AMES, Iowa – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual cover crop field day on Thursday, June 25 at 1 p.m. with video footage from the field and live interaction with farmers and researchers during the event.
Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa recently concluded a ten-year field-scale study of the effects of winter rye cover crops on corn and soybean yields. With consistent results across the full decade of recording and measurements, the final report notes no significant improvement or decline in cash crop yields attributable to the use of cover crops.
Farmer partners Rick Juchems, Rob Stout and George Schaefer; Stefan Gailans, Practical Farmers of Iowa; and Mark Licht, assistant professor and extension cropping systems specialist at Iowa State University, will share their experiences, tips for success and results from one of the longest on-farm cover crop demonstration projects to date.
“Even though we had been no-tilling for 35 years, the previous year crop residue wasn’t holding the ground in place,” said Stout. “We decided we needed to take the next step and add the cover crops. We found that they do a super job for erosion control. We have also found a lot of soil health benefits from cover crops including better infiltration, soil tilth, more earthworms and increased microbial activity.”
Shortly before 1 p.m. on June 25, click this URL to participate in the live event: 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. The Meeting ID is 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 is available at www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.
A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.
Original Photo: Cover crops in a field