Pasture Walk and Cover Crops Field Day Set Near Cascade

Pasture Walk and Cover Crops Field Day

“Every acre on the farm was grazed at some time last year,” said Nathan Manternach of Cascade.  Manternach installed a managed grazing system including a central watering site, subdivision fences, and rotational grazing in 2014, and now is intensifying that system to include annual forages, interseeded legumes, and strip grazing.

Manternach will share his experiences at a pasture walk on Monday, July 10, from 10 am to noon. In addition, Joe Wagner, Jones County NRCS District Conservationist, and Michelle German, will speak on cost share opportunities to improve pastures and soil health, and Denise Schwab, ISUEO beef specialist, will discuss pasture improvement.  Some of the grazing practices to be highlighted include buried water lines to a central watering site, frost seeding red clover, strip grazing existing paddocks to increase grazing density, incorporating annuals and corn stover to extend the grazing season, and utilizing cover crops for feed during spring calving.

The pasture is located at 23476 Hwy 136, which is two miles south of Cascade. 

Lunch and a field day about the economics of cover crops will follow at the Dave McLees farm.  The afternoon event will be hosted by the Jones Soil and Water Conservation District along with the Natural Resource Conservation Service.  Cover crop establishment costs, immediate return on investment, and the value of long-term benefits such as soil organic matter will be discussed.  This is a great opportunity to hear from local producers about incorporating cover crops into your operation in order to maximize your bottom line today while improving soil health for better yields tomorrow.  If you plan to attend, RSVP is appreciated by phone 319-462-3196 Ext. 3 or email by July 5 to ensure adequate food. 

Other pasture walks will be July 20 at the Scott Whitney Farm at 5704 Caves Rd, Maquoketa, and July 27, at the Neal Siela farm at 2211 57th St. Trail, Vinton. Whitney has developed a rotational grazing system included buried water lines, ponds, brush management, seeding and subdivision, but will also focus on landlord relationships.  Siela is developing a managed grazing system including a well with buried water lines, subdivision fences, and weed control. He also interseeded a winter annual to increase grazing days in the spring, and will probably interseeded improved forages in the future.

Pasture walks are informal educational programs designed to demonstrate key areas of pasture management, as well as answer any questions you might have.  Each has a slightly different focus and all producers who are dependent on forage production are invited to attend to improve their own pasture management.

This event is co-sponsored by the Jones County Soil & Water Conservation District, NRCS, ISU Extension and Outreach and the Iowa Beef Center.  For more information on the pasture walk, contact Denise Schwab at 319-472-4739 or email at .  For more information on the lunch or cover crops field day, contact Stacey Weets at 319-462-3196 Ext. 3 or email .  Feel free to stop in the Jones SWCD office in the USDA Service Center at 300 Chamber Drive, Anamosa, or contact us for more information about the economics of cover crops or about installing practices to aid in soil and water conservation.


(story courtesy of ISU Extension)