Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Roller-crimping an overwintered cover crop is an sound alternative to herbicide termination. In this video, Scott Shriver explains how roller crimping works on his Jefferson, IA organic farm. Roller-crimping should occur at anthesis or pollen-shed of the rye.

For plenty of biomass and better weed suppression, Scott typically drills two to three bushels/acre of cereal rye in the fall. He has had success with ND Gardner rye, which accumulates a lot of biomass before roll-down. Scott has also been recommended Danko rye, which has early anthesis and rolls-down effectively.
PROGRAM UPDATES
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 to see if you’re eligible.
First-time cover croppers are eligible for $25 per acre, while farmers who have experience using cover crops are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre. Reduced tillage and nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor cost share is also available.

Cost share funding through IDALS is capped at 160 acres per farmer or landowner. Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District office today to submit an application!
During 2020, we found many people enjoyed the opportunity to attend field days virtually, so we’re improving our virtual engagement options with a weekly series called “Live From the Farm.” This series builds on our 2020 virtual field day season, but with improved video and streaming quality.

Most Tuesdays from June through September, we will stream live from a member farm, aiming to showcase important farm activities that are interesting to see but harder to show and make engaging to in-person visitors, such as planting, harvest, cultivating, processing and delivery days.

These live events are interactive on YouTube Live, with chat enabled for attendees and the host, and will be available as recorded videos on PFI’s YouTube channel as soon as the live event ends.
This summer we will host small, energizing, in-person gatherings on farms across Iowa. The line-up will expand on a rolling basis throughout the summer as more pop-up, local events are organized.

Fill out the form on this page to let us know your interests and availability.
IN THE FIELD
Last summer Levi Lyle gave us a glimpse into the roller-crimping process on his farm in this video.

In the second video of the series, you can see the results of roller crimping and hear Levi's song about roller crimping. He sings, "Grow that biomass 6-feet high, Memorial Day yellow pollen flies."
Tim Sieren conducted on-farm research to compare soybean seeding dates relative to cover crop termination (before and after) as well as cover crop termination techniques (chemical vs. roll-crimp).

Read about Tim's findings in this research report.
In this recorded Farminar from 2019, Billy Sammons, Scott Shriver and Francis Thicke shared their experiences with using a roller crimper on their organic farms.

Learn from their experiences by watching the video here.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Hosted by: Jerry Hatfield & Soil Health Nexus
May 19 | 2:00 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Marshall McDaniel & Iowa Learning Farms
May 26 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: Nick Longbucco and IL Soil and Water Conservation Districts
June 2 | 11:00 a.m. – Noon CT | Online
Want to host a virtual cover crop happy hour? We’ll help you with the tech, and how to virtually invite your neighbors to the discussion. Contact Sarah if interested sarah@practicalfarmers.org
 
Are you planning or hosting a cover crop event—virtual or in person? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.
COVER CROP POLL
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. Thank you, Turner Moore for submitting this question!
What mechanical methods have you used to terminated a cover crop?
Roller-crimping
Tillage
Cutting, mowing or harvesting
None; I use herbicide termination
Previous poll results:
Have you ever relay-cropped?
  • No - 68.4%
  • Yes - 26.3%
  • I might try this year - 5.3%
CONTACT OUR COVER CROPS TEAM
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661