Cover crops protect environment, water quality

Cover crops were a big part of discussion at the recent Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network Conference. Steve Berger of Washington County has been planting cover crops since 1979.

“We found it’s really benefiting the farm,” Berger says. “We’ve stopped erosion.  It works real well with manure.  We have a lot of swine manure and we have some turkey manure—it recycles those nutrients and it keeps the soil where we want it.

“It’s just a great fit—it’s worked well for us.”

Farmers participating in the Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network planted nearly 30 cover crop trials around the state last fall.  Operations Manager for Agronomic Research Tristan Mueller says that research ties in well with the goals of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy.

“We see this as an opportunity to try to figure out what does work with cover crops and what doesn’t—what farmers need to do to make it a successful practice,” Mueller says.

Iowa Soybean’s On Farm Network is more than just a conference to share insight and ideas, get conference coverage and learn more about nutrient reduction strategies on your farm at  Funded by the Soybean Checkoff. 

AUDIO: On-Farm Network-cover crops (1:00 MP3)

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