AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Black Hawk and Bremer County Natural Resources Conservation Service, Dry Run Creek Watershed and Miller Creek Watershed, will host a cover crop and soil health field day on Thursday, November 21 from 12:00-2:00 p.m. at Jerry Dove’s farm near Janesville. 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 including reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased soil organic matter. Together with no-till and strip-till, cover crops can significantly reduce soil erosion and encourage infiltration of water during rain events. Converting to no-till and strip-till can also help improve profitability by reducing costs and time spent in the field.
Hosted in a heated shop, the field day will feature Black Hawk County farmer, Jason Russell sharing his experiences with cover crops and how he has successfully integrated them into his farming operation. Jason Gomes, North Iowa Agronomy Partners, will share tips on cover crop establishment and integrating cover crops into an operation. Shaffer Ridgeway, NRCS district conservationist, will lead a discussion on soil health and how to make the transition to no-till and strip-till. Liz Juchems, ILF conservation outreach specialist, will 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 tour of Jerry Dove’s nearby cover crop field.
The field day will be held at Jerry Dove’s farm, 2779 Hawthorne Avenue, Janesville. From Janesville, head east on 275th Street for about 1.8 miles. Turn right to head south on Hawthorne Avenue for 0.4 miles. 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.
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. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit www.iowalearningfarms.org.
— Iowa State University
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