Despite farmers’ positive perceptions about cover crops and the availability of cost-share programs to incentivize their use, an Iowa State University study shows the return on investment may be the biggest hurdle to overcome for widespread adoption of the practice.
Iowa Learning Farms, along with ISU Extension and Outreach - Bremer County, will host a cover crop, soil health and bioreactor field day Thursday, March 29 at the Brian and Brenda Meyer farm, rural Readlyn.
Iowa Learning Farms and partners will host a cover crop, soil health and conservation leases field day for women landowners on Wednesday, March 28 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at James and Michelle Allen’s farm, rural Diagonal.
Farmers and beef producers interested in learning more about cover crops and successfully integrating cover crops as a forage resource into their current beef and row crop enterprises are invited to attend either of two upcoming field days in Monona or Buena Vista County.
According to the Iowa Learning Farms 2017 Field Day Evaluation Report, Iowa cover crop acres grew last year by approximately 22 percent to 760,000 total acres. While the positive growth during a time of shrinking profit margins is notable, the rate of growth is 10 percent less than the growth measured in 2016.
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar about how producers can reduce yield impact and disease risks when using cover crops on Wednesday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.
Cereal rye cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation have little to no negative effect on yield, and actually increased soybean yields in eight site-years and corn yield in two site-years, according to a nine-year study conducted by Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa.
The cover crop workshop will be held Dec. 13 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. and include Pottawattamie County farmer Russ Brandes, a fourth generation farmer from near Hancock.
Iowa Learning Farms, along with Elk Run Watershed and Practical Farmers of Iowa, will host a cover crop workshop on Wednesday, Dec. 6, 12-2 p.m. at the Swan Lake Conservation Education Center near Carroll. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.
The field day will feature a panel of Montgomery County cover crop farmers including Gary Johnson, Mike Johnson, Mark Peterson, Dave Robinette and Kent Swanson.