Iowa Learning Farms, Poweshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District and USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) will host a cover crop field day Tuesday, August 9 from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Luke Bayer’s farm near Guernsey. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal.
Cover crops continue to gain popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits including reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased organic matter in the soil. When paired with no-tillage additional benefits include increased water infiltration and reduced erosion during heavy rain events. This field day aims to equip attendees with best management practices for establishing cover crops and maintaining yields during the transition to a higher residue system of no-tillage and cover crops.
Farmer host, Luke Bayer, has been experimenting with different cover crop species on his farm over the past few years utilizing the longer establishment window provided by harvesting winter cereal rye for seed. Attendees will be able to hear from Luke on what he found works and what doesn’t, as well as explore his recently established cover crops. NRCS soil conservationist Jack Little, will offer some hands-on soil health demonstrations that farmers can utilize on their own fields. The field day will also feature the Iowa Learning Farms Conservation station rainfall simulator and drone cover crop seeding demonstration.
The field day will begin at the air conditioned shop located at 2310 430th Avenue, Guernsey, IA 52221 and will be held rain or shine. From Exit 201 on I-80, head south on IA-21 for 1.5 miles. Turn left to head east on 430th Avenue for 1.1 miles. The farm is located on the south side of the road and field day signs will mark the driveway to enter.
The event is free and open to farmers and landowners, though we require reservations to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP please contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Attendees will be entered in a drawing for ISU Prairie Strips honey.
Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.
About Iowa Learning Farms
Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation by 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 include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources, EPA Section 319 Grant Program and GROWMARK, Inc.