ILF cover crop field days are set

   Iowa Learning Farms and partnering agencies will host cover crop field days Nov. 17 at the Vaske Farm near Masonville and Nov. 22 at the Lagos Acres Golf & Country Club near Keota.

   The free events are open to farmers and landowners and include a complimentary meal; however, registration is required.

Masonville event

   Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and Delaware County NRCS, will host a cover crop and strip-till field day Thursday, Nov. 17, from noon to 2 p.m. at the Vaske Farm, 2567 110th Ave, Masonville.

   It will be held rain or shine. This field day aims to equip attendees with best management practices for establishing and managing cover crops to maintain yields during the transition to a higher residue system of strip-tillage and cover crops.

   Farmer partner Tom Vaske began farming corn and soybeans after college with his father in Delaware County and in 2001 began farming on his own with his wife, Jen, and three sons. Vaske has been an innovator on his farm, conducting test plots on his own and with guidance from the Iowa Soybean Association.

   “Conservation tillage can work if you want it to work. Yields are just as good, if not better, than conventional tillage, with less labor,” said Vaske.

   “I love adopting conservation practices. It is fun, interesting and engaging. They cost less money and require less labor. Now technology is catching up so there aren’t any good reasons not to do it.”

   Brian Dougherty, field agricultural engineer with ISU Extension and Outreach, will discuss tips for successful spring cover crop management and planter adjustments for a higher residue system. Iowa NRCS staff Alisha Sedlmayr, northeast area soil health specialist, and Angie Lemke, Manchester soil conservationist, will lead attendees through soil health demonstration and discussion opportunities for technical and financial assistance.

Keota event

   The Keota field day will be Tuesday, Nov. 22 from noon to 2 p.m. at the Lagos Acres Golf & Country Club, 2010 Keokuk Washington Road, Keota.

   Field day attendees will have the opportunity to hear from Keokuk County farmer Denny Lyle about how he has incorporated cover crops into his system, alongside no-till soybeans and corn, and how he manages the water quality enhancement wetland constructed on his farm.

   Both field days are free and open to farmers and landowners, though reservations are required to ensure adequate space and food. For reasonable accommodations and to RSVP, contact Liz Ripley at 515-294-5429 or Attendees will be entered in a drawing for Iowa State University Prairie Strips honey.

   Iowa Learning Farms field days and workshops are supported by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit




Subscriber Login