Decorah Cover Crop and No-Till Field Day Nov. 21

October 31, 2017, 12:38 pm | Elizabeth Ripley

AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority, Winneshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host a cover crop field day on Tuesday, Nov. 21 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Winneshiek County NRCS Office in Decorah. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complementary meal.

Winneshiek County farmer Jake Groth assists in the management of his family’s farm near Decorah where the transition to no-till began in 2010 due to a combination of factors. During the field day, Groth will share how labor availability and desire to reduce soil erosion have played into the decision to adopt no-till. In 2012, Groth began working with a variety of cover crops including cereal rye, hairy vetch, radishes, turnips and others to help with the conversion to no-till, improve soil health and provide a wildlife food source. For the last three years he has seeded all of the farm acres with a cover crop. Jake will share his experiences with the different species and seeding techniques, as well as discuss how he has overcome challenges.

The agenda will continue with Rick Cruse, Iowa State University professor of agronomy, who will discuss the importance of soil conservation as well as highlight practices that can help keep the soil in place and encourage soil health. Neil Sass, NRCS area agronomist, will share soil sample results from Groth’s farm and discuss ways to improve soil health and infiltration using table top demonstrations. Matt Frana, Upper Iowa Watershed Project coordinator, will provide an overview of the project and share ways to get involved. Weather permitting, a field tour of nearby cover crop fields will conclude the program.

The field day will be held in the basement of the Winneshiek County NRCS Office 2296 Oil Well Road, Decorah. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Please register by contacting Matt Frana at 563-382-8777 ext. 3 or email

Additional Contact:
Matt Frana, Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority, 563-382-8777 ext. 3,

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