Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Mike Genereux of Honey Creek, IA has nearly 10 years of cover-cropping experience. Farming in the Loess Hills, he has experimented with multiple cover crop seeding methods to address erosion concerns, but has found drilling to be the most reliable.

Pros of drilling: “If I’m going to take the time and money to seed cover crops, I want it to be worthwhile. Some of the other methods waste more seed, and you don’t get as consistent of a stand,” explains Mike, “Plus, the deeper seed placement with drilling means that the seed isn’t as reliant on rainfall to germinate.” Mike aims for a seed depth of ½ to ¾ inches, depending on soil moisture conditions.

Timing crucial: As Mike combines corn this fall, his retired father will follow him on a John Deere 750 drill with cereal rye. Mike says, “the earlier you can get the seed out there, the better.” When drilling toward the end of September, they use a 50#/acre rate, but will increase the rate to 55#/acre if drilling toward the end of October.
Over the past few years, we've expanded the geographies and market outlets that make people eligible for our private cover crop cost share. Even if you haven't been eligible in the past, you might be now! Click on the grain icons at this link to learn more about eligibility.

We still have acres available for most cost share programs; please share with neighbors and friends!
Enrolled in a publicly-funded cost share? Keep an eye on requirements
If participating in NRCS or state cover crop cost share programs, remember to meet requirements for seeding date and rate for payment!

Iowans are eligible to apply through October 1, 2021.
Iowa Cover Crop has been posting advantages and drawbacks of different cover crop seeding methods over the past few weeks.

Give their Facebook page a "like" and scroll down to see their thoughts on different seeding methods.

As they say, "There isn't just one right way to apply your cover crops, but you've got to choose!"
Cooperators Jon Bakehouse of Hastings, IA; Monty Douglas of Lenox, IA; Alec Amundson of Osage, IA; and Camden Watson of Sully, IA explored how seeding date and rate of a cereal rye cover crop affects biomass accumulation.

They found that seeding rye earlier compared to later consistently resulted in more biomass. Read the full research report here.
Join Practical Farmers of Iowa for a free outdoor screening and panel discussion of “Livestock on the Land,” a feature-length documentary that tells the story of regenerative grazing and its promise for the Iowa landscape.

September 16 | September 25

Hosted by: Roger Van Donselaar & Iowa Learning Farms
September 14 | Noon - 2 p.m. CT | Grinnell, IA

Hosted by: Ryan Bergman and Iowa Learning Farm
September 15 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: Peter O'Brien and Iowa Learning Farms
September 22 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: Fulton County (IN) and Pulaski County (IN) SWCD
September 23 | 5 - 8 p.m. ET | Akron, IN

Hosted by: Will Glazik & IDEA Farm Network
September 24 | 2 - 4 p.m. CT | Paxton, IL

Hosted by: Cody Creech & University of Nebraska - Lincoln
September 24 | 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Dean Eisenhauer and Iowa Learning Farms
September 29 | Noon CT | Online
Want to host a cover crop meet up? Contact Sarah if interested sarah@practicalfarmers.org
Are you planning or hosting a cover crop event? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.
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.
If you drill cereal rye, what seeding rate do you use? (1 bushel rye = 56 lb)
Less than 40 lb/acre
40 - 50 lb/acre
50 - 60 lb/acre
60+ lb/acre
Previous poll results:
Do you aerially seed your cover crops?
  • No, I don't plan to - 38.5%
  • Yes, it is my main seeding method - 26.9%
  • Yes, I do sometimes - 26.9%
  • No, but I'd like to try - 7.7%
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661