May 5 Webinar: Can Small Grain, Soybean Relay Intercropping Be Successful in Iowa?

April 28, 2021

AMES, IOWA—Succeeding with small grain, soybean relay intercropping in Iowa is the topic of the Iowa Learning Farms webinar at noon on Wednesday, May 5.

Small grain, soybean relay intercropping is the next step after using small grains for cover crops. Mark Licht, assistant professor and extension cropping systems specialist at Iowa State University, will explain this practice and its benefits. Relay intercropping is a way to extend active plant growth after corn and before soybean to achieve soil health and nutrient loss reduction benefits similar to soybean. Growth of the small grain crop is extended through seed production to also provide economic value, which is a missed opportunity when small grains are used solely as a cover crop.  

Small grain seed production can be used for livestock feed rations and niche food markets. While soybean and wheat production considered individually may be slightly lower compared to optimized sole crop production, a relay intercropping system results in greater land use equivalency.  

“Relay intercropping is a system that has potential to be used across Iowa in an effort to diversify and provide resiliency to cropping systems,” said Licht. “While relay intercropping can be more risky, using a relay intercropping system can diversify farm income while providing soil health and nutrient loss reduction benefits.” 
Licht’s research focuses on corn and soybean production systems and ways to incorporate conservation practices into those systems. 

Webinar Access Instructions 
To participate in the live webinar, shortly before 12 pm CDT on May 5: 
Click this URL, or type this web address into your internet browser:  
    Or, go to and enter meeting ID: 364 284 172   
Or, join from a dial-in phone line:  
    Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 
    Meeting ID: 364 284 172  
The webinar will also be recorded and archived on the ILF website, so that it can be watched at any time. Archived webinars are available at

A Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU) has been applied for, for those who are able to participate in the live webinar. Information about how to apply to receive the credit will be provided at the end of the live webinar. 

About Iowa Learning Farms 
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, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319) and GROWMARK, Inc. 

Hilary Pierce                                       Jacqueline Comito 
Extension Outreach Specialist            ILF Program Director                    
515-294-8912                                       515-296-0081