An online Cover Crop Boot Camp will be held in July, provided by Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa. Billed as an event where ag retailers can learn to build a business case for cover crops, the free program consists of three online sessions at noon July 8, 15 and 22.
The series is designed to efficiently provide agronomic information that can help independent and retail agronomists and crop consultants build their business through recommending and implementing cover crops.
Keep up with cover crops
“The needs of agronomists and advisers for information, practices and business tactics related to cover crops has not been diminished by pandemic-related restrictions,” says Sarah Carlson, strategic initiatives director for PFI.
“These webinars will provide ag professionals, who are working with farmers every day, with an opportunity to tune up their muscle-memory about cover crops, learn from industry experts and examine new ways to build their business. And they can join these lunchtime webinars from the convenience of their truck, office or living room.”
The series incorporates speakers from manufacturing, research, services, production and consulting, offering a broad spectrum of perspectives and information.
“In planning the agenda, our core team was focused on providing participants with a well-rounded picture of the economics and mechanics of cover crop implementation,” says Elizabeth Ripley, conservation and cover crop outreach specialist for Iowa Learning Farms. “Research has clearly shown multiple production, conservation and environmental benefits from cover crops. However, it is equally important to prove the business case for both agronomists and farmers. Participants in these webinars should plan to come away with information and tactics that will help them grow or build their conservation-focused line of business.”
Following are topics and details on the sessions:
July 8, The Business of Cover Crops. Speakers will be Matt Carstens, president and CEO of Landus, and Lee Briese, independent crop consultant with Centrol of Twin Valley. Topics include cover crop benefits to consulting businesses, how to work with co-ops, client interactions, and planning and business case for conservation agriculture.
July 15, Setup and Logistics for Cover Crop Success. Speakers will be Bert Strayer, cover crop lead for La Crosse Seed; James Holz, Greene County farmer and co-owner, Iowa Cover Crop; Dean Sponheim co-owner, Sponheim Seeds & Services; and Nate LeVan, field agronomist, Pioneer. Topics include fall and spring logistics, seeding preparation and process, and coordination of services for termination, nutrient management, strip-tillage and crop scouting.
July 22, Conservation Agronomy of Cover Crops — Start to Finish. Speakers will be Dave Schwartz, executive vice president of sales, plant nutrition for Verdesian Life Sciences; Meaghan Anderson, Iowa State University Extension field agronomist; and Eileen Kladivko, professor of agronomy at Purdue University. Topics will cover managing pests, residuals and herbicides; nitrogen management; and agronomics of cover crop advising.
To register for the webinars, visit iastate.zoom.us/j/364284172.
All sessions will be recorded and archived for later viewing. Only attendees of live events will qualify to receive CCA continuing education credits for participating. This Cover Crop Boot Camp is based on work supported by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. Additional partners include the Iowa Ag Water Alliance and Iowa Soybean Association. For information, contact Ripley at 515-294-5429 firstname.lastname@example.org.