Practical Farmers of Iowa joins with Iowa Learning Farms to have farmers showcase their experiences with cover crops this spring at nine field days across Iowa. County Soil and Water Conservation District, or SWCD, Commissioners and the Eastern Iowa Hay Producers Association are helping to sponsor these spring field days that focus on the use and management of cover crops.
A record 100,000 acres of cover crops were planted in Iowa in 2012. This increasingly popular conservation practice protects soil from wind and water erosion and captures nitrogen that can otherwise leach from the soil and pollute nearby waterways.
The field day schedule is listed below. All field days are free, open to the public and include lunch. Make plans to attend a field day in your area.
Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Learning Farms cover crop field days
* Friday, March 15, 9:30 am-2:30 pm: Northwest Iowa No-Till Conference, Moville Area Community Center, 815 Main St., Moville
* Tuesday, March 19, 10:00 am-12:30 pm: Dustin Kaestner Farm, 7381 16th Ave., Luzerne
* Thursday, March 21, 10:00 am-2:00 pm: Buzzy's Pizza, 414 Main St. Welton, with field tour at Neal Engle farm (25439 Highway 64, Maquoketa)
* Friday, March 22, 10:00 am-12:30 pm: Black Hawk Marsh State Game Management Area, 3575 Quincy Ave., field tour at Russ Schelle farm (10326 Granite Ave., Breda) lunch at the Breda park shelter
* Tuesday, Mar. 26, 10:00 am-12:30 pm: Mike Sporrer Farm, Dedham, Carroll Co.
* Thursday, Mar. 28, 10:00 am-12:30 pm: Kent Swanson Farm, 2670 K Ave., Red Oak
* Monday, April 1 at 10:00 am-1:00 pm: Dordt College Research Farm, 3598 U.S. Highway 75, Sioux Center
* Thursday, April 4: 11:00 am-2:00 pm: Johnson's Restaurant, 916 1/2 High St. N.E., Elkader, field tour at Gary Kregel Farm
* Wednesday, May 22, 1:00 pm-3:30 pm: Dan Specht Farm, 12794 Pleasant Ridge Road, Monona
Other topics in addition to cover crops will also be covered at these field days
Each cover crop field day will include discussions and presentations including area-specific topics such as: no-tillage/strip-tillage systems, rotational grazing or grazing cover crops for livestock feed, soil and nutrient management benefits of cover crops and spring management for cover crops. For more information, contact Aaron Andrews at 515-294-4922 or Sarah Carlson at 515-232-5661.
Founded in 1985, Practical Farmers of Iowa is an open, supportive and diverse organization of farmers and friends of farmers, advancing profitable, ecologically sound and community-enhancing approaches to agriculture through farmer-to-farmer networking, farmer-led investigation and information sharing. Farmers in our network produce corn, soybeans, beef cattle, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. For additional information, call 515-232-5661 or visit the Practical Farmers of Iowa website.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between 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 (USEPA section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center. For more information, visit the ILF website.