Cover Crops—practical strategies for your farm.
That’s the theme of a meeting coming up December 13th and 14th at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa.
It’s sponsored by the Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS). President Dan Towery says there is growing interest in cover crops in Iowa—but he says there is a learning curve.
“It takes a certain skill set to get the full benefit out of the cover crops—what cover crop to plant, how to plant it, how to terminate it—it’s all part of the system,” Towery says. “So there’s definitely a learning curve and that’s why we’re bringing together growers, seed consultants, crop consultants, university folks—to try to share their experiences to make sure they get the most out of them.”
Farmers have been using cover crops for decades, but Towery says these are not your grandfather’s cover crops.
“Grandfather may have used them for green manure and plowed it down—and certainly that can be part of the system,” he says. “But a lot of the growers are no-tilling into it and we’ve selected different varieties that are better acclimated towards our Midwest climate.”
Towery says cereal rye is one of the mainstay cover crops in Iowa, but daikon radishes are growing in popularity.
A second cover crops meeting will be held January 29th and 30th in Decatur, Illinois. For more information on those meetings, click here.