Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Will Cannon (right) sees many benefits from using cover crops on his farm, but says that integrating them into a corn and soybean cropping system requires flexibility. He encouraged attendees at his recent spring field day to try new things and not be afraid to make mistakes.

Guests got a chance to compare a variety of cover crop mixes and application methods side-by-side in a trial plot he created in partnership with the NRCS. They also learned how Will works with his landlord Gordon Waasenar (left). They both look for ways to cut costs when adding cover crops to the farm. On Will and Gordon's operation, this means they tend to drill the majority of their cover crops which saves on custom application rates.
COVER CROP POLL
Do you plant green? (into a standing cover crop)
Yes, both corn and beans are "planted green" into a living cover crop
Yes, but only into beans are "planted green" into a living cover crop
No, I have not started planting cover crops yet
Previous poll results:
Do you plant cover crops ahead of corn?

  • Yes - winter kill only - 8.3%
  • Yes - over-winter - 79.2%
  • No - only before beans - 12.5%
  • I don't currently plant cover crops - 0%
PROGRAM UPDATE
If you intend to plant cover crops this fall and want to receive cover crop cost share please let us know by answering a few questions!

New to PFI's cost share programs are:

  • Stack Funds: Private (ADM/Unilever or Cargill/PepsiCo) cost share dollars can be stacked with Public (NRCS, IDALS, Crop Insurance, etc.) funds.

  • New to cover crops? Receive $40/A on up to 40A to give it a try. 

  • Been using cover crops? $10/A on 160A or 10% of acres farmed, whichever is larger

  • New to Iowa Cover Crop and their dealer network? Receive a seed and/or planting discount. (Must sign-up by July 1.)
W e're adding roller crimping to our cover crop business directory!
After talking and listening to farmers at the conference, we have noticed growing interest in roller-crimpers. So if you or someone you know has a roller-crimper and are willing to rent it out - please send your information to Jason Tetrick by e-mailing jason@practicalfarmers.org and we'll get you added to the 2019 version!
IN THE FIELD
PFI cooperators Tim Sieren and Jack Boyer designed experiments to assess the feasibility of delaying cover crop termination until three to four weeks after planting soybeans in conventional production systems.
It’s time to plant corn, but the first step is to handle the over-wintered cereal rye cover crop. Because of potential competition between rye and corn – and concerns about plant diseases potentially transferring from the rye via what's termed the "green bridge" – the steps leading to corn planting must be handled adeptly.
Delaying cover crop termination until near soybean planting would allow for more biomass production by the cover crop in the spring presenting the opportunity for more environmental benefit.
In organic crop production, the options for terminating rye are limited. A roller crimper lays the rye crop down flat to help ensure a carpet to stop weeds. From Scott Shriver's field day on August 7, 2018.
CSP application deadline is May 10!
The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) deadline for applications is May 10. Find out more about the program here.
UPCOMING EVENTS
Cover Crop Field Day     -     Cover Crops
June 4 | 4 - 7 p.m. | La Porte City
Practical Farmers events are in blue. Non-PFI events are in red.
CONTACT OUR COVER CROPS TEAM
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Shannon Kooima
Strategic Initiatives Assistant
(515) 232-5661
Sierra Becker
Sustainable Agriculture Assistant
(515) 232-5661