AMES, Iowa -- Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual field day with Mark Thompson, a Webster County farmer who is making cover crops and strip-tillage work in the Des Moines Lobe on Tuesday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m.
Located in the heart of the Des Moines Lobe (known for its rich, dark soil) Thompson has been using no-till on all soybean acres and strip-till on his corn acres since 2002. During the virtual field day, he will share his experiences figuring out which strip-till tools and timing of operations work best for his system.
“At first, it was an economics thing, and then I found out that conservation, nutrient management and erosion control came along with it,” he said. “If you have never tried no-till, try some no-till beans. You will be shocked how well it works and how easy it is – just hesitate to do any tillage in the fall and plant right into the corn stalks.”
Thompson first started using cover crops as a prevented planting measure in 2013. Observing the benefits to the land and reduction in soil erosion, he has continued to increase his use of cover crop acres and now raises cereal rye to provide cover crop seed to the rest of his farm. He also takes a conservation approach as a professional farm manager and encourages the increased adoption of practices like cover crops and strip-till across the state.
To participate in the live virtual field day, click this URL: https://iastate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpduihpj8iE9ZHcjpsenc2DWQILG41wg0D or visit www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.
Or, join from a dial-in phone line by dialing +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923; meeting ID: 914 1198 4892.
The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.
Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit. Information about how to apply to receive the unit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.
Original photo: Strip-tillage.