Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Jerry Kenkel of Missouri Valley, IA appreciates the benefits that cover crops provide, such as building soil quality and preventing soil erosion, but like many farmers, he is pressed for time in the fall. Mixing cereal rye seed into his fall-applied dry fertilizer enables Jerry to meet his soil-building goals without investing much time or money in the process.

Low cost, high convenience: Jerry hires his co-op to spread dry fertilizer with cover crop seed mixed in, and the co-op doesn’t charge him anything beyond the seed cost. “I’m keeping my costs low, since I’m only paying for the seed and would be paying to spread dry fertilizer anyway,” he explains.

“I just call the co-op once I’m done harvesting a field, and they are out within a day or two, typically,” notes Jerry. The co-op mixes, tenders and applies the seed and fertilizer, so Jerry can keep harvesting.

Tips for success: Jerry's corn head doesn't chop stalks, so the cover crop seed does not get caught in chopped corn residue. He seeds a higher rate of cereal rye than many people: typically 60-65 lbs/acre. When it rains shortly after spreading fertilizer and seed, he skips incorporation, otherwise he will lightly disk the seed in on occasion. Jerry has not seen uneven cover crop and dry fertilizer spreading, in part because the co-op tenders seed and dry fertilizer for a maximum of 40 acre/load. “It doesn’t really settle out,” he explains. “Have faith that it will come up in the spring, even if there isn’t a ton of fall growth,” he encourages.
Join other row crop and livestock farmers for the Cover Crop Boot Camp, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. in Ankeny, IA. We’ll hear how farmers are working with cover crops to reduce nitrogen and herbicide inputs, growing their own cover crop seed and incorporating their cover crops with livestock.

Register now for the free event to advance your understanding of how cover crops can work for you.
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! We also have cost share for extended rotations.
Farmers and landowners in the following regions may be eligible for cover crop and other conservation cost share:

Visit your local NRCS office to determine if you are eligible and apply for FY22 funding by Oct. 22!
The Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative provides cost share for cover crops on seed corn production acres, with $10-$20/acre rates. Growers can enroll up to 100% of their seed corn acres that aren't already in another state or federal cost-share program.

Learn more about the program here or contact Shannon Moeller at shannon.moeller16@gmail.com.
Come to our outdoor screening of "Livestock on the Land" on October 19 at 6:30 p.m. in Bloomfield, IA!

Bring your chairs and blankets for comfortable viewing! Snacks will also be available for enjoyment during the screening.

Do you have you seed and application lined up? Our "Find Cover Crops" app can help!
It isn't too late to get cover crop seed and application - including spreading with dry fertilizer - arranged for this fall. Find seed and applicators on our free "Find Cover Crops" app!

Find Cover Crops, is available for download on the Apple App StoreGoogle Play Store and a desktop version is also available.
Hosted by: Jake Hansen & Iowa Learning Farms
October 13 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: North Central Region Water Network
October 13 | 2 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Wayne County (IN) SWCD
October 14 | 4 p.m. CT | Hagerstown, IN

Hosted by: Practical Farmers
October 19 | 6:30 p.m. CT | Bloomfield, IA

Hosted by: Sara McMillan & Iowa Learning Farms
October 20 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: Iowa Learning Farms
October 21 | 1 - 2 p.m. CT | Online

Hosted by: Anita Dille and UNL Agronomy & Horticulture
October 22 | 3:25 p.m. CT | Lincoln, NE & Online

Hosted by: Beth Baker & Iowa Learning Farms
October 27 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: Steven Hall & Iowa Learning Farms
November 3 | Noon CT | Online

Hosted by: Straub Brothers
November 6 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. CT | Haubstadt, IN
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.
How much are you typically charged per acre to apply cover crop seed with dry fertilizer?
$0.01 - $3.00/acre
$3.00 - $6.00/acre
More than $6.00/acre
Not sure, I haven't tried it
Previous poll results:
If raising rye for seed, what sort of variety do you typically plant?
  • Variety Not Stated (VNS) - 45.5%
  • Named Variety without PVP (i.e. Elbon, Aroostock) - 31.8%
  • Named Variety with PVP (i.e ND Gardner, ND Dylan) - 22.7%
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661