AMES, Iowa — Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Soil Health Partnership, Iowa Corn, Iowa Soybean Association, Adams County Farm Bureau and Practical Farmers of Iowa, will host a cover crops, grazing cover crops and soil health field day Tuesday, July 9th from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Ray and Elaine Gaesser’s Farm near Corning. The event is free, open to the whole family and includes a complimentary meal sponsored in part by the National Wildlife Federation Cover Crop Champions Program.
Cover crops are gaining popularity among livestock and row crop producers thanks to the many benefits that can be achieved. These include expanded grazing and forage acres, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter, improved soil health and reduced soil erosion.
The field day will feature host farmer Ray Gaesser and his son, Chris Gaesser, sharing their experiences with cover crops and grazing cover crops and provide tips for successfully adding them to your operation. Jacob Ness, Soil Health Partnership Iowa Field Manager, will share soil health measurement results from an the Gaesser’s cover crop research plots and provide information on how to get a trial started on your farm. Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa Strategic Initiatives Director, will highlight cover crop research trial results ranging from long-term rye plots, interseeding early into cash crops, grazing cover crops and more.
The workshop will be held at Ray and Elaine Gaesser’s Farm, 2507 Quince Ave, Corning. From Corning, head east on Hwy 34 for 6.7 miles. Turn right onto Quince Ave and head south for 2.6 miles. The farm will be located on the east 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 515-294-5429 or www.soilhealthpartnership.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.
About the Soil Health Partnership
The Soil Health Partnership is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 15 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm. For more information, visit soilhealthpartnership.org.
— The Soil Health Partnership
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