Cover crops field day to be held Oct. 30 near Emerson

October 17, 2012

Ames, Iowa— Iowa Learning Farms, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will co-host a field day at the McGrew farm near Emerson, Iowa, on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event is free and includes a complimentary lunch. The public is invited to attend.
The field day will focus on cover crop implementation on corn and soybean acres. Farmers and landowners are learning more about the short- and long-term benefits of adding cover crops on their farm. Cover crops have potential to reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic matter levels, improve soil structure, protect water quality by capturing and holding fertilizer nutrients, and restrict growth of winter annual weeds in no-till crop management systems. Field day hosts Bill, Steve, David and Robert McGrew will share their experiences in establishing cover crops. Tom Kaspar with National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment will offer tips and cautions in adding cover crops to corn and soybean rotations. ISU Extension and Outreach Field Agronomist Aaron Saeugling will offer drought considerations for next year’s crops.
The McGrew farm is located at 38843 Gaston Ave, Emerson. On Highway 34, two miles west of Emerson, turn north onto 390th Street (M21). Go three miles to Gaston Ave. Turn left and travel one-quarter mile to the farm.
Iowa Learning Farms takes a grassroots approach offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping our state’s natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. A goal of Iowa Learning Farms is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between 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); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center. For more information, visit the ILF website:
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in the network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call 515.232.5661 or visit