disease ridden corn
TUNE-IN: An Iowa Learning Farms webinar on Feb. 21 will offer tips on how to reduce the yield impact and disease risk on corn when you include cover crops in the rotation.

Reduce disease risk when using cover crops

Webinar will discuss how to manage disease to protect corn yields when using cover crops.

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar explaining how producers can reduce the yield impact and disease risks for corn when using cover crops in the rotation. The free webinar is 1 p.m. Feb. 21.

Despite the many documented benefits of cover crops, some farmers are hesitant to add cover crops to their farming operations due to perceived risks of yield impact and increased disease. The increased risk of seedling disease in a corn-bean rotation with a cover crop is mainly a threat to corn. Soybeans are very forgiving, says Alison Robertson, Iowa State University Extension field crops plant pathologist.

In the webinar, Robertson will discuss best management practices that can help farmers avoid reduced stands and lower yields. She will also explain how a cover crop may act as a green bridge for oomycete pathogens (water molds), thereby creating an increased risk of seedling disease in corn without proper management.

“The goal of our research is to develop best disease management practices that protect yield potential and ensure profitability,” Robertson says. She hopes viewers will gain a better understanding of the factors that can cause seedling disease of corn when using cover crops, so producers can appropriately manage risk. Robertson specializes in the research of seedling diseases caused by oomycete water molds.

Watch webinars on your schedule
The Iowa Learning Farms webinar series takes place on the third Wednesday of each month. To watch, go to connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf shortly before 1 p.m. Feb. 21 and log in through the “guest” option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a “culture of conservation” by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

Source: Iowa State University

TAGS: Education
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