Cover Crop Workshop Is Feb. 23 in Central City


February 2, 2017, 9:51 am | Liz Juchems

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will host a cover crop workshop on Thursday, Feb. 23, 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Central City American Legion Post 421. The workshop is free, open to the public and includes a complimentary lunch.

Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits including reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter and reduced soil erosion. Fall 2016 was another good season for cover crop establishment and growth, with adequate moisture and warm growing temperatures. Great fall growth can help protect the soil during heavy rain events, and equipped with a good termination plan and equipment adjustments, farmers can minimize any potential yield impacts.

At the beginning of the workshop, facilitators will invite questions and concerns from the participants. For the remainder of the workshop, Matt Helmers, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Mark Licht, assistant professor of agronomy, will address the topics and questions raised by the participating farmers and landowners. They also will be prepared to discuss herbicide recommendations for termination and establishment, planter settings to handle higher amounts of biomass, cover crop seed selection, impacts on crop yields and soil health.

“These workshops will allow participants to discuss topics of importance with peers. In doing so, the educational program can be tailored to the needs of the audience,” said Helmers on beginning the workshops with questions and discussion. “As an extension specialist my time is my clients' and this allows us to make sure we are addressing questions clients and stakeholders have.”

The workshop will take place at the American Legion Post 421, 6 Central City Rd, Central City 52214. A complimentary meal prepared by Hometown Market will be served at 12:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 1 p.m. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email ilf@iastate.edu.

For details on the workshop, and for more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.

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