AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will host a cover crop field day on Tuesday, June 13, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Whiterock Conservancy Burr Oak Visitor Center near Coon Rapids. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal.
This field day aims to equip attendees with best management practices for establishing and managing cover crops. Cover crops offer many benefits to farmers and landowners, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased organic matter in the soil. When paired with no-tillage additional benefits include increased water infiltration and reduced erosion during heavy rain events.
The field day will feature Crawford County farmer Doug Gronau, who farms with his son near Vail. For nearly 20 years, they have been planting no-till corn and soybeans to help reduce soil erosion, improve soil health and manage soil moisture. The Gronaus have also been using cover crops since 2014 to further address soil erosion and help improve water quality. Mark Licht, associate professor and extension cropping systems specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will highlight best practices for establishing and managing cover crops to meet farm goals, and Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss the herbicide considerations for successfully establishing cover crops. The field day will also include a Conservation Station rainfall simulator demonstration.
The field day will be held at the Whiterock Conservancy Burr Oak Visitor Center, 1436 IA-141, Coon Rapids, Iowa. The event is free and open to farmers and landowners, though we require reservations to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP, please contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or email@example.com by June 6. Attendees will be entered in a drawing for Iowa State Prairie Strips honey.
Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.