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Questions and Answers about Saturated Buffers for the Midwest
A saturated buffer is an edge-of-field conservation practice that removes nitrate from subsurface tile drainage water before it enters ditches, streams, and other surface waters. When properly sited and installed, a saturated buffer will remove nitrate whenever the tile is flowing and requires little annual maintenance to ensure effective operation.

This publication provides information from researchers across the Midwest who are addressing the benefits, costs and other issues related to saturated buffers through the "Transforming Drainage" project.
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Performance-based Environmental Management - The Hewitt Creek Model
Find out more about this environmentally sound and economically practical watershed management model -- as farm operators and citizens cooperate.
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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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The Iowa Watershed Approach - Grade Stabilization Structures
Grade stabilization structures eliminate erosion in gullies and waterways and are made of metal, wood or concrete. This Iowa Watershed Approach publication highlights the importance of grade stabilization structures and the benefits they provide.
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The Iowa Watershed Approach - Oxbow Restoration
This Iowa Watershed Approach publication highlights the importance of oxbow restoration and the benefits it can provides. Restoring rivers and creeks to their original course provides habitat for wildlife and improved flood storage capacity.
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The Iowa Watershed Approach - Farm Ponds
Farm ponds are pools of water constructed using either a dam or pit. They collect and store surface runoff, helping reduce phosphorus loads and prevent soil erosion. This Iowa Watershed Approach publication highlights the importance of ponds and the benefits they provide.
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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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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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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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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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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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A Landowner's Guide to Prairie Strips
Prairie strips are an agricultural conservation practice that uses strips of native prairie vegetation in or at the edges of field to protect soil and water and provide habitat for wildlife. This publication provides an introduction for landowners.
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Prairie Strips: Small Changes, Big Impacts
Prairie strips are an agricultural conservation practice that uses strips of native prairie vegetation in or at the edges of field to protect soil and water and provide habitat for wildlife. This publication summarizes the scientific research underpinning prairie strips.
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The Cost of Prairie Strips
Prairie strips are an agricultural conservation practice that uses strips of native prairie vegetation in or at the edges of field to protect soil and water and provide habitat for wildlife. This publication breaks down the establishment and maintenance costs of prairie strips.
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Farming with Prairie Strips
Prairie strips are an agricultural conservation practice that uses strips of native prairie vegetation in or at the edges of field to protect soil and water and provide habitat for wildlife. This publication provides an introduction for farmers.
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Installing Prairie Strips: Frequently Asked Questions
Prairie strips are an agricultural conservation practice that uses strips of native prairie vegetation in or at the edges of field to protect soil and water and provide habitat for wildlife. This publication breaks down factors farmers and landowners should consider when implementing prairie strips on their land.
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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. Updated annually.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2016 Summary Report
Survey results for the 2016 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll discuss conservation practice use, changes in farming practices and strategies and monarch butterfly conservation. Information sources farmers trust is also examined.
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Iowa Drainage Guide
This publication provides guidelines for drainage improvements installed on Iowa's agricultural land. It provides legal, soil management, and engineering information to farmers, engineers, contractors, farm planners, and others associated with drainage system planning, construction, and management.
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$25.00
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/publication/275651778, in a paper authored by Lois Wright Morton, Jon Hobbs, J.G. Arbuckle Jr., and Adam Loy
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll - Farmer Perspectives on Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy
This report presents survey results from the 2014 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll focused on farmer perspectives on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, a science and technology-based approach used to assess and reduce nutrients delivered to Iowa waterways, the Mississippi River and the Gulf of Mexico. The intended purpose is to help stakeholders in the agricultural community and beyond understand where farmers stand on the nutrient reduction strategy to inform outreach actions.
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Animal Housing - Wet Scrubbers Overview
Wet scrubbers are used on ventilation air as it exits livestock housing. They use liquid to collect dust or particulate matter (PM) and absorb gases from air by using a wet surface, spray system, or wet material bed.

This fact sheet is part of the Air Management Practices Assessment Tool (AMPAT) developed at Iowa State University and funded by the National Pork Board. Additional resources can be found on the AMPAT web page at: www.agronext.iastate.edu/ampat
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MAC - What to Expect when DNR Inspects
Inspections are part of a work plan agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It’s designed to strengthen how Iowa implements the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.

What can producers expect as the Iowa DNR reviews about 8,600 large and medium-sized livestock facilities in the next five years? Find out in this 2-page publication.
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Small Feedlot Runoff Management Using Low-Pressure Flood Irrigation
Find out about better management of runoff from small open feedlots using low-pressure flood irrigation. Photos and text show system design, components, and operation. Also contains several other resources for more information.
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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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Soil & Water Management Series CD
This CD contains full versions of selected Crop Adviser Institute (CAI) learning modules in the Soil and Water Management and Crop Management areas. You will have full access to all materials except the final CEU exam.

Exam access may be obtained from the CAI website.

Additional courses are available from CAI, and new courses are continually being developed.

Visit the Crop Adviser Institute at www.cai.iastate.edu
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$5.00
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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Full color PDF
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Printer friendly PDF
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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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Full Color PDF
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Printer friendly PDF
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Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use
Make high tunnels more profitable for crop production by installing a system to catch, store, and reuse the rainwater from periodic rain events. The authors describe system components, give approximate costs, and detail year-round maintenance procedures. Also described is a drip irrigation system.
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Woodchip Bioreactors for Nitrate in Agricultural Drainage
Reduce nitrate in subsurface drainage systems with woodchip bioreactors. Explains how bioreactors work, how to install and use them, their positive and negative impacts, and their costs.
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Pesticides and Water Quality
Find out how you can reduce pesticide contamination of water — whether you're treating a corn field, a lawn, or a building structure. You'll know more about Iowa watersheds, runoff, and leaching as well as best management practices to follow.

Previously known as PAT 0049X
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Rented Land in Iowa: Social and Environmental Dimensions
More than half of Iowa farmland is rented.

Decisions regarding who has access to that land and how it is farmed can influence the social and environmental outcomes of family farming.

See what the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll discovered about rented land in Iowa. Recommendations are suggested to ensure that non-operator landownership is either neutral or beneficial to farm operators, farmland owners, rural communities, and the land itself.
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Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll: 2009 Summary Report
Highlights from the 2009 farm and rural life poll include: the next generation of farmers, farm policy and commodity production, mixed livestock and grain farming, farming and food systems in rural communities, value-added agriculture, targeted conservation, nutrient removal wetlands, and personal and financial well-being.
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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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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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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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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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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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Data Collection Worksheet for RUSLE2 and Iowa Phosphorous Index
This worksheet provides guidelines for using the computer program RUSLE2 (Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation 2) and for calculating the Iowa Phosphorous Index. These are needed in nutrient management and conservation planning.
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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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Assessing the Need for a Riparian Management System -- Stewards of Our Streams
This publication provides a list of tools and considerations to help you determine what kind of riparian management system is best for you and your land.
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Maintenance of Riparian Buffers -- Stewards of Our Streams
Riparian buffers that are managed and maintained are effective at reducing non-point source pollution in streams. The four major maintenance procedures, weed control, replanting and reseeding, pruning and thinning, and prescribed burning, are outlined in this brochure.
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Agriculture and Water Quality
This fact sheet discusses nonpoint source polution and the BMPs (best management practices) that are used to reduce agriculture’s impact on water quality while also producing the food and fiber we need to live.
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Nitrogen Cycle
This Q&A fact sheet discusses nitrogen and the nitrogen cycle. The nitrogen cycle is the continuous series of natural processes by which nitrogen passes from the air to the soil, to plants, and ultimately to sustain all animal life, and then returns back to the air or soil through decay or denitrification (the loss of nitrogen).
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Nitrate in Drinking Water and Human Health
Nitrate itself generally is not a concern with respect to human health. However, bacteria and other substances in the human body can transform nitrate from drinking water into nitrite, which can then be transformed into nitrosamines. This Q & A fact sheet discusses nitrate and some of the related health concerns.
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Nitrate Trends
This Q & A fact sheet explains nitrate and discusses issues with nitrate and the environment.
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Iowa: Many Rivers Run Through It -- Poster

Large wall map (24" x 36") of the many rivers in Iowa.
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$4.00
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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Buffer Strip Design, Establishment and Maintenance -- Stewards of Our Streams
This publication discusses how to design, plant, and maintain a multi-species buffer strip, which is an important part of river ecosystems.
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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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Coping with Contaminated Wells
The most common cause of well water test failures is bacterial problems caused by well deterioration. This publication addresses how to handle contaminated well issues by looking at coliform and nitrate problems.
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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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Iowa Statewide Rural Well Water Survey
Historical data regarding preliminary results from a sampling of 686 Iowa rural wells conducted in 1988 and 1989.
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