Farmers' perspectives on climate change and how climate change affects agriculture is the topic of this month's Iowa Learning Farms webinar. The webinar is on Wednesday, October 17. Anyone who has access to the Internet via a computer is welcome to tune in to the presentation, listen and learn. Iowa State University Extension sociologist J. Gordon Arbuckle Jr., who co-directs the annual Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll and is an assistant professor at ISU, will present results from the 2011 poll. The climate change issue was one of the topics the poll surveyed farmers about this past year.
The ILF October webinar on Wednesday will begin at 11:30 a.m. and feature Arbuckle as the main presenter. The webinar is part of a free series, hosted by ILF, held on the third Wednesday of each month, through Adobe Connect. All that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.
What do farmers believe about climate change? Who do they trust for information?
Arbuckle will discuss "Iowa Farmers' Perspectives on Climate Change and Agriculture,' and explain the results the 2011 Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll gathered from farmers surveyed on this topic. The presentation will examine farmer beliefs about climate change, perceptions of associated risks, trust in agencies and organizations as sources of information about climate change, and attitudes toward adaptation and mitigation activities—what farmers think should be done to lessen the effects of climate change.
Arbuckle's research and extension efforts focus on improving the environmental and social performance of agricultural systems. His primary area of interest is farmer environmental decision making, especially as it pertains to soil and water quality. Related areas of interest include non-operator landownership, climate change and natural resource-based rural development. He is co-director of the Iowa Farm and Rural Life Poll with the poll's founder, ISU sociology professor and long-time Extension sociologist Paul Lasley.
Viewers of the webinar will also have an opportunity to ask questions
To connect to the webinar, visit the Extension website. Besides being able to view the webinar on your home computer and listen to what is said, you'll have the opportunity to ask questions. Arbuckle will be able to answer questions from webinar "attendees" via the Adobe Connect chat box.
Also, if you are interested in viewing past webinars, the ILF website contains links for archived webinars from previous months.
Iowa Learning Farms to host strip-till field day Oct. 23 in northwest Iowa
In other news announced by ILF last week, the organization will host a strip-tillage field day at the Robert Lynch farm near Gilmore City on Tuesday, October 23, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. "With today's high fuel prices, cash rents and land costs, there has never been a better time to explore reduced tillage options," says Lynch. "We hope people will attend the field day to see how strip-tillage works and learn from local farmers who are experienced with this practice."
Strip-till marries the best aspects of conventional tillage with the benefits of no-till. Before planting (fall post-harvest, or spring pre-plant) a strip-tillage implement creates strips of tilled soil. Surface residue is left undisturbed between the tilled strips. In spring, corn or soybeans are planted into the tilled soil strips, which warm and dry faster than the rest of the field, making this system ideal for some Iowa soil types. Landowners and farmers should see better water infiltration, improved soil structure, and potential for reduced fuel, machinery and other crop input costs when using strip-tillage.
Strip-tillage uses best aspects of conventional tillage with the benefits of no-till
Hear from Robert Lynch and son Jay as well as Mark Thompson who have been practicing strip-tillage for some time. They will share their experiences with others interested in this conservation tillage practice. The field day is free and the public is invited. A complimentary lunch is included.
The field day site is located at the Robert Lynch farm, 809 Southeast D Ave., near Gilmore City in northwest Iowa. From Highway 3 just east of Gilmore City, turn south onto Birch Avenue and go one-quarter mile. Turn west on to Southeast D Ave. The farm is one-half mile from Birch Ave. on the north side of the road.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.