Boone Area Gustafson Farms Host Cover Crop Field Day



AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Learning Farms will co-sponsor a field day at Gustafson Farms near Boone on Thursday, Oct. 27, 11 a.m.–1 p.m. During the field day, participants will see an aerial seeding demonstration, talk to the pilot and check out recently planted plots of drilled oats and aerially seeded winter rye cover crops. A complimentary lunch will be provided, and the event is free and open to the public.

Field day attendees will hear from farmers Jeremy Gustafson, his father, Steve, and uncle, Larry, about their experiences incorporating cover crops into their corn and soybean farming system. Other speakers include: Tom Kaspar, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, who will discuss cover crop management; Iowa State University’s John Sawyer, who will present research results about nitrogen rates for corn grown following a winter rye cover crop; Jeremy Johannsen, Boone County Natural Resources Conservation Service, who will review cost-share funds available for cover crops, and Pilot Ralph Storm, Storm Flying Service, Webster City, who will talk about flying on cover crops.

The Gustafsons are long-time farmers who participate in the Conservation Stewardship Program. Their farming practices include strip tillage, side-dressed nitrogen fertilizer and upland bird buffers. They raise pigs, corn and beans, and began using cover crops two years ago as a part of the Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Learning Farms cover crop management working group.

“I’m excited about this field day because it is going to be a real hands-on experience,” says Jeremy Gustafson. “Farmers will be able to walk in the fields where we’ve seeded rye, and see it, touch it and feel it. They’ll see what it looks like when you apply a cover crop with an airplane or drill it into a field and get practice in how to do it on their own land.”

The field day will be held at the Jeremy Gustafson Farm, which is located at 1753 190th Street, Boone. From Hwy. 30, take the Hwy. 17 exit and travel 1 mile north. Hwy. 17 jogs a mile east and then 2 miles farther north to 190th Street. Travel approximately 1.5 miles west. The house is on the north side of the road.

Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in the network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more.  For additional information, call 515.232.5661 or visit www.practicalfarmers.org.

Iowa Learning Farms are building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF staff are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources and USEPA (section 319); in cooperation with Conserva-tion Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.
            
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Contact: Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa, 515-232-5661