Buffers: Vintage, but still cool

February 20, 2023 12:46 PM

Last year I invited Dr. Tom Isenhart to speak at a field day about saturated buffers. He shared with us how they work (they re-route drainage tile water along buffers) and their effectiveness (on average they filter out about 50% of the nitrate), but then he surprised me by talking about the benefits of good old-fashioned buffers. This was noteworthy because Dr. Isenhart literally invented saturated buffers! He collaborated with a colleague at the USDA Agriculture Research Service, Dr. Dan Jaynes, to pencil out the idea (rumor has it, on a cocktail napkin) over ten years ago. But here he was at a field day espousing the benefits of the old-school – some might say vintage – buffers of yore.

Continue reading this article on the Iowa Learning Farms blog.


Catherine DeLong Water Quality Program Manager

Catherine DeLong is the Water Quality Program Manager for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She works statewide to bring people together to share resources, ideas and perspectives about water quality, and to help Iowans understand the role they can play in the future of Iowa’s water...