Iowa Learning Farms will host a cover crop workshop on Tuesday, January 24, from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM at Steve Boender’s Farm near Oskaloosa. The free event is open to farmers and landowners and includes a complimentary meal.
Cover crops offer many benefits to farmers and landowners including, reduced soil erosion, weed suppression potential, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, and increased organic matter in the soil. When paired with no-tillage additional benefits include increased water infiltration and reduced erosion during heavy rain events.
This workshop aims to equip attendees with best management practices for establishing and managing cover crops to maintain yields during the transition to a higher residue system of cover crops. Additionally, the workshop offers the opportunity to learn more about taking cover crops to the next level for soil health through grazing and relay cropping with soybeans.
Rebecca Vittetoe, Iowa State University Extension Field Agronomist, will share research data on utilizing winter and summer annual forages. Ross Evelsizer, Northeast Iowa RC&D, and Alex Shaffer, Iowa Soybean Association, are partnering on relay cropping cereal rye and soybeans trials and will highlight how to successfully manage the system. A panel of local farmers will share how they are using cover crops in their operations and how they have addressed the challenges of changing their management. Myriam Lafreniere-Landry, Muchakinock Creek Watershed Coordinator, and Joy Van Wyngarden, South Skunk Watershed Coordinator, will provide project updates and share opportunities for participation.
The workshop will be held in a heated shop at the Boender Farm, 2052 275th St, Oskaloosa, IA 52577. The event is free and open to farmers and landowners, though we require reservations to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP, please contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or [email protected]. Attendees will be entered in a drawing for ISU Prairie Strips honey.
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.