Published Sep 19, 2013

Managing cover crops

By Practical Farmers of Iowa


Many farmers planted cover crops on prevented planting acres this season and now have questions about managing those acres this fall and winter. Other farmers are considering planting cover crops for the first time this fall and have questions about species selection, timing, spring management and more.
Practical Farmers of Iowa will address these and other cover crop questions in a free online seminar, or “farminar,” on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 1-2:30 p.m. Farmers, agronomists, certified crop advisors, landowners and others who have questions about cover crops or managing them on prevented planting acres are invited and encouraged to attend. To participate, go to

Certified crop advisors who view the farminar will earn 1.5 hours of soil and water management CEUs. To receive credit if attending live, sign into the farminar with your last name and six-digit CCA number, typed without spaces (e.g., “Smith123456”). If watching the archived version, contact Joan O’Brien with Agribusiness Association of Iowa at or (515) 262-8323 by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27.

Note: The farminar will be archived and viewable on Practical Farmers’ website, but will not be available for CCA credits after Sept. 27. Topics covered will include recommendations for managing cover crops on prevented planting acres; standard fall and spring cover crop management; and a general overview of cover crops, including current science, research and management recommendations. The farminar will also leave ample time for audience questions. Speakers on the farminar will include:

  • Bob Lynch, a farmer near Gilmore City, who will discuss his experience with prevented planting and how he is managing cover crops on prevent planting acres, including letting winter kill the crop instead of glyphosate.
  • Mark Peterson, who farms near Stanton, who will discuss his plan for managing cover crops next spring.
  • Tom Kaspar, research agronomist with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, will discuss the basics of working with cover crops, from selection and general management considerations to current research on cover crops and soil health.