Farmers and landowners will want to attend a field day will be held on the Ken Fawcett Farm 459 290th Street, West Branch on August 22 from 5 to 7 pm.  There will be a complimentary meal and followed by a tour of conservation practices on the Fawcett farm. The tour will examine cover crop as a conservation measure to retain soil, nutrients, and pesticides on the farm. The economic basis for incorporating cover crop into the rotation will be examined.

The field day will include Virgil Schmitt, ISU Extension field agronomist, Chris Henning, Greene County landowner and Crop-Share Farmer and Charles Brown, ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist.

Schmitt will consider nutrient management practices and nutrient losses incorporating cover crop into the rotation.   The use of cover crops to retain nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticides will be reviewed as wells as the improvement of soil quality, pest management, forage opportunities, nitrogen source, and water management. Schmitt will also make some suggestions on getting started with cover crops.

Brown is the only ISU Farm Management Specialist that actively farms He will share his experience from his 130-acre farm which is in its 6th year of cover crops.  His talk will include his yields and slides showing cover crop and corn and soybean plantings.  His presentation will include the conservation benefits that he has observed using cover crops.

Brown will examine how he shares his costs for using cover crops. He will describe how a landlord or tenant might add additional information in a farm lease to address how to account for the extra costs of cover crops, and when to seed cover crops and on which acres. 

Henning is a landowner and crop-share farmer in Greene County near Jefferson, Iowa. Since the ‘93 Floods in the Raccoon River Watershed, Henning and her farmer/operator have transformed her farms into great examples of sustainability - incorporating prairie wetlands and stream buffers with crop rotations, cover crops and minimum tillage to protect the water and build soil. An active member of Women, Food and Ag Network, she participates in the “Women Caring for the Land” program and the National Wildlife Federation.


The program is supported by Iowa Learning Farm, ISU Extension and Outreach, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the National Wildlife Federation.  Please RSVP by calling 515-294-5429 or email By August 19th.


Liz Juchems

Conservation Outreach Specialist