Reducing Nitrogen

Reducing Nitrogen With Rotational Cover Cropping and Biologic Additions

Ross McCawFriday, Aug. 30 | 4-6 p.m.


1798 JJ Ave. | Marengo, IA 52301


Ross McCaw


Ross McCaw has been farming for five years near Marengo, Iowa, where he owns and operates McCaw Custom Farms – but he has been farming his whole life. He specializes in corn, soybeans and cereal rye, and has been planting cover crops since 2019 as a way to reduce his nitrogen inputs. This year, he is striving to bring his nitrogen levels below 100 pounds per acre, down from 120 pounds per acre in 2023.

Ross supports the idea that it’s possible to be a conventional farmer and use 100% cover crops while reducing nitrogen. Join Ross as he shares his cover crop tricks of the trade. He’ll discuss his rotational cover crop practices, which include planting 1.8 maturity group soybeans for an earlier harvest followed by rye, and explain how this may lead to increased yields in the following corn crop.


Dinner will follow the field day.

See & Discuss

  • Rotational cover crop practices using a three-year crop rotation of corn, soybean and seed rye
  • Planting summer grazing crops after cereal rye for nitrogen fixation
  • Nitrogen reduction trials through PFI’s Cooperators’ Program
  • Adding compost extract or other biologics to increase soil health and quality
  • Alternating planting times in a three-year cycle for larger harvest yields
  • In-field testing of nitrogen and nitrate load using a calcium-chloride test kit


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