AMES, Iowa -- The Iowa Learning Farm and Practical Farmers of Iowa will co-sponsor a “Cover Crop Management 101” field day workshop at the Mark Pokorny farm in Tama County, on Wednesday, June 2, beginning at 6 p.m. The field day will begin with a complimentary evening meal, followed by a cover crop management discussion. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. Families are encouraged to attend and see the Iowa Learning Farm’s new Conservation Station mobile learning lab.
The cover crop management discussion will include yield response of corn and soybeans following fall-seeded rye and other cereal grains; planter set-up for planting into cover crop residue; soil quality improvements related to cover crop use; preliminary results of corn nitrogen rate trials following winter rye; and use of tillage radish, mixed forages or other cover crop mixes.
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) and the Iowa Learning Farm (ILF) have formed a cover crop management working group with six farmer cooperators demonstrating various cover crops and growing techniques; Mark Pokorny is a participant in the working group. He is a farmer and a technician with Tama County NRCS.
The field day site is west of Pokorny’s farmstead, located just south of the intersection of Tama County road E-29 (230th Street) and S Avenue. Directions to the field day site: Travel 10 miles north on Highway 63 from the Highway 30 intersection at Toledo. Turn right (east) onto E-29 and travel approximately nine miles to the field day site.
The Iowa Learning Farm is 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 Farm 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; in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa and the Iowa Farm Bureau.
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) includes a diverse group of farmers and nonfarmers. Corn, soybeans, beef cattle and hay are the top enterprises for PFI farmers, although many other PFI farmers focus on fruits and vegetables. PFI programming stresses farmer-to-farmer networking through research and demonstration, field days, conferences, and more.