Cover Crops Workshop in Monticello

It’s a good time to start looking seriously at cover crops, and a workshop in Monticello is planned for folks looking to do just that.

On Thursday, February 8th, there will be guest speakers and a local farmer panel exploring the economics and management of cover crops at the Citizens State Bank Youth Development Center located on the Jones County Fairgrounds.  A free lunch, sponsored by the Iowa Soybean Association and Farm Credit Services of America, will be locally catered.

Registration will start at 8:30 with morning refreshments provided by Citizens State Bank. The workshop will start at 9:00 and is planned to end around 3:30 in the afternoon. Three guest speakers will be covering a variety of management and economics topics on cover crops along with sharing their own experiences.  Ken Rulon, representing his family farming operation in Indiana, will share his ideas on how to maximize profits when implementing cover crops.  Over lunch, a “soil stability demo” will be performed to show the effects of living organisms in healthy soils.  Following lunch, Theo Gunther from the Iowa Soybean Association will explore the effects of cover crops on water quality, and Meaghan Anderson from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will discuss cover crop and herbicide interactions.  Later in the afternoon there will be a panel of local producers sharing their experiences with cover crops, including interseeding, no-till and strip-till practices, grazing methods, biology of soil, organic farming methods, range of mixes, and the use of different technology devices.  The panel will be available for any questions from the audience for further discussion.

In addition, representatives from the Soil Health Partnership, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Division of Soil Conservation and Water Quality, will be in attendance and available to answer questions.  Soil commissioners from the Delaware, Dubuque, Jackson, Jones and Linn Soil & Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) will be in attendance as well.

If you plan to attend, please RSVP by phone 319-462-3196 Ext. 3 or by email to joseph.wagner@ia.usda.gov by January 31.  Or feel free to stop by your local SWCD office or contact them for more information.