Cover crops and grazing workshop to be held at the McNay Research Farm on March 27th

March 7, 2019

AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a cover crops and grazing cover crops workshop on Wednesday, March 27th from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at the McNay Research Farm near Chariton. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.

Cover crops are gaining popularity among livestock and row crop producers thanks to the many benefits that can be achieved. These include expanded grazing and forage acres, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter, improved soil health and reduced soil erosion.

The workshop agenda will include Rebecca Vittetoe, Iowa State Extension Field Agronomist, and Erika Lundy, Iowa State Extension Beef Specialist, highlighting an ongoing research project evaluating cattle performance while grazing cover crops, as well as subsequent impacts of grazing on the soil.  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. Local farmers will also share their experiences with cover crops and tips for successfully adding them to your operation. Weather permitting, attendees will tour the grazing research plots to see cattle grazing cereal rye.

The workshop will be held at the McNay Research Farm, 45249 170th Ave, Chariton. 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

Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. 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, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc.


Liz Juchems

Conservation Outreach Specialist


Joshua Michel

Iowa State University Extension Field Agronomist