The Iowa Learning Farms' August 15 webinar will feature a conversation with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey at the Iowa State Fair. Northey will discuss a variety of issues including the state of agriculture today and what the future holds for Iowa farmers. The webinar, which begins at 11:30 a.m., is part of a series, hosted by ILF, held on the third Wednesday of each month through Adobe Connect. All that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access.
Secretary Northey will converse with ILF program managers Jacqueline Comito and Matt Helmers on the fairgrounds. The interview will cover a variety of issues including the state of agriculture today and what the future holds for Iowa farmers. Northey will be able to answer questions from webinar participants via the Adobe Connect chat box as well. Northey is a fourth generation farmer from Spirit Lake who grows corn and soybeans. He returned to Spirit Lake to farm with his grandfather after graduating from Iowa State University in 1981. He is serving his second term as Iowa Secretary of Agriculture after being re-elected in November 2010.
Tune-in to webinar on your home computer, you don't have to be at State Fair
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership of 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.
Cover Crop Management Field Day is scheduled for Aug. 21 in northern Iowa
In other Iowa Learning Farms news, ILF, Practical Farmers of Iowa and Mitchell County NRCS/SWCD will co-host a field day at the John Schwarck farm near Riceville, Iowa, on Tuesday, Aug. 21, beginning at 10:30 a.m. The field day will highlight management options to successfully add cover crops to a row crop rotation.
The field day will feature Schwarck, a Mitchell County farmer planning to seed winter-hardy cereal rye as a late summer-seeded cover crop for the first time in 2012. Also USDA-ARS cover crop research agronomist Tom Kaspar will share insights from nearly 20 years of evaluating cereal grain and legume cover crops in Iowa. A pilot from Klinkenborg Aerial Spraying of Parkersburg will answer questions about logistics and costs of aerial-seeding cover crops into standing corn or soybean crops. Local farmers with experience managing cover crops are also invited to share their insights.
Farmers and landowners are learning more about the benefits of cover crops
Farmers and landowners are learning more about the short- and long-term benefits of adding cover crops on their farm. Cover crops have potential to reduce soil erosion, increase soil organic matter levels, improve soil structure, protect water quality by capturing and holding fertilizer nutrients, and restrict growth of winter annual weeds in no-till crop management systems.
The field day includes a complimentary lunch provided by the Mitchell County Cattlemen. The event is free and the public is invited to attend. The field day will be held at the Schwarck farmstead, 3317 390th Street, Riceville. From Highway 9 in Riceville travel south 2.5 miles on county road T-68, then west on 390th Street (gravel road) about one mile.
Iowa Learning Farms takes a grassroots approach, offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping the state's natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. A goal of Iowa Learning Farms is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable.