Published Mar 13, 2018

Field day will explore cover crops in corn and soybeans – March 28, near Clarion and Belmond

By Tamsyn Jones

Josh Nelson 502x727

For Release: March 13, 201


Josh Nelson | (515) 689-5688 |

Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers | (515) 232-5661 |

CLARION, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa, along with farmers Josh Nelson and Austin Charlson, will host a cover crop field day on Wednesday, March 28, from noon to 3 p.m., at three locations in the Clarion and Belmond areas.

The field day – “Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans” – is free to attend and will address issues relating to cover crop species selection; spring cover crop management; and no-till and strip-till.

The event is part of Practical Farmers’ 2018 spring cover crop “caravan” field day series, which features events at locations across Iowa exploring cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems.

The day will start with lunch at noon at the Heartland Museum in Clarion (119 9th St. SW, on the west side of town), after which guests will caravan to the other two stops to see cover crops growing on two different farms. Please RSVP for the meal to Debra Boekholder, or (515) 232-5661.

After lunch, guests will caravan to the second stop – one of Austin’s fields, located at 2531 190th St., near Belmond (about 7 miles northeast of the Heartland Museum). Austin Charlson and his wife, Angie, raise row crops at Double A Farms. They have been using no-till and minimum-till since 2015 – the same year they started using cover crops.

“Benefits we’ve seen so far [from cover crops] include improved water infiltration, reduction in soil erosion and reduction in operating costs,” Austin says.

The final stop will take guests to see cover crops on one of Josh Nelson’s fields, located at 2716 160th St., about 6.5 miles northeast of Austin’s field, near the Lower Morse Lake Wildlife Management Area. Josh, a fifth-generation farmer, farms with his father and uncles raising corn and soybeans, wholesale produce and heritage livestock. His farming goal is to find ways to make the farm more sustainable while increasing productivity.

“Cover crops are all over the farm news nowadays, but there aren’t many folks using them in northern Iowa,” Josh says. “I hope this field day helps people become more receptive to trying them out on some of their acres.”

Two staff from the Natural Resources Conservation Service will also speak at the field day. Patrick Chase, area resource scientist, and Doug Adams, soil conservation technician, will lead soil health demonstrations and discuss issues and strategies related to pairing cover crops with reduced tillage.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2018 spring cover crop field days are supported by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Pepsi and Unilever.


Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit