Low Temperatures, High Interest at Dordt College

Iowa Learning Farms’ most recent cover crop field day was held at Dordt College’s Agricultural Stewardship Center (Sioux Center) earlier today, April 1.    The temperature at the start of the 10:00am field day was 23F, and by the field day’s conclusion the temperature had climbed to a balmy 32F.   This is no April Fool’s Day joke – the complete field day was held outside in a tent!  Those NW Iowans are a hardy bunch.

All joking aside, despite the cold temperatures, there was a great amount of interest and curiosity in learning more about cover crops, as evidenced by the 83 attendees at today’s event.  What a great turnout!

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Dordt College students Michael Gallagher and Parker Merritt, pictured below, took the lead in planning today’s field day (with guidance from ILF field coordinator Aaron Andrews).  This was a part of Michael and Parker’s senior project, stretching over the course of two semesters, involved various cover crop field trials and then organizing and carrying out a field day for the public.

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The field day featured presentations on a variety of topics related to cover crops, including management perspectives from area farmer Torray Wilson as well as Sarah Carlson of Practical Farmers of Iowa; discussion of cover crops and the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy (Dr. Matt Helmers); cost-share opportunities (Greg Marek, NRCS); as well as perspectives from an aerial seeding team in the local area.

Our next cover crop field day is slated for Thursday, April 4 in Elkader – click HERE for details.

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