Cover crop spring management workshop to be held March 1 near Iowa City

February 8, 2016

Ames, Iowa— Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Cover Crop Working Group and Rapid Creek Watershed Project, will host a cover crop workshop on Tuesday, March 1, from 10:30a.m.-12:30p.m. at The Celebration Farm near Iowa City. The event is free, open to the public, and includes a complimentary meal.
Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to the many benefits they provide. Such benefits include reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter, and reduced soil erosion.  Fall 2015 was a good season for cover crop establishment and growth, with adequate moisture and growing temperatures.  Great fall growth helped protect the soil during the heavy rain events, but could present challenges this spring if farmers are not prepared with a termination plan and equipment adjustments.
To help producers prepare for spring management Mark Hanna, ISU Extension and Outreach engineer, will discuss equipment settings for planting into cover crops. Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa Midwest cover crops research coordinator, will share cover crop variety trial results and lead a discussion among attendees to answer questions from new and experienced cover crop users.  Tom Kaspar, plant physiologist at the USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Laboratory, will highlight cover crop effects on soil health and spring termination considerations.
The workshop will take place at The Celebration Farm, Timber Frame Barn, 4696 Robin Woods Ln NE, Iowa City, IA 52240 and the complimentary meal will be prepared by Kalona Kountry Katering. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email ilf@iastate.edu.
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/.
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, 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 are 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), Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa.
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