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PFI webinar to focus on cover crops, prevented planting, spring management

By Staff | Sep 17, 2013

AMES – Many farmers planted cover crops on prevented planting acres this season and now have questions about managing those acres this fall and winter. Other farmers are considering planting cover crops for the first time this fall and have questions about species selection, timing, spring management and more.

Practical Farmers of Iowa will address these and other cover crop questions in a free online seminar, or “farminar,” on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 1-2:30 p.m. Farmers, agronomists, certified crop advisors, landowners and others who have questions about cover crops or managing them on prevented planting acres are invited and encouraged to attend. To participate, go to “http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/farminar”>connect.extension.iastate.edu/farminar.

Certified crop advisors who view the farminar will earn 1.5 hours of soil and water management CEUs. To receive credit if attending live, sign into the farminar with your last name and six-digit CCA number, typed without spaces (e.g., “Smith123456″). If watching the archived version, contact Joan O’Brien with Agribusiness Association of Iowa at joano@agribiz.org or (515) 262-8323 by 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 27. Note: The farminar will be archived and viewable on Practical Farmers’ website, but will not be available for CCA credits after Sept. 27.

Topics covered will include recommendations for managing cover crops on prevented planting acres; standard fall and spring cover crop management; and a general overview of cover crops, including current science, research and management recommendations. The farminar will also leave ample time for audience questions.

Speakers on the farminar will include:

Bob Lynch, a farmer near Gilmore City, who will discuss his experience with prevented planting and how he is managing cover crops on prevent planting acres, including letting winter kill the crop instead of glyphosate.

Mark Peterson, who farms near Stanton, who will discuss his plan for managing cover crops next spring.

Tom Kaspar, research agronomist with the National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, will discuss the basics of working with cover crops, from selection and general management considerations to current research on cover crops and soil health.

“I planted oats, radish and clover on prevented planting acres, and winter will take care of those,” Bob says. “Cover crop issues are new to Iowa for the majority of farmers. While there have been cover crops in Iowa for the last several years, it’s been more specialty farmers and some southern Iowa farmers. This year, northern Iowa is covered with them. This farminar will help give people a better idea of what to do and how to manage them.”

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Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in

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