Person: Mark Peterson

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In a Nutshell
• Cereal rye, oats and other
small grains grass species
have been proven as effective
cover crops in cornsoybean
systems in Iowa.
• Cooperators screened grass,
legume and brassica species
for fall and spring groundcover
in hand-seeded plots
(7.5’ x 25’) across the state.
Key findings
• Cereal rye remains the
most consistent cover crop
providing fall groundcover,
overwintering capability and
spring groundcover across
locations.
• Brassicas generally produced
as much fall ground cover
as the small grains grasses
in the present iteration of
the trial.
• Hairy vetch and radish
performed better than in
past iterations, likely due to
exceptional growing conditions

July 25, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT

The Farm Progress Show was in Boone, IA last week. Practical Farmers of Iowa has been hosting a booth at the show the past three times its been held in Boone, IA. The booth was filled with cover crop plants, PFI materials and most importantly PFI farmer experts who shared advice about cover crops with other […]

September 9, 2016 

BLOG POST

Cover Crop Variety Trial 2015-2016 Download PDF (2 MB) View Fullscreen

July 7, 2016 

RESEARCH REPORT

Each year more farmers in Iowa and across the Cornbelt are trying cover crops. Many start with a cereal rye cover crop planted in the fall after corn or soybean harvest or others contract with a pilot to fly it over the standing cash crop around Labor Day. Good planter setup can be key to […]

May 17, 2016 

BLOG POST

What a Small Grain Crop Can Afford You: Diverse Covers for Grazing January 19 2016January 20, 2016 View Farminar Pre-recorded Mark Peterson has been raising cereal rye for seed the past few years in southwestern Iowa. Harvesting his main seed crop in July gives Mark the opportunity to plant a diverse cover crop mix for [...]

January 20, 2016 

FARMINAR

The latest iteration of PFI’s cover crop variety trial has been released: “Cover Crop Variety Trial, 2014-2015.” Cooperators evaluated 21 cover crop entries (pure stands and mixes) in small, hand-seeded plots across the state. See all the entries in the table below.

July 21, 2015 

BLOG POST

Cereal rye, oats and other cool-season,
small grains grass species have been
proven as effective cover crops in Iowa
crop production systems.
• Cooperators screened pure seedings
and mixtures of grass, legume and
brassica cover crops for ground cover
and aboveground biomass production
in small, hand-seeded plots across the
state.
KEY FINDINGS
• Cereal rye and mustard tended to produce
the most amount of fall ground
cover.
• Cereal rye and field pennycress were
the only entries to consistently overwinter
and produce spring growth.
• Field pennycress may be a good option
for those in corn-soybean systems
looking to add diversity to their practice
of cover cropping.

July 16, 2015 

RESEARCH REPORT

Cover crop entries were hand seeded at
locations into standing corn and soybeans
and evaluated for fall ground cover,
spring ground cover, and spring biomass
production.
KEY FINDINGS
• Cereal rye and mustard tended to
produce the most amount of fall ground
cover.
• Sufficient rainfall following cover crop
seeding is necessary for fall cover crop
growth and overwintering potential.
• Cereal rye was the only entry to
successfully overwinter and produce
spring growth and remains a strong
cover crop candidate even in the face of
a challenging winter.

August 19, 2014 

RESEARCH REPORT

Meet the new Practical Farmers of Iowa executive committee; Members are among more than 340 active PFI leadersFor Release: February 21, 2014 Download PDF (136 kB) View Fullscreen

February 21, 2014 

NEWS RELEASE

Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a cover crop field day Nov. 14, in Stanton For Release: November 5, 2013 Download PDF (100 kB) View Fullscreen

November 5, 2013 

NEWS RELEASE