"Soil is one of our most precious natural resources. It is the foundation of our whole ecosystem. It is the basis of all plant growth providing us food, clothing and other materials. Soil filters water, decomposes waste, stores heat and exchanges gases."
--"Don't Call it Dirt: A Passion for Soil"
View the ILF video, Don’t Call it Dirt: A Passion for Soil (7:55). In the video, viewers are asked to think about soil and how it is used. It also provides ideas so that everyone can improve soil quality and keep it where it belongs.
Read the Iowa Learning Farms' publication series "It Begins With You"
Other publications in this series include:
Cellulosic Biofuels and Your Farm
Language of Conservation
Urban Conservation Practices
Water Quality and Conservation Practices
and eight supplement sheets (by soil region). See the "Water" section on this web site for the supplements.
To receive printed copies of these handouts, email Iowa Learning Farms: firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch ILF's video "Adding a Cover Crop to a Corn-Soybean System"
Part I: Planting a Cover Crop
Part II: Terminating a Cover Crop
To receive a copy of the cover crop video on DVD, email Iowa Learning Farms: email@example.com
Small Grain Cover Crops for Corn and Soybean (PDF)
Iowa State University Extension publication
Midwest Cover Crops Council web site offers excellent resources for cover crops education as well as networking opportunities for cover crop users.
Iowa Learning Farms/Practical Farmers of Iowa
Cover Crop Study
"Several studies have been conducted but few have involved planting the cover crop in the same location in consecutive years. This five-year study will measure the yield of corn and soybeans in cover and no cover treatments to determine if the cover crop has a negative effect on the cash grain yield."
Practical Farmers of Iowa web site has several reports on various aspects of cover crops.
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture houses the Iowa Cover Crops Working Group page that lists several additional resources.
Plant Cover Crops website contains information from Midwest cover crop expert Dave Robison
Check out the NEW ILF video "Strip-Tillage Crop Management" in six chapters.
(Note the playlist at the bottom of the window,)
Soil Erosion Value to the Landowner
by Mike Duffy
Department of Agronomy
Iowa State University
Iowa State University
Soil Management and the Environment
Iowa State University Extension
Ag Decision Maker website
Science-based Trials of Rowcrops Integrated with Prairies (STRIPS)
at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
"Incorporating Prairies into Multifuncational Landscapes"
booklet available for download
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soils website
Unlock the Secrets of Soil
Prairie Conservation Strips on Row-cropped Farm land
The four-page fact sheet "A Landowner's Guide to Prairie Conservation Strips" from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture offers guidelines for planting and maintaining prairie conservation strips on row-cropped acres. The recommendations are based on research from STRIPs Research Team at Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge.