What better way to celebrate the arrival of spring than to attend a field day where you can see a whole host of cover crops, growing on one farm in plots. Hopefully, if the weather cooperates, some of the cover corps should be showing good cover and plenty of growth by that time.
The Cover Crop Field Day hosted by the Decatur County Soil and Water Conservation District is in response to many questions about cover crops form farmers, notes Bob Dawson, former coordinator of the Sand Creek Watershed project in Decatur County. Through his efforts and that program, farmers obtained cost-share money to try no-till. Many farmers who made the switch and tried it are still doing it today, Dawson says.
The field day will actually be held at plots on Wenning Farms, Inc. on Thursday, March 20, beginning with a meal provided by sponsors at noon, EST. The plots are located northeast on Greensburg and northwest of New Point on county road 600E just south of county road 300 North in Decatur County.
Two outstanding speakers are scheduled to evaluate the plots and discuss the potential fo cover crops in conservation farming systems. Eileen Kadivko, affectionately known throughout the Midwest as the 'worm lady' will speak. She has studied the activity and benefits of earthworms and other worm species in cover crop and no-till/reduced tillage situations for more than two decades. This Purdue University Extension specialist has worked for many years to get a better understanding of what it takes to turn earthworms and other worm species into important tillage tools in various kinds of soil across the state of Indiana.
The second speaker is also a well-known conservation spokesman. Barry Fisher, with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, also heads up the Indiana Conservation Tillage Initiative. He has talked to thousands of Hoosiers over the past three to five years, encouraging many of them to think about cover crops as a part of their no-tills system.
Plots will include annual ryegrass and other forages being tried as cover crops in Indiana. Weather permitting, there will be an opportunity to walk the plots and make your own comparisons.
Reservations are requested by the Decatur County Soil and Water Conservation District by Monday, March 17. Call 812-663-8685, Ext 3 to make your reservations for this important field day.