AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 12 p.m. about #NoTillb4Beans and #CoverYourBeans. The campaigns were launched by the Conservation Learning Group to highlight the potential for time and money savings with no-tillage and cover crops ahead of soybean.
Mark Licht, assistant professor of agronomy and extension cropping systems specialist, helped create the yearlong social media campaign to spread the word about cover crop and no-till benefits for soybean growers. The goal of the campaign is to initiate the conversation among farmers and landowners about the benefits, concerns and results of using cover crops and no-till for soybean.
Licht’s extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and environmental goals. No-tillage and cover crop adoption are two practices that provide large environmental benefits for reducing phosphorus and nitrogen losses. The #NoTillb4Beans and #CoverYourBeans campaigns focus on these practices ahead of soybean as an easy entry point with no adverse effects on productivity.
“If Iowa’s nearly 10 million acres of soybean were no-till planted into a cover crop we would nearly reach the 10.5 million no-tillage and 12.5 million cover crop acres called for in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy,” stated Licht. “Cover crops ahead of soybean can lead to an average 8 bushel/ac yield advantage and no-till planting lowers input costs and saves time.”
To watch, go to www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12 p.m. on Dec. 12 to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319).