Cover crops continue to grow in popularity in Iowa due to the many benefits they provide. Such benefits include reduced nitrogen and phosphorus loads entering water bodies, increased soil organic matter, and reduced soil erosion. Fall 2015 was a good season for cover crop establishment and growth, with adequate moisture and growing temperatures. Great fall growth helped protect the soil during the heavy rain events, but could present challenges this spring if farmers are not prepared with a termination plan and equipment adjustments.
To help producers prepare for spring management Mark Hanna, ISU Extension and Outreach engineer, will discuss equipment settings for planting into cover crops. Sarah Carlson, Practical Farmers of Iowa Midwest cover crops research coordinator, will share cover crop variety trial results and lead a discussion among attendees to answer questions from new and experienced cover crop users. Tom Kaspar, plant physiologist at the USDA-ARS National Soil Tilth Laboratory, will highlight cover crop effects on soil health and spring termination considerations.
The workshop will take place at The Celebration Farm, Timber Frame Barn, 4696 Robin Woods Ln NE, Iowa City, IA 52240 and the complimentary meal will be prepared by Kalona Kountry Katering. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.