AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with East Pottawattamie County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host a cover crop workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Community Center in Oakland. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.
The workshop will include Pottawattamie County farmer Russ Brandes. As the fourth generation to farm the land near Hancock, Brandes is raising corn and soybeans on about 400 acres. He also manages a small cow-calf herd and hogs on the family farm. As an East Pottawattamie County Commissioner, Brandes has been leading by example through the use of no-tillage since the mid-1980s. In 2013, he began to add cover crops to his operation by flying ryegrass into his soybeans. Since then he has significantly expanded the acres covered and cover crops species used, including: cereal rye, oats, radish, brown mustard and Sunn hemp. Brandes will share advice for successfully adding cover crops as well as discussing how he has overcome challenges.
The agenda will continue with Stefan Gailans, Practical Farmers of Iowa research and field crops director. He will share results from on-farm cover crop research projects and ideas for maximizing cover crop benefits. Liz Juchems, Iowa Learning Farms events coordinator, will share results from cover crop projects examining species selection, water quality implications and soil health indicators like earthworms.
The field day will be held at the Oakland Community Center, 614 Dr Van See Road, Oakland. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Make RSVPs to Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional Contact: Terry Gleaves, NRCS soil conservation technician, (712) 482-6486 ext. 3