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ILF to host spring cover crop field day workshops

By Staff | Mar 21, 2014

AMES – Iowa Learning Farms, as part of the Iowa Cover Crops Working Group, will host four cover crop workshops across Iowa in March and April, including one in the Farm News coverage area.

That event is set from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on April 8 at the Neil Vonnahme farm, 13628 220th St., in Arcadia.

Preregistration is required by Tuesday by calling the Carroll County Natural Resources Conservation Service office at (712) 792-1212, Ext. 3. The event is free. A complimentary lunch will be served.

When added to a corn-soybean rotation, cover crops can help reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering surface water, increase soil organic matter, and reduce soil erosion.

As part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, when cover crops are used in combination with other conservation management practices, point and nonpoint source pollution is reduced.

Other conservation management practices include strip-tillage or no-tillage, grassed waterways, extended crop rotations, installing buffers, wetlands and bioreactors.

Topics at the workshops range from using cover crop mixtures, selecting the right cover crop for the farm operation, using them to enhance soil and water quality and effects on soil health.

Speakers include farmers who plant cover crops and experts from Iowa State University Extension, NRCS and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

The Iowa Cover Crop Working Group’s goal is to increase the amount of living cover on Iowa agricultural lands.

The group provides a unified voice from academia, non-profit and industry sectors on the importance of cover crops and use in cropping systems.

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