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ILF webinar topic: Cover crops’ full potential

By Staff | Aug 14, 2015

AMES – The regular monthly Iowa Learning Farms webinar is set at 1 p.m. Wednesday. This month’s guest speaker is Tom Kaspar who will present “Reaching the Full Potential of Cover Crops in Iowa.”

Tom Kaspar is a plant physiologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, and has been with ARS since 1981. Over his career, his research has focused on crop and soil management to improve water quality and soil productivity. Since 1990, he has worked on the benefits and management of winter rye as a cover crop in corn and soybean rotations in Iowa.

Although cover crops have been around a long time, we don’t have much experience on their use in modern corn-soybean rotations in Iowa. We do, however, understand the general principles of how winter cover crops improve soil health and reduce losses of sediment, nutrients and organic matter from corn and soybean fields. Today, we have barely scratched the surface of the potential benefits that cover crops might provide. Only continued long-term research and farmer trials will allow us to reach the full potential of cover crops. Log into the webinar to hear Kaspar’s perspective of this timely topic.

The ILF webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. There is no cost and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access. To participate, go to: connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ and log in through the guest option.

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