AMES, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, and Conservation Learning Group (CLG), is hosting a free virtual field day with Mark Thompson, Webster County farmer who is making cover crops and strip-tillage work in the Des Moines Lobe on Tuesday, November 24th at 1 p.m. CST.
Located in the heart of the Des Moines Lobe, known for the rich, dark soil, Thompson has been utilizing no-till on all soybean acres and strip-till on his corn acres since 2002. During the virtual field day, Thompson will share his experiences figuring out which strip-till tools and timing of operations work best for his system.
“At first, it was an economics thing, then I found out that conservation, nutrient management and erosion control came along with it,” said Thompson. “If you have never tried no-till, try some no-till beans. You will be shocked how well it works and how easy it is – just hesitate to do any tillage in the fall and plant right into the corn stalks.”
Thompson first started using cover crops as a prevented planting measure in 2013. Observing the benefits to the land and reduction in soil erosion, he has continued to increase his use of cover crops acres and now raises cereal rye to provide cover crop seed to the rest of his farm. Thompson also takes a conservation approach as a professional farm manager and encourages the increased adoption of practices like cover crops and strip-till across the state.
To participate in the live virtual field day at 1:00 pm CDT on November 24th, click this URL: https://iastate.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUpduihpj8iE9ZHcjpsenc2DWQILG41wg0D or visit www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events and click “Join Live Virtual Field Day”.
Or, join from a dial-in phone line:
Dial: +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 914 1198 4892
The field day will be recorded and archived on the ILF website so that it can be watched at any time. The archive will be available at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/events.
Participants may be eligible for a Certified Crop Adviser board-approved continuing education unit (CEU). Information about how to apply to receive the credit (if approved) will be provided at the end of the live field day.
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.
Liz (Juchems) Ripley
Conservation Outreach Specialist