Neighborly News - Field Day

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Neighborhood Happening - Peckumn's FIELD DAY - Friday August 22 2008
We've come to appreciate the beauty Iowa's fields offer every season.  Outside our windows, the view changes from lush greens to golden browns. 

Behind the scenes is the science of agriculture and some special farmers working to not only improve their crop production, but also protect the environment.  Friend and neighbor, Jerry Peckumn, is one of those special farmers.

On Friday, August 22, 2008, from 9:30 am to 4 pm (come-and-go as you like), Jerry will host a FIELD DAY at his farm located SE of Jefferson at 1712 280th St (see directions below).  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey, will be there as the lunchtime guest speaker.

So, what is a FIELD DAY? This day, hosted by Peckumn and sponsored by Practical Farmers of Iowa, is a day when views and information will be shared about raising crops.  In particular, ways to manage crops to protect water quality will be discussed.

For example, this past year, Jerry monitored the water in the tile line under his field that will be planted with corn-on-corn (that means the field will be planted with corn the first year and then corn the second year, instead of rotating the field planting with corn and then soybeans).  He plans to plant what is called a "cover crop" this fall of winter rye, which he will kill off next spring before planting corn. Then, he'll monitor the water again, to see if water quality has improved by the use of the cover crop.

Other topics will include a discussion on the benefits of using native prairie plantings for hay production, adding wood chips in tile lines to reduce water pollution, and soil quality and ecosystem differences in native plantings vs. row crops.

Free meals will be served that day.  Come at 9:30 am for coffee and cinnamon rolls made by local bakery, Bunkers Dunkers.  Lunch will be prepared by a local cafe, Uptown Grill, who will serve grass-fed beef and locally-sourced produce from the Carroll Community Coop.

Jerry has been farming for 30 years.  He grows corn, soybeans, and grazes cattle.  He also devotes areas of his land to perennial native plants and wildlife forage.  He is an active board member in many environmentally-focused organizations including Iowa Rivers Revival, Raccoon River Watershed Association, and Iowa Environmental Council. 

We applaud the efforts of farmers like Jerry who are actively seeking ways to manage their crops with the environment in mind.

RSVP to Sarah Carlson at 515-232-5661 or

From Des Moines:
Take 141 to Jamaica. Take P30 north to E57. Turn left (west) on E57 for about 1/2 mile. Turn right (north) on Q Ave. Turn right (east) on 280th St.

From Jefferson:
Take Hwy 4 south to 265th St.  Turn left (east) on 265th St (which turns south).  Continue south to 280th St.  Turn left (east) on 280th St.

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For more information, call Chris Wilbeck at 515-229-6988.