AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with Union County Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host a cover crop, soil health and conservation leases field day for women landowners on Wednesday, March 28 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at James and Michelle Allen’s farm, rural Diagonal. The event is free and includes a complimentary meal.
The Allens produce corn and soybeans on their farm, as well as raise cows with James’ parents. With the goals of reducing erosion and time needed for planting, he is using a no-tillage system for both his corn and soybean acres. This past fall, they seeded 55 acres of cereal rye as a cover crop to help store nutrients after manure application.
The field day workshop agenda also will include Union County landowner and farmer Deb Thummel. She and her family took over the family farm near Shannon City several years ago where they raise cattle, corn, soybeans and hay. In recent years, Thummel has added cover crops to the farm using cereal rye and radishes. Together Allen and Thummel will share their experiences with cover crops and provide some tips for successfully adding them to the land.
Additional speakers include Charles Brown, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach farm management specialist, discussing how to work with tenants to incorporate cover crops and other conservation practices. Liz Juchems, Iowa Learning Farms conservation outreach specialist, will share the benefits and challenges of cover crops, how cover crops impact soil health, and an introduction into seeding and termination.
The field day will be held at the Allen Farm, 1459 270 Street, Diagonal, Iowa. From Creston, go south on County Road P27/Hi and Dry Road for 9 miles. Turn right to head west on 270 Street for 0.4 miles. The farm is located on the north side of the road.
The workshop is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. If you need accommodations, please notify Union County SWCD by March 23. Please RSVP to Union County SWCD at 641-782-4218 ext. 3 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jodi Hitz, Union Soil and Water Conservation District, Jodi.email@example.com, (641) 782-4218 ext.3