field nutrient management practice research conducted at the Iowa State University Southeast Research and Demonstration Farm.
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Drainage Water Quality Impacts of Various In-field Nutrient Management Practices: Agriculture Drainage Research and Demonstration Site - Gilmore City
This publication discusses the results of in-field nutrient management practice research conducted at the Iowa State University Agriculture Drainage Research and Demonstration Site in north-central Iowa near Gilmore City.
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Make sure drinking water is safe -- Safe Farm
It's recommended that you test well water for coliform bacteria and nitrate at least once a year. Check out the details.

safefarm
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Estimate First Crop Pre-Harvest Alfalfa Quality in the Field Using PEAQ
Climatic variations impact alfalfa growth and development making it impossible to use a calendar date to best determine when to harvest the first crop. This publication provides a method called Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) to determine when the first crop should be harvested.
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Midwest Farmer Adaptive Management Responses to Perceptions of Excess Water-related Risks
A helpful handout for discussing variables that may influence farmer decisions regarding on-farm management practices, such as the decision to plant or not plant cover crops. This handout is based on research by the social science team of the USDA Sustainable Corn Project, led by Iowa State University.

More details specific to this research and handout can be found online at: https://www.researchgate.net, in a paper authored by Lois Wright Morton, Jon Hobbs, J.G. Arbuckle Jr., and Adam Loy
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Short Duration Cover Crops for Vegetable Production Systems
Cover crops are planted not for harvest, but are designed to maintain and enhance the sustainability of a production system by improving soil fertility, water quality and can lead to the suppression of weeds, soil erosion and pests. This publication provides information on how to use short duration cover crops to aid production, especially during a fallow period between two vegetable crops. Choosing the correct cover crop will impact its effectiveness, as will the grower’s method of seeding and termination. The publication provides tips for picking the right crop and showing how it should be used to maximize its effectiveness.
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Corn Belt farmers' concerns about water-related threats to farm viability
This brief summarizes key results from a 2012 survey of 4,778 farmers in 11 Corn-belt states. Here, the focus is upon farmers' concerns about how climate change and variable weather might affect soil moisture and precipitation needed for farm viability.
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Quality Management for Seed Enterprises in Developing Countries
This 154-page reference manual was designed to aid seed entrepreneurs from developing countries obtain the skills necessary to develop a strong seed industry based on high-quality varieties. The manual introduces process management concepts in a comprehensive step-by-step format that is easy to follow and implement.
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Water Quality Management for Recirculating Aquaculture
Water quality is a term that reflects the overall ability of culture water to provide optimal growth conditions for the species of interest. Aquaculture producers can use this publication to learn how water quality supports fish health.
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Aquaculture Water Treatment Calculations
This publication provides take sizes and volumes to determine the best solution for fish production in your aquaculture operation.
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Drainage Water Management in the Corn Belt
Holding back drainage water in a field, with a water control structure, allows water to flow through longer pathways and seep into deeper soil layers. In addition to water quality benefits, it's possible that drainage water management also can boost crop yields and store water for times of drought stress.

Jane Frankenberger, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University and a principal investigator for the USDA-NIFA Sustainable Corn Project shares her research on this topic.

This resource is part of the USDA-NIFA funded project for climate and agriculture that gathered data from 35 field sites and thousands of farmers in 9 Midwestern states, with the goal of creating a suite of practices for corn-based systems.
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Understanding Water Needs of Diverse, Multi-year Crop Rotations
Crop rotation diversification is a tool farmers have to reduce economic risk, disrupt pest cycles, increase soil resilience, and improve water quality. Investigators with the Sustainable Corn Project are conducting studies to determine if diverse, multi-year rotations also can help crops thrive as precipitation patterns change in the Corn Belt.

Author Jeff Strock is a professor and soil scientist at the University of Minnesota. Co-author Brent Dalzell is a research associate and biogeochemist at the University of Minnesota.

This resource is part of the USDA-NIFA funded project for climate and agriculture that gathered data from 35 field sites and thousands of farmers in 9 Midwestern states, with the goal of creating a suite of practices for corn-based systems.
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Managing Crop Residue Removal and Soil Quality Changes
Significant, short-term effects of residue removal on soil physical properties can take place with residue management or removal. The adoption of no-till may offset some of these effects.
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Air Quality in Bedded Mono-Slope Beef Barns
Find research data about gas concentrations and dust associated with bedding, ventilation, and manure handling systems in mono-slope barns. Data were gathered from studies conducted in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota.
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Clean Water Diversion for Open Feedlots
Find out about clean water diversion around small open feedlots through pen location, gutters and downspouts for roof areas, and drainage channels for surface water. Photos, text, and tables present details of various systems.
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Rain Gardens: Filtering and Recycling Rain Water
Rain gardens collect and filter rain water to improve storm water management. They also can provide an attractive habitat for birds, butterflies, and beneficial insects.
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Small Open Lot Dairies in Iowa -- a producer guide
Find ways to better manage dairy feedlot manure and runoff and assess environmental impact. Includes practices that help you manage manure nutrients while protecting water quality. Explains how state and federal regulations apply to open feedlots and gives sources for technical assistance.
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No-Tillage Impacts on Soil Carbon, Nitrogen, and Water
Great teaching resource as well as a handout for CSCAP 0114 2012 VIDEO. The benefits of no-tillage in a corn-soybean system explained.

This resource is part of the USDA-NIFA funded project for climate and agriculture that gathered data from 35 field sites and thousands of farmers in 9 Midwestern states, with the goal of creating a suite of practices for corn-based systems.
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The Water Balance

Fact sheet about field scale water balance and handout for use with the video: CSCAP 0123 2012 VIDEO

This resource is part of the USDA-NIFA funded project for climate and agriculture that gathered data from 35 field sites and thousands of farmers in 9 Midwestern states, with the goal of creating a suite of practices for corn-based systems.
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Small Open Beef Feedlots in Iowa -- a producer guide
Find ways to better manage feedlot manure and runoff and assess environmental impact. Includes practices that manage manure nutrients while protecting water quality.

Explains how state and federal regulations apply to open feedlots and gives sources for technical assistance.
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Sensing Nitrogen Stress in Corn
Water quality concerns and high N fertilizer prices have made more precise nitrogen management strategies important to improve efficiency and profitability. Get the details here.
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Maintaining Food Safety Through Quality
Food safety is a worldwide issue affecting millions of people who suffer from diseases caused by contaminated food. Policy makers are looking to enhanced quality management systems for tracing food back to its source. This report will give producers, researchers and consumers a summary of efforts by Iowa State University Extension in food safety, quality management systems and traceability of grain and livestock products.
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Soil Erosion and Water Quality -- Resource Conservation Practices
Soil erosion by water and the impact of sediment-attached nutrients on lakes and streams creates problems for both agricultural land and water quality. Learn more about this topic along with conservation and best management practices.
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Conservation Buffers and Water Quality -- Resource Conservation Practices
Buffers are designed to intercept sediment and nutrients and reduce soil erosion; they also help enhance air and water quality and fish and wildlife habitats. Learn how to understand, manage, and maintain conservation buffers.
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Building Quality Ponds -- Managing Iowa Fisheries
A quality pond stores the cleanest water possible. This publication describes suitable water sources and the design and maintenance of water impoundments.
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Protecting Our Water Quality with Sprayer Calibration
Proper calibration of pesticide sprayers is critical to achieve economical crop management and responsible stewardship of natural resources. Precise application minimizes potential problems while maximizing the effectiveness of the pesticide.
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Private Water Systems Handbook
Private Water Systems Handbook will help you develop and maintain a safe, adequate, and dependable water system to meet your needs. It considers both domestic and farm use. The recommendations in this handbook is considered good management practices in most areas.

Discussions include water reducing modern appliances and energy-saving equipment. Maintenance of a quality water system is essential and is discussed in detail. Wells are the most common source of water, cisterns, springs, and ponds are good choices for providing water for livestock, fire protection, and lawn watering.

Contents
  • Planning for Water Use
  • Wells
  • Catchments, Cisterns, Ponds, and Springs
  • Pumps
  • Maintaining Pressure in a Private Water System
  • Water Distribution
  • Water Quality and Testing
  • Water Treatment and Protection
  • Water Systems Maintenance Calendar
  • Appendix and Glossary
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$35.00
A Targeted Conservation Approach for Improving Environmental Quality
Find out how targeted conservation practices can have the most impact on environmental quality while causing only a small change in overall agricultural production. Environmental benefits are discussed related to clean air and water, productive soils, diverse wildlife and plant habitat, and biological controls for crop protection.
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Water Quality -- Managing Iowa Fisheries
Water, the most important component for raising fish, is often the most neglected factor. The purpose of this publication is to assist the fish farmer or pond owner in pond management.
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Off-Stream Water, Shade and Nutritional Supplementation to Modify Animal Behavior -- A Guide to Managing Pasture Water
Another way to manage pasture water for positive water quality is to modify animal behavior. Find out about providing off-stream water, shade, and nutritional supplementation.
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Stabilized Stream and Pond Access Sites -- A Guide to Managing Pasture Water
Find out what might work for you regarding stabilized stream and pond access sites. Consider characteristics of the site, purposes of the structure, desired length of use, level of investment and availability of labor, and governmental regulations.
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Streamside Buffers -- A Guide to Managing Pasture Water
A change in management or buffer establishment will alter dramatically the look and functioning of a riparian zone in just a few years. Find out how.
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Water Gardens: FAQs -- Reiman Gardens
Starting and maintaining a water garden of any size inevitably brings questions. Find answers to the most commonly asked questions here.
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Sampling Your Drinking Water
If your drinking water comes from a private water supply, here are some guidelines to make sure your system is safe. Information includes what to test for, when to test, collecting the sample, and selecting a lab.
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Iowa Soil Quality Card
Provides a method and details for a qualitative assessment of soil function and evaluation ratings.
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Tillage, Manure Management, and Water Quality -- Resources Conservation Practices
Tillage and manure application practices significantly impact surface and ground water quality in Iowa. Learn how tillage and manure management affect soil erosion and considerations for nitrogen and phosphorus use.
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Agricultural Phosphorus Management and Water Quality Protection in the Midwest (EPA Region 7)
For nutrient management planners -- to understand the risk of phosphorus in surface waters and to manage this risk. Targeted for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska.
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2004 Summary Report Part 1 - Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll
Results of the 2004 farm and rural life poll regarding health insurance, future of farming, tax policy, water quality, and philanthropy.
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Restoring Iowa Streams -- Managing Iowa Habitats
Iowa is rich in water resources, but the restoration and management of Iowa’s rivers and streams is important for enhancing or improving water quality, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and aesthetics. This publication is to assist landowners in the restoration and management of stream and river habitats.
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Setting Combines for Harvesting Best Quality Seed and Field Corn
A pocket guide for setting combines to harvest best quality seed and field corn with the least amount of grain damage.
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Setting Combines for Harvesting Best Soybean Seed Quality and Maximum Yield
A pocket guide for setting combines to harvest best soybean seed quality and maximum yield with the least amount of grain damage.
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Soil Quality in Organic Agricultural Systems
Building and maintaining soil quality is the basis for successful organic farming. Topics of crop rotations, soil amendments, soil health, carbon sequestration, organic agriculture philosophies, and relevant related field research are included.
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Water Gardens: Aquatic Plants -- Reiman Gardens
Learn how to start a water garden. Topics include plant selection, floating plants, submerged plants, shallow marginal plants, deep water plants, planting methods, and fertilizing plants.
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Air Quality and Animal Agriculture
This four-page publication documents past and current research efforts in air quality studies at Iowa State University. The publication also outlines plans for future air quality initiatives.
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Conservation Tillage Systems and Management
Crop Residue Management with No-till, Ridge-till, Mulch-till, and Strip-till

This resource book is filled with a wealth of information relating to conservation tillage systems and how to manage them. Helpful to producers who are investigating conservation tillage – contemplating its long-range issues – and looking for assistance for selecting equipment.

Topics include:
  • Tillage benefits and tillage system definitions
  • Wind and water erosion
  • Crop residue and irrigation water management
  • Residue management oat harvest
  • Estimating residue cover
  • Crop response to tillage systems
  • Costs and returns
  • Soil compaction
  • Controlled traffic
  • Water quality
  • Converting CRP to crop production
  • Integrated crop management
  • Cover crop management in cotton
  • Nutrient and weed management
  • Insect and disease management
  • Rodent damage control
  • Site-specific crop management
  • Tillage system selection and equipment descriptions
  • Fall strip-tillage systems
  • No-till and ridge-till planting equipment
  • No-till drills
  • Crop cultivators
  • Pesticide application equipment
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$35.00
Identifying Valuable Corn Quality Traits for Starch Production
This report is prepared by the Iowa Grain Quality Initiative Traits Task Team. It summarizes possible corn modifications to achieve new starches.
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Identifying Valuable Corn Quality Traits for Livestock Feed
This report is intended to provoke discussion and debate that will lead to a vision among researchers in public institutions, seed companies, and the feed industry for modifying corn quality traits to enhance its nutrient value in livestock feed applications. This report also attempts to provide direction to farmer organizations and the corn industry about potential targets for investing research funds.
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Irrigation Water Quality for Container-grown Plants
This fact sheet provides target ranges of elements for growing most greenhouse and nursery crops, growth concerns, and interpretation of test results and suggestions for correcting irrigation problems.
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Riparian Buffer Systems -- Stewards of Our Streams
Restoration and management of the land’s natural riparian buffer system can improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and build diversity that has been lost with modern land uses. Publication offers detailed information on riparian buffers.
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Shock Chlorinating Small Water Systems
Learn how to shock chlorinate a small water system to combat disease-causing bacteria and viruses that remain in a system following construction, repair, or maintenance.
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Successfully Plugging Your Abandoned Well - Safeguarding Your Water
Tens of thousands of old wells have been abandoned throughout Iowa, which can lead to personal injury, equipment damage, and unsafe drinking water. Read about plugging schedules, who can safely plug wells, recommended plugging materials, plugging procedures, and other information.
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Good Wells for Safe Water
The best defenses against well contamination are good construction, periodic inspection and maintenance, and regular water testing. Detailed construction features are described here to help you plan new wells or inspect and repair existing ones.
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