Iowa Learning Farms pasture walk June 30 in Tama County

June 15, 2015

Iowa Learning Farms, along with Conservation Districts of Iowa and Tama County NRCS, will host a pasture walk on Tuesday, June 30, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on the Eric Werner farm, rural Vining. The field day will include a visit to a permanent and newly converted pasture and a complimentary supper.
 
Field day attendees will hear from host farmer Eric Werner, who will present information about his cattle grazing operation. Werner recently converted 33 acres from CRP to rotational grazing and has two solar pumps on his wells, of which one will be pulled and demonstrated at the field day. Also speaking is Iowa State University Extension Beef Specialist Denise Schwab, who will discuss the benefits of rotational grazing for livestock. ISU Extension Field Agronomist Meaghan Anderson will address questions regarding herbicide restrictions for using cover crops as a grazing source. Hank Wehrman, a Benton County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner, will share his experience and answer questions about cost-share opportunities to help with establishing grazing land.
 
Following the speakers, attendees can enjoy a complimentary supper with the Tama County Cattlemen at the grill. The field day is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is recommended. Contact Iowa Learning Farms by June 26 to reserve a place for the meal: phone 515-294-8912 or email: ilf@iastate.edu.
 
The field day will be on the Eric Werner farm, southeast of Vining. From Vining, take highway V18 southeast and turn left (east) onto U Ave. Take the next available left (east) and follow the drive into the pasture site. Watch for directional signs to the site.
 
As part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, cover crops provide a great opportunity for grazing and forage to extend feed sources without converting acres to pasture and hay.  Cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation can help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads, increase soil organic matter, and reduce soil erosion.
 
The Iowa Cover Crops Working Group is working to increase the amount of living cover on Iowa agricultural lands. The group provides a unified voice from academy, non-profit and industry sectors on the importance of cover crops and encouragement of their use in cropping systems across the state.
 
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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