Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: IA

Spring field days to discuss cover crops, forage alternatives

Tyler Harris Cattle grazing on cover crops
DEEPER DIVE: A recent Iowa Beef Center evaluation showed that while 80% of respondents already use winter annual cover crops, there's an overall interest in additional research on adding forage alternatives to existing cattle operations.
Three field days in east-central and south-central Iowa will mark start of two-year project on cool- and warm-season annual forages.

Results of a recent Iowa Beef Center evaluation of Extension grazing programs showed that while 80% of respondents already incorporate cover crops (winter annuals) into their farming enterprise, there's an overall interest in additional research on adding forage alternatives to existing cattle production systems. Those findings led to a two-year project on using cool- and warm-season annual forages in a grazing or stored-feed system in cattle operations.

Denise Schwab, Iowa State University Extension beef specialist, is involved with the study led by Extension staff, and said the project begins with three field days over the next few weeks.

"Two field days are in east-central Iowa and the third in south-central Iowa," Schwab says. "All three begin at 7:30 a.m. and will conclude by 9 so producers can get back to their planting tasks."

The events are open to everyone, and offer coffee and doughnuts or breakfast depending on the location. You're asked to RSVP with the location you plan to attend to ensure adequate materials and refreshments. Call IBC at 515-294-2333 or email [email protected] with your name and number of participants, or if you have questions about the events.

The field day events, locations and details follow in chronological order. Plan to meet at each location at 7:30 a.m. The field day dates and locations follow:

April 28. Jack Smith farm, 26129 Tivoli Lane, Epworth. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.

The Smiths have seeded winter cereal rye on most of their crop acres for use as both winter and early-spring grazing. They have both drilled and broadcast-seeded the rye following corn harvest, and have created a combine attachment that spreads the seed just ahead of the corn head. Cow-calf pairs and developing heifers will graze these fields until soybeans are planted, provided the weather cooperates.

Hear from the Smiths and ISU Extension staff about current research, view the combine attachment, and observe cows grazing rye.

May 3. Don and Bill Swanson farm, 6077 100th St., Ottumwa. Coffee and breakfast will be served.

The Swansons have integrated a winter cereal rye cover crop on many of their row crop acres. They seed the rye cover crops with a drill following harvest, and will graze the rye in the fall and spring with their cow-calf herd.

Hear from the Swansons and ISU Extension staff about research utilizing cover crops as a forage source, and observe the cows grazing rye.

May 4. Amana Farms. The field is located about a mile north of Main Amana on Highway 151, or straight east of the Amana RV Park and Event Center. Coffee and doughnuts will be served.

Amana Farms has a spring-seeded, cool-season annual yield plot, which includes 10 varieties of oats, barley, triticale and peas. The plots were planted on April 2 and will be chopped for silage in May.

Hear about the objectives of the forage research, additional forage research, and tips for incorporating annual forages into the cattle feeding system.

Source: Iowa Beef Center, which is responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and its subsidiaries aren't responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


TAGS: Beef
Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.