Cover Crops and Relay Intercropping Workshop Series to Be Held in February

In-person events will discuss the benefits of cover crops and relay intercropping

January 31, 2024, 10:49 am | Alena Whitaker

AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will host a series of cover crop and relay intercropping workshops in February. Farmers and landowners are welcome to attend these free workshops and join for a complimentary meal.

Cover crops provide many benefits to farmers and landowners, including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression,Cover crops and blue sky. reduced nutrient loads entering water bodies, increased organic matter in the soil and forage for livestock.

In a relay intercropping system, where three crops are grown in two years, the benefits include a marketable small grain crop and additional revenue for the farmer. Workshop attendees will have the opportunity to compare and contrast these two conservation practices, discuss new relay intercropping opportunities, ask questions and share their experiences.

The workshops will be hosted by Matt Helmers, professor and agricultural engineering specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, and director of the Iowa Nutrient Research Center; Mark Licht, associate professor in agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; and Jon Dahlem, postdoctoral research associate at Iowa State.

All sessions are in February, from noon to 2 p.m.

  • Feb. 20, Milton R. Owen Nature Center, 18793 Highway 9, Osage.
  • Feb. 21, ISU Extension and Outreach Mahaska County office, 212 N. I St., Oskaloosa.
  • Feb. 22, Youth Development Center, Jones County Fairgrounds, 800 N. Maple St., Monticello.
  • Feb. 27, Southeast Research Farm, 3115 Louisa-Washington Road, Crawfordsville.
  • Feb. 28, East Shelter House, Swan Lake State Park, 23248 Swan Lake Road, Carroll.
  • Feb. 29, Cass County Community Center, 805 W. 10th St., Atlantic.

The events are free and open to farmers and landowners, though reservations are required to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP, contact Alena Whitaker at 515-294-2473 or Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit

Shareable photo: Cover crops and blue sky.

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