AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Soil Health Partnership, Iowa Corn, Iowa Soybean Association, Adams County Farm Bureau and Practical Farmers of Iowa, will host a cover crops, grazing cover crops and soil health field day Tuesday, July 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Ray and Elaine Gaesser’s Farm near Corning. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal sponsored in part by the National Wildlife Federation Cover Crop Champions Program.
Livestock and row crop producers curious about adding cover crops because of the many benefits should plan to attend. Cover crop benefits include expanded grazing and forage acres, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter, improved soil health and reduced soil erosion.
Host farmer Ray Gaesser and his son, Chris Gaesser, will share their experiences with cover crops and grazing cover crops, and provide tips for successfully adding them to a farm operation. Jacob Ness, Soil Health Partnership Iowa field manager, will share soil health measurement results from the Gaessers' cover crop research plots and provide information on how to get a trial started on your farm. Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa strategic initiatives director, will highlight cover crop research trial results ranging from long-term rye plots, interseeding early into cash crops, grazing cover crops and more.
The workshop will be held at Ray and Elaine Gaesser’s farm, 2507 Quince Ave., Corning. From Corning, head east on Highway 34 for 6.7 miles. Turn right onto Quince Ave. and head south for 2.6 miles. The farm is located on the east side of the road. The event is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Please RSVP to 515-294-5429 or www.soilhealthpartnership.org.
Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.