The Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University will host six tours at various locations across Iowa focusing on fall grazing of cover crops. The tours begin in late November and conclude in early December. These tours are part of a fall grazing cover crops risk management project funded through USDA and will be led by IBC beef specialists.
Tour stops will include ISU research projects and producers who have successfully grazed cover crops in the fall. They will share their tips for overcoming the challenges of adequate fall growth for grazing.
Bus transportation will be provided for all tours except the Newell tour, where producers will caravan. A registration fee of $5 will be charged to cover meal expenses and can be paid at the tour.
Participants should contact tour coordinators to preregister at least three days before the tour to aid in meal planning and ensure adequate bus seating. The weather may be cold, and participants will be out in the fields, so dress accordingly.
Tour dates, locations
• Nov. 26, 12:30 to 6 p.m., leaving from the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines. Preregister on Iowa Forage and Grasslands Council website. For more information, contact Patrick Wall, email@example.com or 515-450-7665. Download the flier.
• Nov. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving from Lucas County Extension office in Chariton. Preregister by calling Lucas County Extension at 641-774-2016. For more information, contact Christopher Clark, firstname.lastname@example.org or 712-250-0070. Download the flier.
• Nov. 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving from the Wyoming fairgrounds in Wyoming. Preregister by calling Benton County Extension at 319-472-4739. For more information, contact Denise Schwab, email@example.com or 319-721-9624. Download the flier.
• Nov. 30, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving from ISU Western Research and Demonstration Farm, 36515 Highway E34, at Castana. Preregister with Keith Baker at ISU Extension Monona County at 712-423-2175 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Beth Doran, email@example.com or 712-737-4230. Download the flier.
• Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving from Seth and Lynn Smith farm, Nemaha. Everyone driving on their own. Preregister with Lora Wright at ISU Extension Sac County at 712-662-7131 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Beth Doran, email@example.com or 712-737-4230. Download the flier.
• Dec. 5, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., leaving from the National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville. Preregister by calling Benton County Extension at 319-472-4739. For more information, contact Denise Schwab, firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-721-9624. Download the flier.
Seeding, grazing cover crops
“Establishing cover crops following grain production is proven to protect soil, reduce erosion, improve water quality and enhance soil health, while also providing opportunities to extend the grazing season,” says Schwab. “Fall grazing cover crops has the potential to reduce feed costs but has more challenges due to weather risk.
“One month of extended grazing can reduce the cost of production of the cow herd by more than 5%. The window for fall growth and grazing can be more limited than in the spring due to timing of grain harvest, seeding method, species selection, available nutrients and weather.”
Source: Iowa Beef Center at Iowa State University