Published Mar 14, 2011

Iowa Cover Crop Field Days in March 18 & 24

By Sarah Carlson

EVENT 1) No-till & Cover Crops workshop Friday, March 18th at 2p.m. at the ISU Extension office in Oskaloosa. Wade Dooley, no-tiller & cover crop farmer who raises corn, soybeans, beef cattle and some horticulture crops will speak about using cover crops in his farming system. Sarah Carlson, PFI staffer, will speak about research PFI has been conducting on cover crops and how farmers are successfully adding it to their farming system.

EVENT 2) Cover crops workshop to be held Thursday, March 24 in Rock Valley 11am – 12:30pm

Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) and Practical Farmers of Iowa will co-host a workshop focusing on cover crops in Rock Valley on Thursday, March 24, from 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m., with lunch following the workshop. The workshop and lunch are free and will be held at the Pizza Ranch, 1513 14th St., in downtown Rock Valley. The public is invited to attend.

The workshop offers information on several aspects of cover crops including: corn and soybean yield response following fall-seeded rye and other cereal grains, fall seeding and spring-kill or grazing timing, planter set-up tips for planting into a cover crop, soil quality improvement with cover crop usage, and the variety of cover crops that can be utilized.

Speakers include Jeremy Singer, cover crop research agronomist with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment; Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) cover crops expert Sarah Carlson and Cherokee-area farmer and PFI member Nathan Anderson. Local NRCS personnel will provide information about cost-share programs for cover crop usage.   Farmers who have tried fall-seeded cereal rye or other cover crops on their farms are encouraged to attend and share their experiences with other attendees.

The Iowa Learning Farms are building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices.  Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.  Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.