November 7, 2013
Due to field conditions and requests from Iowa farmers, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service or NRCS is further extending its deadline for seeding winter hardy cover crops to December 1, 2013.
"The extension applies to winter hardy cover crops, like winter rye, winter triticale and winter wheat, where the primary purpose for the practice is erosion control," says Barb Stewart, NRCS state agronomist in Iowa. "To be eligible for federal financial assistance, the cover crop needs to be no-till drilled into the existing crop residue."
PLANTING COVER CROPS: December 1 is the new deadline for seeding winter hardy cover crops this fall in Iowa. The Iowa office of USDA's NRCS made the announcement on November 6, in response to recent field conditions which have prevented seeding and in response to requests from Iowa farmers wanting the deadline extended.
This extension also applies to state-funded cover crops, such as those funded through the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Along with erosion control benefits, Jim Gillespie, division director for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's Division of Soil Conservation, says winter hardy cover crops will help keep phosphorus that may be attached to the soil out of nearby water bodies.
"We can benefit by keeping the soil protected and also protecting the water," says Gillespie.
If a prevented planting cover crop was planted using cost-share funding, fall tillage is not allowed
Farmers have also asked about using fall tillage to terminate prevented planted cover crops. "If the prevented planting cover crop was planted using state or federal funding, tillage is not allowed this fall," said Stewart. "If financial assistance was not received, NRCS still does not recommend tillage to destroy cover crops this fall because of the increased erosion risk."
For more information about cover crops, erosion control and other conservation issues, contact your local NRCS office.
Iowa Learning Farms to host cover crop field day Nov. 12 near Plainfield in northeast Iowa
In other cover crop news, Iowa Learning Farms, along with Practical Farmers of Iowa, will host a cover crops field day at the Rick Juchems' farm near Plainfield in northeast Iowa, on Tuesday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will focus on cover crops for soil health as part of the state of Iowa's Nutrient Reduction Strategy. The event is free and the public is invited to attend.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
The field day includes discussion with host Rick Juchems and Floyd County farmer Jon Gisleson, who are both using cover crops on their acres. They will share their experiences and discuss how cover crops work as a part of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Iowa State University agronomy professor Rick Cruse will review cover crops and their impact on reducing soil erosion. After a complimentary lunch, ISU Extension field agronomist Terry Basol will be on-hand to answer questions about preventative planting and guide interested folks to a nearby site that has a cover crop mix of oats, tillage radish and hairy vetch.
ISU agronomists and NRCS soil conservation specialists will be there to answer questions
The Rick Juchems farm is located at 33635 110th St, Plainfield, Iowa. From Plainfield, go three miles north on IA-27/US-218 N/Badger Avenue. Take a left on 110th St/C13 and travel 0.7 miles. The farm is the first homestead on the north side of the road. Parking is available on the west side of the house and the field day will be held in the heated shop.
Iowa Learning Farms takes a grassroots approach offering innovative ways to help all Iowans have an active role in keeping our state's natural resources healthy and not take them for granted. A goal of Iowa Learning Farms is to build a Culture of Conservation, encouraging the adoption of residue management and conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best in-field management practices that increase water and soil quality while remaining profitable. For more information, visit Iowa Learning Farms online.
Iowa Learning Farms is a partnership between the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319); in cooperation with Conservation Districts of Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Water Center.
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