FIELD DAY ...

Cover crops in corn and soybeans

Jack Boyer will host a cover crop field day on Wednesday, March 29th

Jack and Marion Boyer, of Reinbeck, will host a Practical Farmers of Iowa cover crop field day on their farm on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. (Courtesy of Practical Farmers of Iowa)

REINBECK, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa and farmer Jack Boyer will host a cover crop field day on Wednesday, March 29, from noon to 3 p.m., near Reinbeck. The event – “Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans” – is free to attend and includes lunch. Please RSVP for the meal to Alisha Bower, alisha@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661, by Friday, March 24.

The event is part of Practical Farmers’ 2017 spring cover crop “caravan” field day series, which features events at locations across Iowa exploring cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems.

The field day will start with lunch at noon, catered by PT Grillers, at the Reinbeck Memorial Building (208 Broad St.). At 12:30 p.m., guests will hear a brief presentation before caravanning to Jack’s field (27851 W. Ave., about 2 miles south of the Reinbeck Memorial Building) to view cover crops and discuss management and benefits of cover crops.

Jack and his wife, Marion, operate J Boyer Farms, Inc., their century farm where they grow seed corn, field corn, soybeans and some cover crop seed. They have been integrating cover crops for the past six years.

“We are beginning to see some of the benefits of using cover crops, but are still looking to find the quantifiable financial benefit in addition to the environmental benefit,” Jack says. “We want to leave the farm in as good a condition – or better – as when we obtained it.”

Attendees will learn about cover crops interseeded to seed corn in 2016; planting a cereal rye cover crop ahead of 2017 corn and soybeans; growing cereal rye cover crop seeds; and soil health issues. Guests will also get to view soil root pits dug into cover crop fields, as well as a rainfall simulator showing how soil cover and roots in the soil affect soil properties.

Other speakers will include Neil Sass, area agronomist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, who will conduct a soil slake test demonstration and discuss the soils roots visible in the soil root pits; Rick Bednarek, state soil scientist with NRCS, who will help with the slake test and root pit demonstration; and Tina Cibula, resource conservationist with NRCS, who will lead the rainfall simulator demonstration in the field.

“I hope the audience will leave with a better understanding of using cover crops, and some of the benefits available,” Jack says.

Directions: Reinbeck Memorial Building is located at 208 Broad St. in Reinbeck, two blocks south of IA Hwy 175. To get to the field location from here, go north on Broad Street and turn right (east) on IA Hwy 175. In three-tenths of a mile, turn right (south) on Pioneer Road and go 1.75 miles (Pioneer Road becomes W Avenue south of Reinbeck).

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2017 spring cover crop field days are supported by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Iowa State University Extension; Land Stewardship Project; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota; The Pasture Project; and Unilever.

— Practical Farmers of Iowa

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