Just In! Opportunity to Reserve a Cover Crop Interseeder This Fall

20150827_123344Practical Farmers has been working with Hagie, Heartland Coop, IAWA and the Polk County SWCD plus a number of other organizations to offer farmers in the Polk, Dallas, Story and Boone county areas use of a new 90′ Hagie Interseeder for cover crop seeding this fall. To learn more head to this website.

To sign up to use the machine, which will be offered at a slight discount this year, get your fields in the queue here.

To contract the machine to seed your cover crops you can seed as many acres as you want but at least 20 for the minimum. You can either buy your seed through Heartland Co-op or provide the seed yourself. You can either be part of a cost share program or not. Mostly the machine is available for usage and Hagie wants to get it in use to see how well it seeds large numbers of acres during the seeding window of August-September.

Questions? Amanda Brown at the Polk County SWCD is the first contact for questions and getting your fields in the queue. She can be reached at Amanda.Brown@ia.nacdnet.net or 515-964-1883.

Now Available! Evaluating Cover Crop Seeding Techniques Publication

Seeding Tech LocationsThe Iowa Cover Crop Working Group (ICCWG) has wrapped up a two-year study evaluating planting techniques for the successful establishment of cover crop mixtures and single species in Iowa. We are grateful to our partners: Hagie Manufacturing Company, famer partner Tim Smith, and Iowa State University Northern Research and Demonstration Farm.

Replicated cover crop strips were established in fall of 2014 and 2015 to compare three different seeding techniques:

Evaluation was completed through fall and spring biomass collection and crop yield. A no cover crop plot was included in the replications as a yield comparison check strip.

The mixtures species were selected based on the upcoming crop and their winter hardiness. Because the species seeds are different sizes, a goal of one million seeds per acre was used for seeding calibration to provide a fair comparison between treatments.

Seeding Mixtures

Oats and rye win the day

Results show that earlier seeding with the high clearance interseeder resulted in more cover crop biomass, both fall and spring, than the later seeding with a drill. For Iowa, oats and rye work better than any other species tested at this time. The single species (oats and rye) resulted in more total biomass than the mixtures providing better soil erosion protection. Oats and rye were also the predominant species in the mixtures, accounting for the majority of the biomass.

Seeding Tech Biomass

There are no statistical differences in corn or soybean yields across the different cover crop treatments and no cover check plots. This yield neutral response following a cover crop is consistent with a long term ICCWG cereal rye cover crop project now entering its ninth year.

The publication is now available online and at upcoming ILF field days.

This research project was made possible with a State Conservation Innovation Grant through the Iowa Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The ICCWG includes core members from: Iowa Learning Farms, Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.