AMES, Iowa – The benefits of no-till and cover crops in the soybean year of the corn-soybean rotation are the focus of an educational outreach campaign designed by the Conservation Learning Group, a think tank dedicated to addressing conservation and environmental challenges. The campaign will launch during the Farm Progress Show, in Boone, Iowa, and will continue throughout the following year.
The new campaign is publicizing the results of long-term no-tillage and cover crop studies conducted by Iowa State faculty, Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa. Farmers are encouraged to join in the campaign on Twitter by sharing their own results and experiences using the hashtags #CoverYourBeans and #NoTillb4Beans.
“No-till delivers 17 percent increases in profitability. Planting cereal rye ahead of soybeans alone would result in approximately 10 million acres of cover crops each year” said Mark Licht, assistant agronomy professor and extension cropping systems specialist at Iowa State. “This would be a game changer for reduction of nutrients being lost from Iowa fields. We’re very excited to share the facts of more profit and yield while reducing runoff and erosion with the global farming community who attend this show.”
The purpose of the campaign is to encourage more farmers to take advantage of these two methods, which have proven to make progress toward the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy goals and help improve water quality statewide, while protecting and building soil. As noted in the 2017 Iowa Learning Farms Annual Evaluation Report, some 750,000 acres were planted with cover crops in 2017, representing a continuing uptick in use.
To learn more about Conservation Learning Group outreach and education programs, visit www.conservationlearninggroup.org.