Field Day Marks 25 Years of Nutrient Reduction Research

The 2015 field day at the research plots northwest of Gilmore City recognized 25 years of research and technology development of nutrient reduction strategies at the site.  Approximately 100 people attended the event to review the site’s past, hear about current research results and learn about plans for the future of the site as a source of science based information.

This drainage research site was established in 1990 to address concerns with agricultural drainage wells and now the site is serving the broader purposes related to all water quality issues of tile drained landscapes.

On hand to mark the occasion was Dr. John Lawrence, Associate Dean, Ag and Natural Resources ISU Extension and Outreach who spoke about the vision and effort required of several individuals and organizations to establish the research site.  Dr. Stewart Melvin, professor emeritus in the Department of Ag and Biosystems Engineering, shared some of the challenges faced by research faculty to design and maintain the site for research over the years.  Also recognized for their significant contributions to the early design and research at the site were Dr. Jim Baker, professor emeritus in ABE and Dean Lemke. 


Featured speaker, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, also applauded the contributions of many to the research site’s value.  He addressed the importance of science in the future of Iowa agriculture, emphasizing the need to continue to improve land management practices using science based strategies. 


Dr. Matt Helmers, ABE professor and Dean’s professor in the College of Ag and Life Sciences, and Carl Pederson, research associate and site manager, reported data from current research under way at the site and the implications for ag drainage practices and land management. Dr. William Crumpton, ISU professor explained his current research data on wetlands as a nutrient reduction strategy.  The program was followed by tours of the site’s plots and a nearby wetland research site.


The event was sponsored by the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship, Iowa Corn, Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  For further information contact Dr. Matt Helmers at 515-294-6717 or