Johnson County Soil and Water Conservation District

Cover Crop Field Day

  • March 25, 2015
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
  • Steve and Denise Berger Farm 1267 Elm Ave., rural Wellman

Iowa Learning Farms, along with the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group and Washington County Farm Bureau, will host a field day Wednesday, March 25, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Steve and Dennis Berger farm, rural Wellman.
Speaking at the field day is host farmer Steve Berger, who will talk about his experiences using cereal rye cover crop with his no-till system. Also speaking are Iowa State University Extension and Outreach agricultural engineers Mark Hanna and Greg Brenneman. Hanna will review equipment needs for using cover crops with no-till. Brenneman will discuss manure management for this system. Following the speakers, attendees can view the equipment on display, enjoy a complimentary meal, and go to the fields to see the cover crops, weather permitting.
Equipment to be on display includes:
·      John Deere 1770NT planter with Precision Planting's CleanSweep row cleaner, DeltaForce hydraulic down pressure, and vDrive planter meter that the Bergers use to plant corn into living and terminated cover crops and to establish a good stand.
·      CrustBuster All Plant drill with 10-inch spacings set up for no-till planting soybeans and cereal rye.
·      Houle manure spreader equipped with VTI vertical tillage injectors.
The field day will be at the machine shed on the Bergers’ farm: 1267 Elm Ave., rural Wellman. From Wellman, take Highway 22 west for one mile, turn north onto 128th Place. Follow for a quarter-mile and turn north onto Elm Ave. The machine shed will be immediately on the right side of the road.
The field day is free and open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. Contact Iowa Learning Farms to reserve a place for the meal: phone 515-294-8912, or email:
As part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy, cover crops added to a corn-soybean rotation reduces soil erosion, reduces nitrogen and phosphorus loads, and increases soil organic matter. Research has shown that cover crops can reduce nitrogen and phosphorus losses by approximately 30 percent. These crops, used in combination with other best management practices, will reduce point and nonpoint source pollution significantly in Iowa waters and downstream.
The Iowa Cover Crop Working Group promotes the use of living cover on Iowa agricultural lands. The group provides a unified voice from academy, non-profit, and industry sectors on the benefits of cover crops and encourages their use in cropping systems across the state.
For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website:

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