By: Rebecca Clay, field crops viability coordinator at Practical Farmers of Iowa
Lush, emerald cover crops growing in the spring are a welcome sight after the blasé winter of the Upper Midwest. And while our springs are getting greener as cover crop use increases, we need wider adoption to sustain crop productivity in the region and meet environmental goals.
Crop advisors, extension agents and conservation professionals are crucial drivers for greater cover crop adoption. Research from Iowa shows farmers agree “that if [cover crop] technical assistance was more widely available, more farmers would use cover crops.”
Ag advisors are uniquely positioned to promote cover crops because of their existing relationships with farmers and their geographic distribution throughout the state.
At the Cover Iowa: Agronomists in the Know Workshop, sponsored by Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), agricultural advisors will convene in Ames, Iowa, on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, to learn and share information about cover crops, reduced tillage and extended rotation. If you advise farmers, this free workshop and lunch is for you.
The sessions address timely concerns, such as how to reduce costly synthetic nitrogen fertilizer inputs. That session features Iowa State Agricultural Engineer Brian Dougherty and Marshall County (Iowa) Farmer Wade Dooley.
Attendees will also learn how practices like cover crops and reduced tillage can help farmers produce resilient, high-yielding crops – even in the midst of extreme weather. Mitchell County, Iowa, Farmer Wayne Fredericks and retired USDA-ARS Midwest Climate Hub Director Jerry Hatfield will present this session.
Another feature is a session on Heartland Co-op’s trailblazing conservation agronomy program, which provides technical advice, services and products for cover crops to their customers. Heartland Co-op’s Thomas Fawcett will share strengths and challenges of the budding program.
Sales expert Jen Simpson rounds out the line-up with strategies on how to start conversations about cover crops with hesitant farmers.
In addition to the professional development and networking that will occur at the event, CCAs can also earn three free continuing education units (CEUs) at this event.
Register for the workshop
The Cover Iowa: Agronomists in the Know Workshop flyer can be found here; interested parties should register here by June 15, 2022. Contact email@example.com with any questions about the event.
If you can’t attend this workshop but would like to be notified about future virtual and in-person events for Iowa farmers, join the PFI mailing list.
Cover Iowa: Agronomists in the Know Workshop was planned by Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Learning Farms and Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance. This event is supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under grant number 6000004181. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.