Cover Crop Field Day at Jacob Groth’s Farm in Winneshiek County

Cover crop and no-till field day to be held in Decorah on November 21st

Ames, Iowa—Iowa Learning Farms, along with Upper Iowa Watershed Management Authority, Winneshiek County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), will host a cover crop field day on Tuesday, November 21st from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the Winneshiek County NRCS Office in Decorah. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complementary meal.

Winneshiek County farmer Jake Groth assists in the management of his family’s farm near Decorah. They began the transition to no-till in 2010 when a combination of factors helped influence the decision. The field day will offer an opportunity to learn how labor availability and reducing soil erosion have played into the Groth’s decision to adopt no-till. In 2012, Jake began working with a variety of cover crops including cereal rye, hairy vetch, radishes, turnips and more to help with the conversion to no-till, improve soil health and provide a wildlife food source. For the last three years he has seeded all of their acres with a cover crop. Jake will share his experiences with the different species and seeding techniques, as well as discussing how he has overcome challenges.

The agenda will continue with Rick Cruse, ISU professor of agronomy, will discuss the importance of soil conservation as well as highlight practices that can help keep the soil in place and encourage soil health. Neil Sass, NRCS area agronomist, will share soil sample results from Groth’s farm and discuss ways to improve soil health and infiltration using table top demonstrations. Matt Frana, Upper Iowa Watershed Project coordinator, will provide an overview of the project and share ways to get involved. Weather permitting, a field tour of nearby cover crop fields will conclude the program.

The field day will be held in the basement of the Winneshiek County NRCS Office 2296 Oil Well Road, Decorah. The workshop is free and open to the public, but reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Please RSVP to Matt Frana at 563-382-8777 ext. 3 or email matt.frana@ia.nacdnet.net to RSVP. If you need accommodations, please notify the Winneshiek SWCD by November 17th.

For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website: http://www.iowalearningfarms.org.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service, Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), and Conserva­tion Districts of Iowa.