Iowa Learning Farms to host cover crop field day Nov. 4 in Van Meter

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An Iowa Learning Farms cover crop field day is scheduled for Tuesday, March 26 in Jefferson.

AMES—Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) will partner with the Badger Creek Lake Watershed Project, the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group and farmer Jeff Koch to host a cover crop field day Wednesday, Nov. 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the American Legion Post 403 Veterans Reception Center, 910 Main St. in Van Meter.

The field day will be hosted by Koch, a Dallas County and Madison County farmer who has been using cover crops since 2012. He is currently participating in a cover crop study with the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group that is looking at the effects of various cover crop mixes on soil health, water quality and crop yields.

This year Koch’s plots were aerially seeded Sept. 11 with a rye, rapeseed and radish mix. Koch will lead a tour of his cover crop fields and address questions about using cover crops in his farming operation.

Joining Koch to provide an update on conservation efforts in the Badger Creek Lake Watershed is Project Coordinator Anna MacDonald. In addition, Mark Licht, cropping systems agronomist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Sarah Carlson, Midwest cover crops research coordinator with Practical Farmers of Iowa, will discuss managing cover crops and address questions on cover crop species selection and termination methods.

The ILF field day event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal. Reservations are suggested in order to ensure adequate space and food. To make reservations, contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or ilf@iastate.edu.

ILF was established in 2004 and aims to build a culture of conservation in Iowa by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices to improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable.

ILF partners include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, the Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), the Soil and Water Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau, the Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa.

For more information, visit the Iowa Learning Farms website.

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