Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will host a cover crop workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 12:30-2:30 PM at the Borlaug Learning Center. The workshop is free, open to the public, and includes a complimentary lunch.
Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to their many benefits, reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter and reduced soil erosion. Fall 2016 was another good season for cover crop establishment and growth, with adequate moisture and warm growing temperatures. Great fall growth can help protect the soil during the heavy rain events, and equipped with a good termination plan and equipment adjustments, farmers can minimize any potential yield impacts.
At the beginning of the workshop, facilitators will invite questions and concerns from the participants. For the remainder of the workshop, Matt Helmers, professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, and Mark Licht, assistant professor of agronomy, will address the topics and questions raised by participating farmers and landowners. They will also be prepared to discuss herbicide recommendations for termination and establishment, planter settings to handle higher amounts of biomass, cover crop seed selection, impacts on crop yields and soil health.
“These workshops will allow participants to discuss topics of importance with peers. In doing so, the educational program can be tailored to the needs of the audience,” said Helmers on beginning the workshops with questions and discussion. “As an extension specialist my time is my clients’ and this allows us to make sure we are addressing questions clients and stakeholders have.”
The workshop will take place at the Borlaug Learning Center, 3327 290th Street, Nashua, IA 50658. A complimentary meal prepared by the Tangle Root Cafe will be served at 12:30 p.m. and the program will begin at 1 p.m. 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