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Cover crop management workshop set March 3

By Staff | Feb 25, 2016

LEWIS – Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with PFI and the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group, will host a cover crop workshop from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 3 at the Armstrong Memorial Research and Demonstration Farm, 53020 Hitchcock Ave, near Lewis.

The event is free and includes a complimentary meal prepared by The Downtowner. Preregistration is requested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at (515) 294-5429 or email ilf@iastate.edu.

Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to the many benefits they provide including reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter, and reduced soil erosion.

Fall 2015 was a good season for cover crop establishment and growth, with adequate moisture and growing temperatures. Great fall growth helped protect the soil during the heavy rain events, but could present challenges this spring if farmers are not prepared with a termination plan and equipment adjustments.

To help producers prepare for spring management Carl Pederson, an Iowa State University agricultural and biosystems engineer will share his experiences managing cover crops on both large and small scale trial plots around the state.

Stefan Gailans, PFI’s research scientist and cooperators’ program manager, will discuss cover crop variety trial results and species selection.

Tom Kaspar, a plant physiologist at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service’s National Soil Tilth Laboratory, will highlight cover crop effects on soil health and spring termination considerations.

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