A Conservation Showcase

Greenley Research Center, Missouri LICA partner for final phase of a three-year project

During the week of July 22-26, the Missouri Land Improvement Contractors Association (LICA) will partner with the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources’ Greenley Research Center to host a Conservation Showcase at the Grace Greenley Farm in Novelty, Mo. With the assistance of a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Technical Assistance (CTA) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) grant, LICA will be installing the final phase of a three-year project to establish the state’s first holistic drainage water recycling research project.

Two-hour public tours of the project will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 22; Wednesday, July 24; and Friday, July 26. The tour will include presentations related to research on cover crops in a terrace-tiled field, drainage water management, subirrigation systems, watergate technology, a denitrifying bioreactor and saturated buffer, and information on irrigation pumps for handling drainage water, as well as construction considerations of a lake for drainage water capture and reuse. The public tours will also offer 2.0 Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units in soil and water management.

The Grace Greenley Farm is located on Highway 151, 4.25 miles north of Leonard, Mo., or 3.75 miles south of Highway 156. Parking will be available and the tour wagons will load from the west side of MO Highway 151. There will be a registration tent and signs to assist the public.

In addition to the public tours, LICA will host a trenching and shoring safety demonstration by David Miguel with Underground Safety & Supply, LLC for participating LICA contractors. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources Soil and Water Commission will be hosting a meeting and touring the site, as well.

Kelly Nelson, professor in the Division of Plant Sciences at the University of Missouri, will be discussing drainage water management, subirrigation systems and watergate technology. Gurbir Singh, assistant professor at Mississippi State University, will be presenting research on cover crops in a terrace-tiled field. Darrick Steen, director of environmental programs for the Missouri Soybean Association and the environmental consultant for the Missouri Corn Growers Association, will present information on the project’s denitrifying bioreactor and saturated buffer. Craig Sutter with Landmark Irrigation, Inc. will be presenting information relating to the use and installation of irrigation pumps. The USDA-NRCS will have representatives on site to present information relating to construction considerations of a lake for drainage water capture and reuse.

The 240-acre Grace Greenley Farm was deeded to the Greenley Research Center in 2015 from Miss Hortense Greenley’s estate upon her passing. The first phase of the drainage water recycling project took place during the winter of 2017 with a LICA contractor installing tile in a terraced field. The second phase of the project took place during the summer of 2017 when LICA contractors installed a variety of drain tile spacings and depths, as well as subirrigation mains during the Greenley Research Center’s 40th annual field day.

“Drainage water management is one of our biggest considerations for stable crop production,” Nelson said. “We want to thank our many partners for the generous donation of their time and talents to make this project a reality and are looking forward to the tremendous research results it will produce.”

LICA is a national trade association of contractors which was founded in Missouri in 1938 for the purpose of educating land improvement contractors in the best practices related to soil and water conservation.

“LICA has a lengthy and diverse history in the drainage industry and this partnership with the University of Missouri’s Greenley Research Center and the USDA-NRCS is a continuation of that rich tradition,” said Debbie Dickens, LICA executive director. “It is an honor for our members to assist in this research project which helps fulfill our mission of improving water quality and conserving our lands for future generations.”

Partners in the project include: AgriDrain Corp.; Altorfer CAT; Bobcat of Columbia; Crown Power & Equipment; Foley CAT; Gilbert & Sons Construction, Inc.; Greenley Research Center; Handshake Farms & Services LLC; Hatton Vermeer; Hostetter Construction, Inc.; John Deere Corporate; Krump’s Ag Trenching; Lance Construction; Landmark Irrigation, Inc.; Liles Construction LLC; Liles Enterprises LLC; Martin Equipment of Illinois; Mera Excavating LLC; Missouri One Call System, Inc.; MO Corn Growers Merchandising Council; MO Land Improvement Contractors Association; MO Soybean Merchandising Council; Prinsco, Inc.; Scheib Drainage Products, Inc.; Springfield Plastics, Inc.; Tom Lawlor Construction; Underground Safety & Supply, LLC; University of Missouri Extension; and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.