Iowa Learning Farms to host cover crop workshop Dec. 7

November 20, 2012

Iowa Learning Farms will host a workshop “Planning for Spring Cover Crop Management” on Friday, Dec. 7, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The workshop will be held at the Mutchler Community Center, 900 E North Street, Bloomfield.
The workshop is free and includes a complimentary lunch. The public is invited to attend but an RSVP is required. Please respond by Dec. 3 by calling 641-664-2600, ext. 3 or 641-682-0752 ext. 3.
Cover crops are a good way to help reduce nitrates and other nutrients from entering rivers and streams by utilizing the nutrients during the off-season when the cash crop is out of the field. Cover crops also improve water quality by reducing erosion during fall and winter, and improve soil organic matter through the plants’ root system.
At the workshop, Wellman area farmer Steve Berger will share his insights about using cover crops. Berger has incorporated fall-seeded winter rye into his crop rotation on over 500 acres for the last several years. Also Tom Kaspar, with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, will discuss cover crop opportunities for those interested in beginning to use this soil-saving practice. Brad Klodt, who farms in Davis and Van Buren Counties, will share his experiences using cover crops as well.
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.