Tag: soybeans

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A roller-crimper presents farmers the opportunity to mechanically terminate cover crops without chemicals or tillage. This method is dependent on a large amount of cover crop growth and the cover crop reaching the flowering stage before crimping. A roller-crimper is a large, metal cylinder with “chevron” pattern blades that simultaneously lays the cover crop flat […]

December 4, 2017 


How does a cover crop affect corn and soybean yields? Winter Cereal Rye Cover Crop Effect on Cash Crop Yield: Year 9 is now available! This is a long-term project being conducted by Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa. Between 2009 and 2017, 12 farmer-cooperators have contributed to 63 site-years of on-farm research to investigate what effect […]

November 30, 2017 


Cover crops are gaining new attention for their ability to reduce weed pressure in soybeans. Specifically, when seeding soybeans directly into a thick cover crop. In the past two years, farmer-researchers Jeremy Gustafson and Jack Boyer have documented reduced herbicide use when planting soybeans into a tall, thick cereal rye cover crop that they chemically terminated […]

November 15, 2017 


• Cover crops are gaining new attention
for their ability to reduce weed
pressure in soybeans. Specifically,
when seeding soybeans directly into a
thick cover crop.
• Farmer-cooperators Jack Boyer and
Scott Shriver investigated the effect
of row-width on soybean yields when
rolling a cereal rye cover crop. Boyer
rolled select strips after terminating
with an herbicide; Shriver used a
roller-crimper to terminate his cover
Key Findings
• The narrowest soybean row-width at
both farms (10-in. at Boyer’s; 7.5-in. at
Shriver’s) resulted in greatest yields.
• Boyer saw the greatest return on
investment where he drilled soybeans
in 10-in. rows and did not roll the
cover crop after chemical termination.
The drill itself appeared to lay down
much of the cover crop residue.



A group of farmers traveled to Ohio in August to spend a day at Dave Brandt’s farm. This blog accompanies the article in the Autumn 2017 Practical Farmer “Members Reflect on Lessons Learned in Ohio.” By Sally Hertz Gran In this reflection, I will be highlighting some of the topics we dug into during the […]

November 3, 2017 


Russ and Phyllis Brandes hosted 30 at their farm Tuesday, April 4 for a spring cover crop field day. After a week of wet weather, a sunless but dry day served attendees just fine. Russ operates Brandes Farms Inc., a 400-acre corn and soybean operation that incorporates cover crops and some alfalfa. He also has […]

April 19, 2017 


On March 29, Jack Boyer hosted a field day to share his experiences and successes with using cover crops on his family’s farm near Reinbeck. Jack and his wife, Marion, are lifetime members of Practical Farmers. They raise corn, seed corn, soybeans and cereal rye for cover crop seed. They have been integrating cover crops into the […]

April 13, 2017 


In 2014, Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers began a joint research effort to investigate the use of a highboy seeder to seed cover crops into standing corn and soybeans. The objective was to determine the effects of planting technique on the successful establishment of sole species and mixed species cover crops. Cover crop planting […]

March 22, 2017 


Using a roller-crimper to terminate cover crops is a topic that has garnered A LOT of attention in recent years. At our 2016 annual conference, three farmers shared their experiences with using modified equipment to roll cover crops. This year, Levi Lyle (of Keota) and Billy Sammons (of Churdan) explained how they’ve used actual roller-crimpers […]

February 13, 2017 


Ahead of our annual conference last month, we held a short course titled “Conserving $$ and Soil.” Often the conservation of farm production input costs and soil might be considered at odds with one another. Soil conservation efforts are thought to cost money to implement and/or they might involve producing less which would in turn lose […]

February 1, 2017