Cover crops and grazing cover crops field day to be held near Agency on November 20th

October 29, 2018

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, along with Cedar Creek Partnership Project and Wapello County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a cover crops and grazing cover crops field day on Tuesday, November 20th from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Swanson Farm, rural Ottumwa. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.

Wapello County farmers Don and Bill Swanson have been farming their family’s Heritage Farm for over 30 years. Since the 1970’s they have used no-tillage to raise corn soybeans on nearly 1,800 acres. They also raise hay and manage pasture for their cow-calf herd and cattle feedlot operation. For the last four years, they have added cereal rye to a portion of their acres to reduce soil loss, improve soil health and reduce fall feed costs by grazing the cereal rye. Following the program Don will provide a tour of their cover crops, weather permitting.

The agenda will continue with Patrick Wall, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Beef Specialist, sharing best management practices for and benefits of grazing cover crops. Liz Juchems, Iowa Learning Farms conservation outreach specialist, will share results from cover crop projects examining species selection, water quality implications, and soil health indicators such as earthworms. Benjamin Cottrell, Wapello and Davis County NRCS District Conservationist, and Lanessa Baker, Cedar Creek Partnership Project Coordinator, will provide project updates and discuss opportunities to get involved.

The field day will be held at the Swanson Farm, 6077 100th St, Ottumwa. From Hwy 34 north of Agency, head north on Agency Hedrick Rd/V37 for 2.3 miles. Turn right on 100th to head east for 1 mile. The destination will be on the north side of the road. The event is free and open to the whole family, 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

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


Liz Juchems

Conservation Outreach Specialist



Lanessa Baker

Cedar Creek Partnership Project Coordinator

641-682-0752 Ext. 3