Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Steve Berger of Wellman, IA understands the challenges of managing an overwintered cover crop such as rye ahead of a corn crop. To reduce risk of yield loss on corn, Steve takes extra precaution with planting.

Strategic termination timing, planter set-up and spoon-feeding nitrogen with the planter have helped Steve stay successful with cereal rye ahead of corn. Read some of Steve’s tips in this blog.
Watch a virtual farm tour with southeast Iowa cover croppers  Mike and Mark Jackson.

Learn how and why they use cover crops and see some of the machinery they use to get it done.

It’s nearly time to plant corn, but the first step is to handle the over-wintered cereal rye cover crop, which is greening and growing during corn planting season.

We have reached out to farmers across the state to provide you with a set of guidelines to help you effectively kill your cover crops in preparation for corn planting!
Make sure your cover crop doesn’t become weed by terminating it effectively. Iowa State Extension provides insight on ideal temperature conditions and efficacy of different herbicide combinations in this blog.

A past blog post from the same group gives additional useful recommendations; read these recommendations here.
Farmers Dick Sloan and Tim Sieren conducted on-farm research to understand how N management and cover crop termination dates interact.

Sloan observed no yield drag with later termination dates with intentional N management (fall manure, 35 lb N/ac at corn planting, and 90 lb N/ac at side-dress) Read the full report here.
Did you participate in the cover crop/ crop insurance premium discount program?

We’re partnering with ISU to evaluate the program. Help inform future programming with this 15 minute survey.
Given the current advisory to avoid congregating in groups, Practical Farmers is pivoting to hosting some field days online. Please watch for updates on our website; in Practical News, our weekly email newsletter; on our Facebook page; and if you are a member, on our email discussion lists.
Hosted by: North Dakota State University
April 14 | 11 a.m. | Online
Hosted by: North Dakota State University
April 16 | 11 a.m. | Online
Hosted by: North Dakota State University
April 21 | 11 a.m. | Online

Hosted by: Pasture Project at the Wallace Center
April 22 | 2 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Iowa Farmers Union
April 29 | 12:30 p.m. | Online
Hosted by: Tama Soil & Water Conservation Distract
June 23 | 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. | Grinnell, Iowa
When will you start planting corn this spring?
I've already started -- don't tell my crop insurance agent
As soon as crop insurance allows -- April 11
In the next week or two
End of April or early May
Want to expand further on this poll topic? Reply to this email and we may feature your thoughts in the next issue of "The Practical Cover Cropper."

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.
Previous poll results:
Will you be letting livestock out to graze cover crops this spring? (3/25)
  • They're already out - 26.3%
  • We'll let them out soon - 10.5%
  • We only fall graze cover crops - 5.3%
  • We don't graze cover crops - 57.9%
Ready to invest in cover crops on your farm?  You could earn $1,600 or more to help offset the cost fill out the application now to see if you’re eligible. Farmers who enroll before July 1 may also be eligible for a discount on seed and application through Iowa Cover Crop.
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Assistant
(515) 232-5661