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Field day to explore grazing cover crops

By Staff | Nov 6, 2016

LYTTON – Practical Farmers of Iowa, in partnership with Iowa Learning Farms, will host a cover crop grazing field day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, near Lytton, at the farms of two area producers – Wesley Degner and Ben Albright.

The event, “Grazing cereal rye in the fall,” is free and will include burgers provided by Iowa Cattleman’s Association.

RSVP by end of the day Monday for the meal to Lauren Zastrow at (515) 232-5661.

The field day is supported by funds from Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

The day will start at the farm of Wesley Degner, 2507 Yankee Ave., about 1.5 miles northwest of town, then move to Ben Albright’s farm, 1595 230th St., for lunch and the second half of the tour.

Both Degner and Albright raise row crops and cattle and are in their second year of grazing cover crops. They will share their experience with cover crop seeding and application; how they manage fall grazing; integrating row crops and livestock; and the benefits they are experiencing from turning cattle out into cover crop fields.

Guests will get to see cattle in action grazing a cereal rye cover crop, and a speaker from Iowa Learning Farms will discuss the practice of grazing cover crops and how it contributes to the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

Degner and Albright are participants in PFI’s on-farm research cooperators’ program, collecting data on the economic value of using cover crops as a forage source.

All of PFI’s field days occur rain or shine, and feature farmer-led discussions and farm or field tours. Details are found in PFI’s “2016 Field Day Guide,” available at practicalfarmers.org, or for free in print.

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