Published Mar 13, 2018

Field day will explore cover crops in corn and soybeans – March 29, near Story City

By Tamsyn Jones

For Release: March 13, 2018


Clark Thompson | (515) 291-3032 |

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

STORY CITY, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa and farmer Clark Thompson will host a cover crop field day on Thursday, March 29, from noon to 3 p.m. in Story City.

The event – “Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans” – is free to attend and includes lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal to Debra Boekholder, or (515) 232-5661.

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 field day starts with lunch at noon at the Royal Cafe (1550 Broad St., on the east side of town, near I-35), after which guests will caravan to a field on Clark’s farm (16877 580th Ave., Story City, about 7 miles south of the cafe) to see aerially applied rye fields and hear about Clark’s experience with cover crops.

Clark runs a small farm operation and hires custom operators to complete the work needed. He will discuss his herbicide plan for establishing cover crops; his planter set-up for cover crop residue; and how he has used cover crops and no-till on heavy soils to control his costs and make him more profitable.

Clark has also installed bioreactors on his farm, which are used as an edge-of-field practice to help improve water quality, and will discuss their financing and installation.

In addition, Patrick Chase, resource soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, will discuss the soil health benefits of cover crops and demonstrate the slake test and the NRCS rainfall simulator.

“I’m very well convinced that the net profit [from cover crops] is ahead of conventional practices,” Clark says. “I find it not only simple, but that there is less effort in the work – only three trips across the field, including combining.”

Clark has been planting cover crops into his no-till system for years and says controlling weeds used to be a scarier prospect before the suite of herbicides available today. “Now with our current herbicides, it’s a no-brainer to run no-till and plant cover crops.”

Directions: The Royal Café is located just west of the Story City exit off of I-35. To reach Clark’s field, take I-35 south to the very next exit (Exit 123 for Roland) and head east briefly on County Road E18 to 570th Street. Turn right; in 2 miles turn left onto 150th Street. Go about 1 mile, turn right onto 580thAvenue and drive another 1.5 miles.

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