AMES, Iowa — As harvest nears its end, the 2012 growing season may be winding down – but Iowa’s crop fields still have lessons to share. Practical Farmers of Iowa is teaming with Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach to host a series of fall field days in October and November focusing on cover crops and drought issues.
The first fall field day will take place Friday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the farm of Pete Crew near Webb, in northwest Iowa. Other fall cover crop field days will take place in Emerson (Tuesday, Oct. 30), Winterset (Wednesday, Oct. 31) and Carroll (Thursday, Nov. 8). All field days run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., include lunch and a presentation on drought considerations for 2013 by ISU Extension field agronomists, and are free and open to the public.
The Oct. 26 event will begin at 10 a.m., followed by a cover crop show-and-tell. At 11 a.m. Sarah Carlson, research and policy director for Practical Farmers of Iowa, will speak on adding cover crops to corn and soybeans. At 11:30 a.m., ISU Extension and Outreach field agronomist Paul Kassel will speak about drought considerations heading into 2013. The event will conclude with lunch from noon to 1 p.m.
Steve McGrew, who will host a similar field day on Oct. 30, says he hopes these cover crop field days will help attendees learn more about cover crops, what worked and what didn’t, from those who have planted them. “I look forward to hearing from other people about their experiences with cover crops. We are waiting to see what happens to our cover crops that were seeded too early and did not get rain, compared to seeding later on after a rain.”
Directions: Pete Crew’s farm is located at 4415 290th Ave., about 4 miles north of Webb and 1.5 miles east of Gillett Grove. To reach the farm from Webb, head north on County Highway M54 and look for a red-and-white machine shed on the left, just before route M54 curves. To reach the farm from Gillett Grove, go east for 1 mile on route M54 / 440th Street. Turn right on 290th Avenue and look for the machine shed on the right.
The list of other 2012 fall cover crop field days is below. For additional details and directions, visit www.practicalfarmers.org or call the PFI office at 515.232.5661.