Iowa Learning Farms and Farm Bureau to host cover crop workshop

Staff Writer
Tri-County Times

Iowa Learning Farms, along with Hamilton and Hardin county Farm Bureaus and Southfork Watershed Alliance, are hosting a cover crops workshop on Friday, Sept. 12, at Titan Machinery in Willams. The workshop will be from 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., with a lunch provided. The workshop is free and the public is invited to attend. RSVPs are requested by Sept. 10 to the Hardin County Farm Bureau, 641-939-5428.

Workshop attendees will learn about practical cover crop solutions that work in the area. Boone County farmer Jeremy Gustafson will share his experience using cover crops in his cash crop rotation. He is using cover crops to reduce nutrient runoff, as well as to reduce soil erosion. Also, Matt Helmers will share information about the benefits of cover crops and how they relate to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Helmers is an Iowa State University professor in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering department, as well as a co-manager of Iowa Learning Farms. His work has focused on agricultural water drainage systems, including tile drainage.

Cover crops are one of the conservation farming techniques suggested in the Nutrient Reduction Strategy that help to reduce soil erosion and nutrients entering waterways and help to build soil health. For more information on the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, visit the website: http://www.nutrientstrategy.iastate.edu/.

For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/. Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, 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.