Iowa Learning Farms to host spring cover crop workshops

February 17, 2015

Iowa Learning Farms will host three cover crop workshops spring in Jasper, Washington and Clay counties. The evening workshops are free, open to the public, and include a complimentary meal.
Cover crops are growing in popularity in Iowa. When cover crops are added to a corn-soybean rotation, they can help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increase soil organic matter, and reduce soil erosion. As part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, when cover crops are used in combination with other conservation management practices, point and nonpoint source pollution is reduced in Iowa waters and downstream. Other conservation management practices that help reduce nutrients entering waterways include strip-tillage or no-tillage, grass waterways, installing buffers and terraces, wetlands and bioreactors and more.
The cover crop workshops include:

March 5: DMACC Newton campus, 6-8 pm
600 North 2nd Ave. West, Room 251
Host farmer Gordon Wassenaar, Prairie City
RSVP by March 1 to Jasper County Extension, 641-792-6433

March 25: Steve and Dennis Berger farm, 5:30-7 pm

127 Elm Ave, Wellman, Washington County

April 2: Matt and Stephanie Essick farm, 5:30-7 pm
3075 400th St, Dickens, Clay County

Topics at the workshops range from using cover crop single species and mixtures, planter development and precision farming with cover crops and no-till, cover crop effects on soil health and more. Speakers include farmers who have had success using cover crops and experts from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
For details on the workshops, and for more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website:
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.