ACWA offers free cover crop workshop in Lake City

ANKENY — The North Raccoon Farm to River Partnership project – part of Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance – is hosting a workshop to inform farmers and landowners about the benefits of conservation practices including cover crops, bioreactors and saturated buffers. The event, according to the Jan. 2 news release, will review how these practices can be added with 100 percent paid installation.

The free workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 21 at the Lake City Community Building.

Using cover crops in a corn-soybean rotation can reduce soil erosion and nitrate in waterbodies as well as improve soil organic matter, water infiltration and weed suppression.

Steve Killpack, a southwest Iowa farmer and long-time cover crop user, will share how he successfully incorporated cover crops into his crop production system.

Scott Nelson, director of agronomy at Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), will discuss the agronomic and environmental benefits of using cover crops.

Edge-of-field conservation practices, such as bioreactors and saturated buffers, remove nitrate from tile-drained water before it enters a river or stream.

Chris Hay, ISA senior manager of production systems innovation, is an expert on conservation drainage and will share how these practices work, their environmental benefits, and where they should be installed for optimum performance.

Jeff Sporrer, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Carroll County District Conservationist, will review opportunities and programs available for cover crops and edge-of-field practices.

Chance McDonald, Farm to River Partnership conservation agronomist, will host the workshop. He will provide an overview of the project’s goals and how farmers and landowners can participate.

The workshop is open to the public, is free to attend and lunch is included. However, registration is recommended. You can submit your RSVP to Sue Derscheid by Jan. 17, via email at sderscheid@iasoybeans.com or phone at (515) 334-1063.

The North Raccoon Farm to River Partnership is a Water Quality Initiative (WQI) through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS).

The three-year, $2.6 million project covers watersheds in Sac, Calhoun, Carroll and Greene counties, and managed through Agriculture’s Clean Water Alliance.

For more information about the Farm to River Partnership, visit the ACWA website at https://www.acwa-rrws.org/farm-to-river-partnership/.

Agriculture's Clean Water Alliance (ACWA) is a non-profit association consists of 11 ag retailers and six associate members that support farmer customers in the Des Moines and Raccoon River basins. The ACWA mission is to help agriculture identify and implement solutions that reduce nutrient loss to Iowa waters.

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