Cattle and Cover Cropping Go Hand in Hand

As they gear up for the busy planting season, some Iowa farmers will pause to showcase the value of cover cropping. 
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Spring Field Day Series started Tuesday, and folks can learn about planting methods, spring management tactics and the soil and water health benefits of cover crops. Some events also will highlight how farmers are integrating cover crops and livestock. 
Bruce Carney, a farmer and rancher from Maxwell, is hosted a field day last Thursday. He hoped he showed that cattle and crops can coexist and benefit one another. He said the integration of cattle helps break down the capping of the water surface and reduces feed expenses and fertilizer needs. 

The series is called “Cover Crop Caravan,” and guests will be able to make stops at several farms and locations. Contract grazing agreements will be covered, and Carney will talk about the unique agreement he has with a neighbor.

With or without the use of livestock, Carney said cover cropping is an important strategy as growers work to reduce the runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus.

More of these “caravans” will be held this spring. To check for times and locations, contact PracticalFarmers.org.

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