AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and National Wildlife Foundation, will host a cover crops and water quality field day on Tuesday, April 9 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Rob Stout’s farm near Washington. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal.
Cover crops are gaining popularity among farmers and landowners thanks to the many benefits that can be achieved. These include reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies improving water quality, increased soil organic matter, improved soil health, reduced soil erosion and expanded grazing and forage acres.
The field agenda will include Washington County farmer Rob Stout, share his over ten years of experience with cover crops and tips for successfully adding them to your operation. 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. Jason Steele, NRCS soil scientist will discuss the importance of healthy soil and how practices like cover crops and no-till can help reduce soil erosion and improve overall soil health. Tony Maxwell, Washington County NRCS district conservationist, will share opportunities for financial assistance for cover crops and other conservation practices. The field day will wrap up with Matt McAndrew and Paul Brandt with MB Water providing a water quality demonstration and updates on their local water quality project.
The workshop will be held at Rob Stout’s farm, 2449 Hemlock Avenue, Washington, IA 52353. From Washington, head west on 250th St/County Rd G38 for 5 miles. Turn north on Hemlock Avenue for 0.6 miles and the farm will be located on the west 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Conservation Outreach Specialist