By Hilary Pierce and Jacqueline Comito—Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar on Wednesday, November 20th, at 12:00 pm about the research being done at Iowa State University (ISU) on grazing cover crops.
Cover crops provide many benefits, ranging from reducing soil erosion and building soil organic matter to nutrient cycling and scavenging. Another additional benefit they offer is as an additional forage resource.
During the webinar, ISU Extension and Outreach specialists Erika Lundy, Extension beef specialist, and Rebecca Vittetoe, Extension field agronomist, will share what they’ve learned from the ongoing Iowa State research looking at integrating cattle, crops, and cover crops. Lundy’s current Extension and research programs are focused on beef cattle nutrition and forage management to improve profitability at the farm level. Vittetoe focuses on the agronomic side with field and forage crop production and integrated pest management with a special emphasis on plant pathology.
Feed expenses continue to be half the cost of production of a beef cattle enterprise. With cover crops growing across the state to protect our soil and waters, adding cattle to graze those green forage acres is another opportunity to capitalize on the benefits that cover crops can provide. Lundy said, “One of our primary goals with this research was to answer the question, ‘if we graze cover crops, do we still have the soil health benefits that we know we get from incorporating cover crops into row crop acres?’ With the results we are generating from this research, we think the answer is, ‘yes!’”
A Certified Crop Adviser board approved continuing education unit (1 CEU: Crop Management) is available for those who are able to watch the live webinar. Information for submitting your CCA/CPAg/CPSS/CPSC number to earn the credit will be provided at the end of the presentation.
To watch, go to www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars and click the link to join the webinar shortly before 12:00 pm on November 20th, to download the Zoom software and log in option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.