Iowa Learning Farms will host a cover crop field day on Tuesday, November 17, from 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Sam and Julie Spellman farm, rural Woodward. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary meal.
Dallas County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner Sam Spellman is leading by example on his farm by incorporating cover crops and no-till on his highly erodible acres. Sam and his wife farm with their son Aaron and his wife Katie. For the last four years they have been using cereal rye and mixtures of cover crops including cereal rye or oats with radish and red clover to help protect the soil from erosion and begin to rebuild soil organic matter. Attendees will visit a field where both mixtures have been aerially seeded the first week of September to observe the fall growth.
Also speaking at the field day is Ann Staudt, Iowa Learning Farms assistant program and lab manager. Staudt has led a study of earthworms as soil health indicators in replicated strips with and without a cereal rye cover crop. Jeremy Gustafson, Boone County cover crop farmer, will share his experiences in managing different species of cover crops through a Practical Farmers of Iowa cover crop trial.
The field day will begin in the field located at 29002 180th St., Woodward. From Granger, take F31 (190th St) west out of town for approximately 4 miles. Turn right (north) on R22 (T Ave.) and go one mile. Turn right (east) on 180th St. The farm will be the first place on the south side of the road. A complimentary meal will be served at 28923 190th St, Woodward, just one mile south of the field location following the program. In case of unfavorable weather the program will take place at the meal location.
Reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. Contact Liz Juchems at 515-294-5429 or email firstname.lastname@example.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 and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA section 319), Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa.