AMES, Iowa – Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University will host six tours focused on fall grazing cover crops. Tours are scheduled for late November and early December across Iowa.The tours are part of a fall grazing cover crops risk management project funded through USDA-NIFA, and will be led by IBC beef specialists. Tour stops will include Iowa State research projects and producers who have successfully grazed cover crops in the fall and will share their tips for overcoming the challenges of adequate fall growth for grazing.
Bus transportation will be provided for all tours except the Newell tour, where producers will caravan. A registration fee of $5 will be charged to cover meal expenses and can be paid on the tour.
Participants should contact tour coordinators to preregister at least 3 days prior to the tour to aid in meal planning and ensure adequate bus seating. Remember the weather may be cold and participants will be out in fields, so dress accordingly for winter and being outdoors.
Tour dates, times and locations in chronological order
- Nov. 26, 12:30-6 p.m., leaving from the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines. Preregister on the Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council website. For more information contact Patrick Wall, email@example.com, 515-450-7665. Download the flyer.
- Nov. 28, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., leaving from the Lucas County Extension office in Chariton. Preregister by calling Lucas County Extension at 641-774-2016. For more information, contact Christopher Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org, 712-250-0070. Download the flyer.
- Nov. 29, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., leaving from the Wyoming Fairgrounds in Wyoming. Preregister by calling Benton County Extension at 319-472-4739. For more information, contact Denise Schwab, email@example.com, 319-721-9624. Download the flyer.
- Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., leaving from ISU Western Research and Demonstration Farm, 36515 Hwy E34, Castana. Preregister with Keith Baker at ISU Extension Monona County by phone 712-423-2175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Beth Doran, email@example.com, 712-737-4230. Download the flyer.
- Dec. 3, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Leaving from Seth & Lynn Smith farm, Nemaha. Everyone driving on their own. Preregister with Lora Wright at ISU Extension Sac County by phone 712-662-7131 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . For more information, contact Beth Doran, email@example.com, 712-737-4230. Download the flyer.
- Dec. 5, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., leaving from the National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville. Preregister by calling Benton County Extension at 319-472-4739. For more information, contact Denise Schwab, firstname.lastname@example.org, 319-721-9624. Download the flyer.
Establishing cover crops following grain production is proven to protect soil, reduce erosion, improve water quality and enhance soil health, while also providing opportunities to extend the grazing season. Fall grazing cover crops has the potential to reduce feed costs, but has more challenges due to weather risk. One month of extended grazing can reduce the cost of production of the cow herd by more than 5%. The window for fall growth and grazing can be more limited than in the spring due to the timing of grain harvest, seeding method, species selection, available nutrients, and weather.
Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award Number 2015-49200-24226.