Published Jun 11, 2015

Harrison/Crawford County Corn Growers Association host two Cover Crop meetings on June 23

By Sarah Carlson


Do you want to learn more about cover crops and what they can do for you in both the short term and in the long term?  Do you want to support the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy?  Do you want to help farmers prevent mandatory regulation of nutrient loss from crop production and to prevent future lawsuits such as that being pursued by the Des Moines Water Works against three northwest Iowa counties?  If so, plan to attend one of the workshops that are being offered on June 23 by the Harrison/Crawford County Corn Growers Association. One workshop will be held in Missouri Valley at the Rand Community Center at 100 South 4th Street from 830 to 1100 am.  The other workshop will be held in Denison at the Boulders Conference Center at 2507 Boulders Drive from 130 to 4 pm.  The program at each workshop will be the same. 

Hear from Matt Lechtenberg, Water Quality Coordinator from the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship [IDALS] about the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy and many of the practices that farmers can use today to reduce nutrient loss from farm fields with an emphasis on the use of cover crops.  Hear an update on the status of the Des Moines Water Works lawsuit against three northwest Iowa counties and the lawsuit’s relevance to farmers.  Hear from Sarah Carlson, Midwest Cover Crop Research Coordinator from Practical Farmers of Iowa who will discuss several aspects relevant to the use of cover crops.  Some of those aspects are how to establish cover crops in the fall, how to terminate those cover crops in the spring, how cover crops can reduce soil erosion and improve water quality, what cover crops should be used, and long term study results on corn and soybean yields after the use of cover crops.  She will also provide to each workshop attendee a listing of cover crop businesses that can help in the use of cover crops and the current guidelines for terminating a cover crop without affecting crop insurance policies.  Hear from Ray Gaesser who is a corn and soybean farmer of 6600 acres from Corning, Iowa. He is past president of the Iowa Soybean Association, past president of the American Soybean Association, and currently chairman of the American Soybean Association Executive Committee.  He will share his personal experience relative to his increasing use of cover crops.  Hear why he started to use cover crops, what he feels is the best way to seed cover crops and lower the cost of seeding, what type of cover crop is he growing and why, what he sees as benefits to his operation from both a short term and long term perspective, what has he seen in terms of yields after he has been using cover crops, and why the use of cover crops makes sense even in the current farm economic situation where profit margins are very tight.  Finally hear about federal and state cost share programs available to farmers to support the use of cover crops from NRCS/FSA staff.  Farm Credit Services of America will provide donuts, coffee, and water for workshop attendees.


If you are thinking of using cover crops in your operation, if you have used cover crops and want more information, or if you are quite experienced in using cover crops and can share your experience, please attend these workshops.  As the term workshop implies, while the workshops have presentations by experts on the use of cover crops, the workshop will encourage discussion and sharing of thoughts and ideas by all.


If you have any questions at all on these workshops, feel free to call Larry Buss who is President of the Harrison/Crawford County Corn Growers Association.   He can be contacted at 712-269-2989 or at email