AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Clayton County Soil and Water Conservation District, will host a cover crop workshop on Thursday, December 5 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. at the Luana Savings Bank. 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. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from local farmers about the benefits of cover crops, choosing seed varieties, innovative application methods, best management practices and opportunities for cost share. 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.
The field day will begin with a panel discussion featuring Clayton County farmers Daryl Landsgard, Joe Shirbroun and Ron Sass. Liz Juchems, 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. NRCS Area Soil Scientist Neil Sass will lead a discussion on practices that can help improve soil health. Tom Leitgen, drone operator, will share a video and lead a discussion on using drone technology to seed cover crops. Project Coordinator Eric Palas will discuss cost share opportunities for cover crops in Clayton County. Weather permitting, there will be a short tour to compare cover crop seeding methods following the program.
The field day will be held at the Luana Savings Bank Community Center, 100 Harvest Drive. 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 Learning Farms
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