Published Feb 21, 2017

More Opportunities for Cover Crops

By Practical Farmers of Iowa


If you’re looking for innovative ways to get more from your cover crops, why not learn from others’ successes and failures? Two southwest Iowa farmers will share their experiences pursuing the next frontier of cover crops on their farms. Jon Bakehouse will discuss how he has been trying to better accommodate fall-seeded cover crops by using early-maturing varieties of corn and soybeans. Steve McGrew will talk about another way to create opportunities for cover crops: seeding in the early spring ahead of soybeans. (Also: during the final 5 minutes of the presentation, Steve McGrew shares information about using a drone to monitor the fields on his farm)

Jon Bakehouse farms on his family farm near Hastings, Iowa, where they raise corn, soybeans, cattle and chickens. They started practicing no-till in 1998 and have been planting cover crops and finding different ways to build soil health.

Steve McGrew and his brothers grow corn and soybeans near Emerson, Iowa. They started using no-till in 1981 and have been experimenting with cover crops off and on since 1993. They have experimented with different types of cover crop systems, including limited success using a cereal rye relay crop in front of soybeans.