Would a multi-species cover crop mix fit your farm?

Would a multi-species cover crop mix fit your farm?

Iowa Learning Farms to host two upcoming multi-species cover crop field days in central Iowa.

Iowa Learning Farms and the Jasper County Natural Resources Conservation Service will host a multi-species cover crop field day on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the Gordon Wassenaar farm, near Prairie City in central Iowa. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complementary meal. Speaking at the field day is host farmer Gordon Wassenaar.

KINDS OF COVER CROPS: You can learn more about choosing and using multi-species cover crops at two upcoming field days in central Iowa. One is on the Wassenaar farm Nov. 12 at Prairie City and the other is Nov. 17 on the Spellman farm at Woodward.

Wassenaar has farmed for over 50 years and uses conservation practices including no-till and a cereal rye cover crop on the 1,200 acres. This fall Wassenaar partnered with the Jasper County NRCS to establish a multi-species cover crop trial using different seeding methods and rates. Eric Immerman, Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District field services manager, will lead a tour through the plots of cereal rye, annual ryegrass, winter wheat, triticale and three mixes that include brassicas and legumes that have been aerial, drilled or broadcast seeded.

Matching a cover crop system to your conservation goals
Also, speaking at the field day are NRCS staff Holly Giombi and Curtis Donohue. They will discuss matching a cover crop system to resource goals. The field day will also include a question-and-answer panel with local cover crop experts and will conclude with a complimentary meal catered by Magg Family Catering from Prairie City.

The field day site is located at 8718 W. 109th St. S., Prairie City.  At Prairie City, take exit 18 from IA-163 and go south on W. 109th Street (gravel road) for approximately 1 mile. The farm is located on the east side of the road with many large grain bins. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Call Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email [email protected].

ILF to host cover crop field day Nov. 17 near Woodward
Iowa Learning Farms will host a cover crop field day on Tuesday, November 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sam and Julie Spellman farm, near Woodward. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.

Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner Sam Spellman is leading by example on his farm by incorporating cover crops and no-till on his highly erodible acres. Sam and his wife farm with their son Aaron and his wife Katie. For the last four years they have been using cereal rye and mixtures of cover crops including cereal rye or oats with radish and red clover to help protect the soil from erosion and begin to rebuild soil organic matter. Attendees will visit a field where both mixtures have been aerially seeded the first week of September to observe the fall growth.

Managing different species of cover crops
Also speaking at this field day is Ann Staudt, Iowa Learning Farms assistant program and lab manager. Staudt has led a study of earthworms as soil health indicators in replicated strips with and without a cereal rye cover crop. Jeremy Gustafson, Boone County cover crop farmer, will share his experiences in managing different species of cover crops through a Practical Farmers of Iowa cover crop trial.

The field day will begin in the field located at 29002 180th St., Woodward. From Granger, take F31 (190th St) west out of town for approximately 4 miles. Turn right (north) on R22 (T Ave.) and go one mile. Turn right (east) on 180th St. The farm will be the first place on the south side of the road. A complimentary meal will be served at 28923 190th St, Woodward, just one mile south of the field location following the program. In case of unfavorable weather the program will take place at meal location.

The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email [email protected]. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms visit the website: extension.iastate.edu/ilf/
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