Farm Progress Show Highlights Cover Cropping

Farmers want to get as much out of the soil as they put into it, and many say the use of cover crops is helping them. Paul Ackley is sharing his story this week with other farmers at the Farm Progress Show in Boone, specifically how to integrate cattle and sheep into a cover-cropping system. Ackley has been farming for 50 years in southwest Iowa. He says he’s hooked on cover-cropping and encourages others to try it because he believes farmers need to modify planting and harvesting methods.

Practical Farmers were on hand to answer questions from the 100,000 people that visited the Farm Progress Show before it closed at 4 p.m. Thursday. Ackley, who in addition to cattle and sheep raises corn, soybeans and wheat, says farm soil is a farmer’s wealth, and notes he’s reduced the use of fertilizer and chemical applications with cover-cropping. He adds that there’s a lot more awareness and interest in conservation methods at the Farm Show than even two years ago.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue visited the show on Wednesday and said he hopes trade disputes between the U.S., Mexico and Canada can be resolved before harvest time.