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Serving: IA

What you need to know about cover crops

Courtesy of ISU Cover crops in cornfield
VIRTUAL WORKSHOP: Online event will cover how cover crops boost soil health, improve weed control and provide grazing opportunities.
A Cover Crop Boot Camp Dec. 3-4 will explore the basics, as well as advanced topics.

Registration is open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s second annual Cover Crop Boot Camp. The event is free and will be held virtually from 9 a.m. to noon Dec. 3-4.

The two-day workshop will explore how cover crops improve soil health, improve weed control and provide grazing opportunities. Row crop and livestock farmers of all cover crop experience levels are invited to attend. Certified crop adviser participants can earn one continuing education unit (CEU) for each session, for a total of six credits in the soil and water category across both days.

Registration is open until Dec. 3. To sign up, visit practicalfarmers.org/ cover-crop-boot-camp. Farmers without access to a computer or reliable internet connection will have the option of calling in to participate. For questions — or technical support with Zoom or the call-in option — contact Lydia English at lydia@practicalfarmers.org or 515-232-5661.

Camp agenda

Attendees will hear from a combination of farmers, university researchers and ag professionals. Day one will focus on the basics of cover crops in each topic area. This will provide a good introduction for those just getting started with cover crops. Sessions this day will explore:

  • how cover crops improve water storage
  • initial adjustments farmers should consider if they wish to use cover crops for suppressing weeds
  • ways in which cover crops link the forage chain for livestock grazing.

Day two will feature more advanced strategies for those row crop and livestock farmers wanting to advance their cover crop journey. Participants will learn:

  • how cover crops affect soil biology, as well as how to measure soil health on their own farm
  • the ways that cover crops improve weed control over the long term
  • innovative ways to graze cover crops, including stock cropping

Group discussions

Each presentation will be followed by a 20-minute small-group discussion, where participants will have a chance to network with one another and share their experience using cover crops.

“These breakout discussions will be a fun way for farmers to interact with and learn from one another,” says Sarah Carlson, PFI’s strategic initiatives director. “They will also help to overcome Zoom meeting burnout by creating deeper connections between farmers.”

Farmers are encouraged to attend both days of the boot camp but may also attend just the day that best suits their experience level.

Source: PFI, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

 

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