Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
From commodity and input price swings, to droughts and floods, 2021 was a tumultuous year for many farmers. As we reflect on the past year's crop performance, we must now consider the challenges and opportunities that the future may bring.

Thoughts of future cropping seasons underline the importance of cover crops and the resilience that they bring to the farm – an idea that Michael Vittetoe of Washington, IA emphasized in his presentation on cereal rye and weed control at the Fall 2021 Cover Crop Boot Camp. Hear how Michael is keeping dollars on the farm by integrating cereal rye and soybean crops for weed control.

Additional full presentations from the boot camp are posted here and highlighted below.
IDALS will provide up to $5/acre for cover crops! Funding is provided through USDA-RMA as an insurance premium discount through normal crop insurance processes.

Cover crop acres currently enrolled in state and/or federal programs are not eligible for this program. There is no limit on the number of acres eligible! Learn more about the Iowa program here.
IDOA offers "Fall Covers for Spring Savings" $5/acre Cover Crop Premium Discount Program. Cover crops that are not cost shared with public funding are eligible.

In case you missed it: our 2021 Cover Crop Boot Camp was a success with hundreds of attendees networking and learning from cover cropping peers!

If you couldn't attend, or want to re-listen to a talk, recordings from the boot camp are now available to watch on our website. Sessions are below
"How to Cut Nitrogen with Cover Crops" with Tom Pyfferoen and Stefan Gailans
"How to Feed Cover Crops to Livestock" with Shanon Jamison and Alan Zellmer
"How to Grow Your Own Cover Crop Seed" with Joel Lange and Jon Kruse
"How to Reduce Herbicide Costs with Cover Crops" with Michael Vittetoe and Brandon McHugh
Last week we heard results of trials from the Cooperators Program including a trial on ROI of seed treatments in soybeans.

Cooperators Alec Amundson of Osage, IA, Sam Bennett of Galva, IA and Steve Saltzman (pictured) of Lenox, IA compared plant stands and yield of fungicide and neonic insecticide seed treatments compared to untreated soybean seed.

They found no difference in yield or plant stands! Omitting seed treatments saved between $3 and $10 per acre. Read the full research report here.
Our annual conference is the perfect place to get your cover crop questions answered and walk away with new ideas! A few of the sessions included are:
All times are listed in central time.

Hosted by: No-Till Farmer
January 4 - 7 | Louisville, KY

Hosted by: Iowa State Extension
January 5 | 1 p.m. | Ames, IA

Hosted by: Matt Helmers & Iowa Learning Farms
January 12 | Noon | Online

Hosted by: Jeff Steffen & Practical Farmers
January 7 | Noon - 1 p.m. | Online
Send us your cover crop poll ideas! We want to know what YOU want to know. Reply to this email with your ideas for the next poll.
Have you applied for the 2022 cover crop - crop insurance premium discount yet?
Not yet, but I will!
No, all my cover crop acres are already cost shared by another public program
No, and I'm not going to
Previous poll results:
Have you used a small grain silage to replace corn silage in your feed ration?
  • I don't use cover crops to feed livestock - 42.9%
  • No, I have not tried it - 28.6%
  • I haven't tried it yet but am planning on it - 21.4%
  • Yes, I like the forage quality/added flexibility- 7.1%
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661