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cow and calf laying in field
GRAZING PAYS: An ISU field day April 24 near Chariton in southern Iowa will explain how to make a cover crop into a cash crop by grazing it.

Learn more about grazing cover crops

Southern Iowa field day to feature latest information on how to successfully graze covers.

Integrating cover crops into a row crop system can be a challenge, especially when using the cover crop as a forage resource. Beef producers interested in learning how Iowa State University research is helping producers capitalize on the forage that cover crops can provide should plan to attend a southern Iowa field day April 24 near Chariton.

Erika Lundy, ISU Extension beef program specialist with the Iowa Beef Center, will be one of the speakers. The field day will be at the ISU McNay Research and Demonstration Farm from 1 to 3:30 p.m., preceded by registration and a light meal starting at 12:30 p.m. The farm is at 45249 170th Ave. in Chariton.

“The program begins in the classroom with ISU Extension beef specialists Joe Sellers and Chris Clark discussing various cover crop species and their nutritional value to cattle,” Lundy says. “They’ll also talk about some toxicity concerns producers should be aware of when grazing cover crops, and then, weather permitting, the group will move out into the field to see cattle grazing cereal rye.”

The event will highlight an ongoing research project evaluating cattle performance while grazing cover crops, as well as subsequent impacts of grazing on the soil.

ISU Extension agronomy field specialist Rebecca Vittetoe and Lundy will describe the project and lead the discussion on the preliminary results of the study.

“We’ll explain how management of row crop acres might be different when we plan to graze cover crops, as opposed to just seeding cover crops for conservation purposes,” Vittetoe says. “We’ll also discuss cover crop seeding and termination methods.”

New grazing research at McNay farm
ISU is conducting new grazing and cover crop studies at this southern Iowa research farm. The field day is free and open to the public, thanks to the sponsorship of ISU Extension, The Iowa Beef Center and the Iowa Nutrient Research Center at ISU. The event flier offers more information. 

People who are planning to attend this field day are asked to RSVP no later than April 23 to ensure an accurate meal count. To RSVP, contact the Lucas County Extension office by phone at 712-423-2171 or email Joe Sellers at

Source: Iowa State University

TAGS: Extension
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