Cover Crop Field Day Is March 17 near Indianola

Topics will include soil health, conservation and fertility

February 25, 2020, 1:30 pm | Elizabeth Ripley

field of cover crops.AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District and the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will host a cover crop field day March 17, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., in Agri-Tech Aviation’s airplane hangar near Indianola.

Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased soil organic matter. The fall of 2019 was another difficult harvest season; with the priority on getting the crop in the field, there was limited time to complete fall tillage.

Cover crops and no-tillage work together to help increase water infiltration and reduce erosion during the heavy rain events. This field day aims to equip attendees with a good termination plan and best management practices to maintain yields during the transition to a higher residue system of no-tillage and cover crops.

The agenda will include Joe Dunn, Warren County farmer, sharing his experiences with cover crops and tips for successfully adding them to your operation. Meaghan Anderson, field agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will provide cover crop termination considerations and best management practices. Julie McMichael, NRCS area resource soil scientist, will discuss how cover crops and no-tillage work together to improve soil health for long-term profitability. Mark Gutierrez, deputy director for USDA's Risk Management Agency, will highlight how cover crops and crop insurance can work together to benefit the entire farm enterprise. An optional tour of the airplanes and hangar will be available following the program.

The field day will be held at Agri-Tech Aviation, 12871 Geneva St., Indianola. The event is free and includes a meal. The whole family can attend, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. For accommodations and to register, contact to Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu.

Original photo: A field of cover crops.

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