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PFI launches Cover Crop Caravan

By Staff | Mar 23, 2017

AMES – Practical Farmers of Iowa has planned a series of spring field days focused on cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems. Farmers and community members are invited to see cover crops in action on a farm, and learn about cover crop basics as well as practices used to maximize the financial return from cover crops.

All field days in the series run from noon to 3 p.m., and are free and open to everyone. Each field day starts with a complimentary lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal. Please contact Alisha Bower at (515) 232-5661 or alisha@practicalfarmers.org.

The series is called “Cover Crop Caravan” because many events include stops at multiple farms and locations. Specific details about each field day will be announced closer to the date. Host details and locations along with a map of events are also available at practicalfarmers.org. Events in the series include:

  • March 28 Grazing Cover Crops will be hosted byWade Dooley, with guest speaker Allen Williams, at 2110 Stanley Mill Road, near Albion.
  • March 30 Grazing Cover Crops will be hosted by Bruce Carney, with guest speaker Allen Williams, in two locations starting at the Chichaqua Longhouse, 8700 NE 126 Ave., in Maxwell; and in a field along NE 88th Street, near Maxwell. (Directions: From NE 134th Avenue, turn north and drive one-quarter to one-half mile, in Maxwell.
  • April 4 Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans, hosted by Russ Brandes, at 37333 Mahogany Road, near Hancock.
  • April 11 Grazing Cover Crops, will be hosted by Mark Schleisman, at 1635 365th St., near Lake City.
  • May 30 Grazing Cover Crops, will be hosted by Matt Schuiteman, at 3357 400th St., near Sioux Center.

The field day on April 4 will explore the fundamentals of working with cover crops. Guests will learn about planting methods, spring management tactics, and soil and water health benefits of cover crops. The host farmers will also expand on intermediate management topics, such as scouting cover crops, spring management for growing cover crop seed and management for rye going into corn.

The other events will showcase the value of integrating cover crops and livestock.

Attendees will see cattle grazing cover crop fields, and learn about grazing management, nutrition from cover crop forage, contract grazing agreements and managing herbicide residues for grazing.

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