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Get to know the 'Cover Crop Guy'Get to know the 'Cover Crop Guy'

Videos show farmers tips for using cover crops and benefits of cover crops.

Tom Bechman 1

March 19, 2015

2 Min Read

OK, so you have a cover crop out there and it actually is showing signs of greening up now that the snow is finally melting off. What do you do next? How long do you let it grow before you burn it down? What do you use to burn it down? And when do you spray?

Related: Soils aren't damaged from cover crop grazing, USDA research finds


Answers to questions like these and a lot more are captured in a series of You Tube videos made and posted by Dan Perkins. He is the watershed and program specialist for the Iroquois watershed. He's employed by the Jasper County Soil and Water Conservation District and based in their office in Rensselaer, but he goes wherever the watershed goes. Sometimes that takes him into Newton County.

"We've tried to put a lot of information from real farmers getting going with cover crops in those videos," he says. "Farmers aren't identified, but they are all guys I am working with who want to make cover crops work."

Related: 10 steps to correct cover crop burndown

His area might not seem like the most natural choice for cover crops. There are sandy soils, but there are also heavy, wet soils. Some farmers are making cover crops work on both types of soil. Perkins goal is to help more people see what cover crops can do not only to limit soil erosion over winter, but also improve soil health over time.

Thinking about a cover crop? Start with developing a plan. Download the FREE Cover Crops: Best Management Practices report today, and get the information you need to tailor a cover crop program to your needs.

To access his videos on a wide variety of cover crop topics, the easiest route is to go directly to his Youtube channel, JCSWCD. You might also find him under a Google search for "Cover Crop Guy."

You can learn more about the watershed project by visiting: iroquoiswatershed.org.

About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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