AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms and USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service will host a cover crop and soil health field day on Wednesday, March 18 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Campbell Farm near Ground Mound. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.
Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits, reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased soil organic matter. Fall 2019 was another difficult harvest season, with the priority on getting the crop in the field there was limited time to complete fall tillage. Cover crops and no-tillage work together to help increase water infiltration and reduce erosion during the heavy rain events. This field day aims to equip attendees with a good termination plan and best management practices to maintain yields during the transition to a higher residue system of no-tillage and cover crops.
The workshop agenda will include a panel of local farmers who are using cover crops and no-till in their farming operations. Jason Steele, NRCS Area Resource Soil Scientist, will highlight how cover crops and no-tillage work together to improve soil health for long-term profitability. Virgil Schmitt, Iowa State Extension Agronomist, will discuss cover crop and nutrient best management practices. Liz (Juchems) Ripley, Iowa Learning Farms conservation and cover crop outreach specialist, will then share results from cover crop projects examining species selection, water quality implications, and soil health indicators such as earthworms. Weather permitting, there will be a short tour of cover crops nearby following the program.
The field day will be held in a heated shop at the Campbell Farm, 2260 US-Hwy 30, Ground Mound. From Grand Mound, head west on US Hwy-30 for 0.5 miles. The farm is located on the north side of the road and field day signs will mark the driveway to enter.
The workshop is free and open to the whole family, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP please contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For reasonable accommodations please contact Justin Bisinger at (563) 391-1403 Ext 3 or Justin.Bisinger@ia.usda.gov.
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.
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.
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Soil Conservation Technician
(563) 391-1403 Ext 3