We had a  great turnout for a field day Aug. 22 at the Fawcett Farm near West Branch where several farmers, landowners, and others learned about cover crops and adding conservation practices to lease agreements.

IMG_5089Virgil Schmitt, ISU Extension Field Agronomist, provided some key tips for those getting started with cover crops:

  • Cereal rye before soybeans
  • Oats before corn (terminates with a hard frost and will not need to be terminated in the spring)
  • Start on a single field or portion of field
  • Pay attention to details

Chris Henning, Greene County landowner, shared some advice with fellow landowners in attendance and stressed the importance of communication between the landowner and tenant to maintain a good working relationship that meets production and conservation goals.


Charles Brown, ISU Extension Farm Management Specialist, shared some great resources along with his personal experiences helping landowners and tenants work through adding conservation to leases.


The field day concluded with tours of the farm including prairie strips and a recently installed saturated buffer. We also demonstrated how we do water testing for nitrates at the farm.

Read more about the field day at the Iowa Learning Farms blog. https://iowalearningfarms.wordpress.com/2019/08/23/farming-for-the-future/