By Jason Tetrick
Practical Farmers of Iowa has played a critical role in the growth of cover crop acres across the state. On-farm research conducted on PFI members’ farms and research from across the Midwest has shown these plants can help protect soil and water quality, reduce chemical input costs, improve farm resiliency, boost yields, increase forage availability, and improve wildlife habitat.
PFI is now offering a free email newsletter, “The Practical Cover Cropper,” to assist beginners and experts alike in cover crop management. Whether you’re considering adding cover crops to your farm and are curious about how to get started, or currently plant cover crops on your farm and are looking to take them to the next level, you can learn from experienced farmers and PFI’s vast archive of resources on how to make cover crops pay.
What to expect
The newsletter is delivered one to two times per month, depending on what content is timely or relevant. It contains information and updates on cover crop management, questions, research, events and more. You’ll receive content straight from farmers’ observations and on-farm research trials, plus peer-reviewed scientific articles to help you best answer your most pressing cover crop questions. Content is delivered in the form of blogs, video, podcasts, research reports and more.
Every issue of “The Practical Cover Cropper” begins by highlighting a featured farmer. The featured farmer is someone who has years of cover crop experience, and has recently hosted an event, conducted on-farm research or has relevant insight to share with the audience on their management strategies. We’ll share local upcoming PFI events like field days and conferences, as well as noteworthy events outside of PFI and updates about cover crop happenings in Iowa and beyond.
Focus on current topics
The newsletter will also provide updates for individuals in PFI’s cover crop cost share program, with the latest information on the program. To provide newsletter recipients the chance to voice opinions and share production practices, a poll is included in each issue.
Five issues have been released since late February, each centering around a different topic. Thus far, topics have ranged anywhere from grazing cover crops; using cover crops for weed management; and termination management ahead of corn and soybeans.
If you’re interested in receiving these emails, visit Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Tetrick is digital media coordinator for PFI.