Extension News

Iowa Learning Farm Offers Planter Clinic

3/23/2009

AMES, Iowa -- Converting a traditional planter to adapt to no-tilled fields isn’t as costly and difficult as some might think. The Iowa Learning Farm is hosting a planter clinic at Kirkwood Community College, Cedar Rapids, on March 31, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to demonstrate how to convert to a no-till planter.

The clinic will include a presentation by local NRCS staff about the benefits of no-till and residue management, a demonstration by Mark Hanna, Iowa State University Extension agricultural engineer, on how to convert a conventional planter to a no-till planter and a panel discussion with farmers who practice no-till. The clinic will be held at 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW at the Tippie Beef Education Center arena, located on the southeast side of campus.  

The planter is the key for no-tillage as it is likely the only machinery that moves the soil for seed placement. Seed depth and seed-to-soil contact are keys to emergence when planting through residue, says Hanna. The benefits of no-till are numerous. Equipment needs are minimal, labor costs are reduced and there is less soil compaction when field passes are eliminated. Also, organic matter builds in the soil over time. The farmer panel at this clinic may address some of these issues and how they overcame the barriers to no-till.

The planter clinic is open to the public and there is no charge for the event. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m.  To RSVP or for more information about the clinic, contact Farm Conservation Liaison Erin Harpenau, at (515) 509-4768 or erinharp@iastate.edu.

Iowa Learning Farm is a partnership of 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; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.

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Contacts :

Carol Brown, Iowa Learning Farm, (515) 294-8912, cbrown1@iastate.edu

John Lundvall, ILF field coordinator, 515-294-5429, jlunval@iastate.edu

 

Erin Harpenau, ILF conservation liaison, 515-509-4768, erinharp@iastate.edu