AMES, Iowa — Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will co-sponsor a field day and workshop to discuss the integration of crops and livestock in sustainable and organic systems. The field day will be held Wednesday, Sept. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the ISU Neely-Kinyon Research and Demonstration Farm in Greenfield, with supper prepared by the Adair County Pork Producers and the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center. The meal will feature locally-grown organic vegetables.
Field day speaker ISU Organic Specialist Kathleen Delate has shown, in 13 years of research at the Neely-Kinyon farm, basically equivalent corn and soybean yields between organic and conventional production techniques, and excellent organic alfalfa performance. “These promising results demonstrate the viability and profitability of organic farming,” Delate said.
Critical to organic crop production is the integration of livestock. Joe Sellers, ISU Extension beef specialist, will be on hand at the field day to discuss grazing management, selecting the right forage for your system and stockpiling grazing to reduce feed costs.
Consumer demand for healthier food and environments also are compelling reasons to look at alternative systems and their impacts. Ajay Nair, ISU Department of Horticulture, will discuss organic amendments, such as compost , manure and a multitude of cover crops, to improve soil biology on the farm. Diane Weiland of the Henry A. Wallace Country Life Center in Orient, Iowa, will round out the evening with a local farmer perspective on growing and marketing vegetables to meet the increasing interest in local foods.
The field day and workshop are recommended for farmers who market crops, livestock, vegetables or animal products, and for processors who add value by baking, canning or processing animal and other food products. Agricultural professionals will also benefit from the latest Iowa State research demonstrated at the farm. Attendance is free and supported by the USDA-Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. For more information, e-mail Kathy Rohrig, ISU Extension and Outreach – Adair County firstname.lastname@example.org or Kathleen Delate email@example.com. For directions to the field day, call 641-743-8412 or 515-294-7069.