Cover crop workshop to be held in Oakland on December 13th | Building a Culture of Conservation

Cover crop workshop to be held in Oakland on December 13th

November 20, 2017

Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, along with East Pottawattamie County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will host a cover crop workshop on Wednesday, December 13th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Community Center in Oakland. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.

The workshop will include Pottawattamie County farmer Russ Brandes.  As the 4th generation to farm the land near Hancock, Russ is raising corn and soybeans on about 400 acres.  He also manages a small cow-calf herd and hogs on the family farm. As an East Pottawattamie County Commissioner, Russ has been leading by example through the use of no-tillage since the mid-1980s. In 2013, Russ began to add cover crops to his operation by flying ryegrass into his soybeans. Since then Russ has significantly expanded the acres covered and cover crops species used, including: cereal rye, oats, radish, brown mustard, Sunn hemp and many more. Russ will share advice for successfully adding cover crops as well as discussing how he has overcome challenges.

The agenda will continue with Stefan Gailans, Practical Farmers of Iowa research and field crops director. He will share results from on-farm cover crop research projects and ideas for maximizing cover crop benefits. Liz Juchems, Iowa Learning Farms events coordinator, share results from cover crop projects examining species selection, water quality implications, and soil health indicators like earthworms.

The field day will be held at the Oakland Community Center, 614 Dr Van See Road, Oakland. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food.  Please RSVP to Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or

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, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), and Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa.