Read the latest water-related news and events!
Read the latest water-related news and events!
A monthly e-newsletter from the North Central Region Water Network
May 2023
Climate, Water, Equity and Opportunity Workshop Save the Date

Network News

We hope you all had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend and were able to honor and pay tribute to those who served in a way that was meaningful to you.
While you may be planning summer holidays, the Network is looking forward to upcoming work travel! We hosted an in-person meeting of the North Central Region Water Network Leadership Team earlier this month to discuss Network goals and future direction. It left us feeling energized and ready for what lies ahead.
Network staff will present our work at the upcoming UCOWR and SWCS Annual Conferences over the summer, and we are busy planning the Climate, Water, Equity, and Opportunity Workshop coming up this October in Denver, Colorado. We invite land-grant colleagues from across the US to join us to discuss how we can work together to address climate vulnerability, protect and restore freshwater and groundwater for future generations, and advance culturally rich, nourishing, and sustainable food systems and food sovereignty.
Find out more information on our website and talk to colleagues about joining us for this important conversation!
-Joe Bonnell and Anne Nardi, North Central Region Water Network
People standing in a field looking at a Nitrogen Leaching On-Farm Project
Photo by Wisconsin Discovery Farms
The Current Webinar Series
Emerging On-Farm Reserach
Wednesday, June 14 at 2pm CT
Tune into our June edition of The Current Webinar series as we hear about the latest on-farm research in Arkansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Hear about Extension's Discovery Farms program, agricultural water quality and tile drainage research, and using on-farm research to promote the adoption of precision nitrogen management. Register
Two people sitting at a kitchen table talking and looking at field maps
Conservation professionals and farm business management educators are among farmers’ key partners in ensuring their operations are sustainable and profitable. While each brings different expertise to their collaborations with farmers, one thing they have in common is generally limited knowledge about the financial impacts of conservation practices.  

A new duo of trainings aims to help close these knowledge gaps, and registration is now open for them. Read on
Participants standing in from of a Soil and Water Conservation Leadership Program Sign

Leadership Spotlight

Story by Jodi Delozier
In November 2022, I assumed the role of NDSU Extension Specialist and Program Director for Soil and Water Leadership Development. With the assistance of two Program Coordinators and a team of Extension Specialists, I support and guide 54 distinct Soil Conservation Districts across the state of North Dakota. The Program Coordinators - new to the overall Soil Conservation District system - are responsible for one of five Areas across the state (each Area made up of 10 – 12 individual Soil Conservation Districts). Read on

In The News

Upcoming Events
Iowa Learning Farms Bioreactor and Cover Crop Field Day

June 6, 2023

Join Iowa Learning Farms for a bioreactor and cover crop field day on Tuesday, June 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ron Vos’ farm near Ireton. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal. Join to learn more about how bioreactors work through the demonstration of the Conservation On The Edge trailer and a site visit to Ron’s bioreactor installed in 2022. Ron will share his experience with the bioreactor, as well as how he has been able to incorporate cover crops into his system. Learn more
Soil Health Digital Café Series- Grazing, Cover Crops, and Soil Health
June 21, 2023

Integrating cover crops into dryland crop production in the semiarid central Great Plains can provide several benefits. Despite these benefits and grower interest in using cover crops to improv soil health, cover crop adoption is slow and not widely popular in dryland (non-irrigated) systems because covers utilize water that otherwise would be available to the subsequent cash crop.Tune in to hear from Augustine Obour, Associate Professor of Soil Science at Kansas State University as he discusses Kansas State University’s research efforts using cover crops as forage to provide immediate economic benefits to farmers and quantifying the impacts of utilizing cover crops for forage on soil health and crop yields in semiarid dryland systems. Register here
Recent Missouri Basin Climate Extremes, Trends and Climate Change
June 27, 2023

Recent trends in the Missouri River Basin have generally noted an increase in extreme events including record rainfall, flooding, drought and increased temperatures. On this webinar, experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Drought Mitigation Center and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will discuss these trends in the Basin. The final presentation will examine whether recent runoff trends are attributable to climate change, variability or some combination of both. Register here
78th SWCS International Annual Conference
August 6-9, 2023

This year’s conference theme, “Healthy Land, Clean Water: Cultivating a Legacy of Conservation,” challenges us to envision the world we want to leave for those who follow us. The conference will assemble a diverse, multigenerational conservation community of researchers, practitioners, industry leaders, farmers, and students from around the world in Des Moines, Iowa, where the Soil and Water Conservation Society was founded 78 years ago and is still headquartered today. The agenda will feature the latest ideas, technologies, and practices, and foster a dialogue around their adoption. Through workshops, sessions, symposia, tours, exhibits, and demonstrations, cutting-edge research and practice developments in soil health, water quality, and resource management will be shared. Register here

Funding and Opportunities

GLISA’s 2023 Small Grants Program

Since 2011, GLISA has run six competitions and competitively awarded 34 small grants to regional organizations committed to integrating climate information with adaptation decision-making. The program has evolved from more technical research-based projects in early years to funding strategic partnerships and collaborations that boost the effectiveness and impact of climate adaptation efforts. In the 2023 competition, GLISA will award several 2-year grants of up to $30,000 each to organizations that will collaborate with GLISA to advance equitable climate adaptation in the Great Lakes region. Their goal is to foster and sustain a suite of collaborative projects that increase GLISA’s impact and address and amplify dimensions of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion in adaptation action. Learn more
Midwest Climate Resilience Conference - Call for session proposals and presentation abstracts
The Midwest Climate Resilience Conference seeks proposals for workshops, symposia, lightning talks, oral presentations, and posters that support the conference's goal to advance adaptation and resilience in the Midwest. The program should encourage critical reflection, dialogue, and active participation while reflecting innovation and diversity in session topics and speakers. The deadline for submission is June 9th, and review results will be shared with session organizers by July 31st. Learn more

Phosphorus losses can occur under low erosion rates

Historically, reduced tillage, defined here as tillage that maintains plant surface residue and where nutrients are surface applied (i.e. no-till, zone, strip, or vertical tillage), were touted as the solution for phosphorus loss from agricultural fields. This article elevates the issue of phosphorus loss without erosion by highlighting dissolved phosphorus loss pathways. Reduced tillage decreases phosphorus loss risk by two main processes, by decreasing soil erosion and increasing soil’s infiltration capacity.
Read more
U of I study shows cover crops could cut nitrogen in Illinois drainage water by 30%
New University of Illinois research shows widespread seeding of cereal rye as a winter cover crop could reduce nitrate levels in Illinois tile drainage by 30%. The simulation study report was published in “Science of the Total Environment. The U of I research team, part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES) and The Grainger College of Engineering, knew from small-scale studies that cover crops take up nitrate from soil water with long-lasting effects throughout the growing season. The team’s new study is the first to estimate cereal rye’s potential on a statewide level. Read more
Phosphorus: Lessons from 10+ years of Numeric Standards for Wisconsin's Waters
The 2023 Wisconsin Phosphorus Conference Report which summarizes key lessons from each panel presentation and includes a phosphorus research agenda for the next decade along with corresponding policy recommendations to reduce phosphorus pollution and improve water quality is now available. Also enclosed in this report is a bibliography of phosphorus research sources synthesized from the University of Wisconsin System and beyond. Read more
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