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cover crops
TUNE IN: The Conservation Learning Group is using social media to help spread the word about cover crop and no-till benefits.

Follow #notillb4beans and #coveryourbeans

An Iowa Learning Farms webinar Dec. 12 will show you how to save money with no-till and cover crops.

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar at noon on Dec. 12 about the #notillb4beans and #coveryourbeans campaigns launched by the Conservation Learning Group at Iowa State University. The webinar will highlight the potential for time and money savings with no-tillage and cover crops ahead of soybeans in the crop rotation.

Mark Licht, assistant professor of agronomy and Extension cropping systems specialist at ISU, helped create the yearlong social media campaign to spread the word about cover crop and no-till benefits for soybean growers. The goal of the campaign is to help deliver the conservation message to farmers and landowners about the benefits, concerns and results of using cover crops and no-till for soybean production.

Improve return on investment
Licht’s ISU Extension, research and teaching program is focused on how to holistically manage Iowa cropping systems to achieve productivity, profitability and environmental goals. No-tillage and cover crop adoption are two practices that provide large environmental benefits for reducing phosphorus and nitrogen losses. The #notillb4beans and #coveryourbeans campaigns focus on how the use of these practices ahead of soybeans is an easy entry point with no adverse effects on crop productivity.

SPREAD THE WORD: The hashtags #notillb4beans and #coveryourbeans allow farmers to share their concerns and results with no-till and cover crops.

“If Iowa’s nearly 10 million acres of soybeans were no-till planted into a cover crop, we would nearly reach the 10.5 million no-tillage and 12.5 million cover crop acres called for in the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy,” Licht says. “Cover crops ahead of soybeans can lead to an average 8-bushel-per-acre yield advantage, and no-till planting lowers input costs and saves time.”

ILF webinars are recorded and archived
To watch the webinar, go to and click the link to join the webinar shortly before noon on Dec. 12 to download the Zoom software and log-in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at the website above.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a culture of conservation by encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms include the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (U.S. EPA Section 319).

Source: Iowa State University

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