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Take advantage of cover crops trainingTake advantage of cover crops training

Hoosier Perspectives: If you are serious about cover crops, here is an opportunity to learn more.

Tom J. Bechman

October 30, 2023

2 Min Read
Cover crops growing in a field
COVER CROPS AT WORK: Want your cover crops to look like this in the fall? This field was sown after wheat. Take advantage of chances to seek out cover crops training. Tom J. Bechman

Productive stands of cover crops in the fall or spring don’t just happen. And they’re not the result of happy accidents — at least, not on a consistent basis. Instead, they result from careful planning and sometimes a few lessons in the school of hard knocks. Today, you can perhaps shorten the time spent in that school of hard knocks by taking advantage of training opportunities and learning from the experiences of others who have used cover crops longer than you have.

One such opportunity happens Nov. 14 at the Purdue University Agronomy Center for Research and Education, better known as ACRE or the Purdue Agronomy Farm, near West Lafayette, Ind. A one-day program, Cover Crops Fall Field Training, commences at 9 a.m. and concludes at 3 p.m., local time.

It’s sponsored by Purdue Extension, the Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) and the Midwest Cover Crops Council.

Sheila Schroeder, CCSI Northwest Program manager, says the program will focus on educating ag retailers, certified crop advisers, Natural Resources Conservation Service staff, soil and water conservation district staff, and Extension personnel.

“The goal is to educate them so they can better advise the farmers which they work with,” Schroeder says. “However, we would love to have farmers attend as well. This is hands-on training that should be useful to anyone.”

Space is the limiting factor, so register soon, she advises. Register online by Nov. 1. For more information, email [email protected], or call 219-863-0197.

If you can’t make this meeting but are interested in attending other cover crop and reduced-tillage events, consider asking to be placed on the CCSI Soil Health Newsletter list. Typically appearing monthly, the newsletter provides a calendar of all conservation-related events happening in Indiana and surrounding areas. This includes both live and virtual field days and training sessions.

Details about the events plus contact information are usually provided. To learn more about the newsletter, email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Tom J. Bechman

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer, Farm Progress

Tom J. Bechman is editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer. He joined Farm Progress in 1981 as a field editor, first writing stories to help farmers adjust to a difficult harvest after a tough weather year. His goal today is the same — writing stories that help farmers adjust to a changing environment in a profitable manner.

Bechman knows about Indiana agriculture because he grew up on a small dairy farm and worked with young farmers as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor before joining Farm Progress. He works closely with Purdue University specialists, Indiana Farm Bureau and commodity groups to cover cutting-edge issues affecting farmers. He specializes in writing crop stories with a focus on obtaining the highest and most economical yields possible.

Tom and his wife, Carla, have four children: Allison, Ashley, Daniel and Kayla, plus eight grandchildren. They raise produce for the food pantry and house 4-H animals for the grandkids on their small acreage near Franklin, Ind.

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