Workshops Look at Cover Crop Use in Commercial Fruit and Vegetable Production

AMES, Iowa – Three cover crop workshops for commercial growers and those working with commercial growers are planned for this fall. The sustainable vegetable production lab in collaboration with researchers at Iowa State University, USDA-National Laboratory for Agriculture and Environment and USDA-SARE will offer workshops on the following dates at these Iowa locations:

  • Friday, Sept. 27 – Armstrong Research Station, Lewis
  • Friday, Oct. 4 – Horticulture Research Station, Ames
  • Friday, Oct. 11 – Muscatine Island Research Station, Fruitland

The workshops are geared toward commercial horticulture field extension specialists, county extension horticulturists, regional food systems working group members, local food organizations, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and Practical Farmers of Iowa board members, and IDALS and NRCS personnel. Fruit and vegetable growers interested in learning about cover crops also are welcome. This workshop is co-sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture with funding provided by USDA-SARE Professional Development Grant Program.

Iowa State University educators Ajay Nair, Andy Lenssen, Gail Nonnecke and Tom Kaspar will cover the topics of cover crop types, planting, management, benefits and issues associated with cover cropping in fruit and vegetable cropping systems. Depending on weather, there will be an opportunity to assess cover crops under field conditions. Live cover crop plants also will be displayed indoors.

Registration is free but required for arranging lunch. To register, contact Ajay Nair at or 515-294-7080 at least one week in advance of the workshop.

Mileage reimbursement
The SARE-Professional Development Grant will reimburse roundtrip mileage for any ISU Extension and Outreach, Regional Food Systems Working Group member or personnel working in organizations helping fruit and vegetable growers. To cut down costs, participants are encouraged to pool rides. Email Nair to apply for a travel scholarship.