Should you be planting cover crops earlier in the season, when the corn is knee high, for example? Most cover crops are planted in late summer or early fall. But there are some significant advantages you can gain by seeding earlier, says Sarah Carlson, Midwest cover crops specialist with Practical Farmers of Iowa. She has been researching this earlier seeding practice with some farmers, and will be discussing it when she hosts this month's Iowa Learning Farms webinar on June 17.
Also as part of her webinar presentation on June 17 she will review the long-term study results ILF and PFI have been conducting since 2009 on cover crop management. The regular monthly Iowa Learning Farms webinar for June is Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 1 p.m. Carlson has been collecting data on planting cover crops earlier in the growing season when corn is knee high.
She will also discuss long-term cover crop research with rye
Carlson will discuss some of the research she has been involved with at Practical Farmers of Iowa where she is Midwest cover crop research coordinator. She will present information on seeding cover crops earlier in the summer. She will also talk about the findings from the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group's long-term on-farm rye cover crop research. The study is a side-by-side trial on 10 farms across the state, using rye cover crops in the same fields since 2009. Soil carbon, infiltration, nitrogen and pH as well as yield data were collected.
As Midwest cover crop research coordinator at PFI, Carlson helps transfer agronomic research about cover crops through articles, blogs and presentation materials while working to improve the support for cover crop research. She is also an agronomist on the PFI staff, transferring ideas for solutions to integrated crop and livestock concerns from farmers' stories, results from on-farm research and demonstration projects, and her own knowledge. Carlson earned a bachelor's degree in biology and geography from Augustana College in Rock Island, Ill. Following graduation she joined the Peace Corps and lived in Ecuador for over two years serving as an ag business and ag Extension volunteer. In 2008, she earned a master's degree in sustainable agriculture and crop production/physiology from Iowa State University.
ILF webinars are held monthly and you can tune-in for free
The ILF webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. They are free and all that is needed to participate is a computer with Internet access. To log in, go to connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 1 p.m. on the afternoon of the webinar and log in through the guest option. Webinar participants will be able to converse with the presenters by typing their questions through the chat function. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for viewing at any time at extension.iastate.edu/ilf/Webinars/.
Since January 2011, ILF has hosted a webinar every month. There are over 45 webinars to view on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, cover crops, buffers, bioreactors, and farmer perspectives. The webinar archives are also available in podcast through iTunes.Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, 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 are the Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For information about Iowa Learning Farms visit extension.iastate.edu/ilf.