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Conservation field day is bonanza for cover crop farmers

Conservation field day is bonanza for cover crop farmers
Field day on steroids or mini farm show? You decide!

Is there ever a time you can afford to shut down the combine to attend a field day? Howard Doster, the retired Purdue University Extension ag economist, would surely say no. He may be right, but if you’re combining yet on Nov. 3, this field day is still worth considering.

Farming for the Future: What’s Next? is a virtual bonanza of all types of demonstrations, plots and discussions on conservation farming, and particularly on using cover crops.

SEE AND BELIEVE: If you need convincing that cover crops like this one definitely improve soil health, the Farming for the Future field day is a can’t-miss event.

“You can come for 20 minutes and learn something, or stay all day,” says Dan Perkins, one of the planners for the event. Perkins is a soil conservation specialist and local watershed coordinator working with the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District.

This field day runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. central time on Nov. 3, but is structured so you can come and go if necessary. You can see 18 strips of cover crops planted in late summer and hear farmer roundtable discussions. What you won’t hear, Perkins promises, are sales pitches for commercial products.

Organized tours will run every 20 minutes during the event. There will be a soils pit and information on strip-till farming. Topics will range from terminating cover crops and roller-crimping to interseeding cover crops, selecting species and variable-rate seeding of cover crop mixtures.

The field day will be held on a farm at 5400 East, 1000 South Road, near Brook. Lunch will be provided. This event is being organized by three soil and water conservation districts: Jasper, Newton and Benton. Reservations are requested. Call 219-866-8008, Ext. 3, or email jaspercountysoilandwater@gmail.com.

The rain date for the event is the next day, Nov. 4. If in doubt about the weather, call the Jasper County SWCD at 219-866-8008. Many of the talks will be held under tents. 

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