Iowa farmer enjoys benefits of cover crops

Farmers are turning to cover crops for a variety of reasons.

Southwest Iowa cattle producer Seth Watkins says he originally incorporated cover crops about 15 years ago without knowing there were soil health benefits.

“It started out as just a way to extend my grazing season, and then I started to see the soil tests and how things were improving.”

He tells Brownfield he has enough cows to harvest his cover crop acres, while several neighbors chop the ryelage.

“They just absolutely love it as feed (and) have had really good success with that. And we’ve (also) experimented a little bit, especially here in southern Iowa on some of the thinner soil and some of the tougher ground, is actually using the cover crop as a summer annual in a crop rotation.”

Watkins says grazing it that way seems to work well too.

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