The Van Buren Conservation District will host a Fall Farm Field Day on Wednesday, September 30 from 4:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the Meachum Family Farm. The event, titled “Jumpstart Your Soil Health by Adding Diversity to the Crop Rotation,” will offer demonstrations and tours of several fields using different types of cover crops planted after wheat harvest. Attendees will learn about the benefits of diversifying crop rotations and planting cover crops early.
A rainfall simulator will be used to show how water soaks into soils with different cover crop and tillage management systems. Attendees will be able to see the difference in water infiltration and retention between tilled soils and those with heavy residue and cover crops. Participants will be able to examine a root pit to see the benefits of reduced tillage and cover crops normally hidden below the ground. Other topics will include pest control, cost share programs for growers, and more.
Cover crops are grasses, legumes and brassicas planted before or after cash crops to prevent topsoil loss, improve soil fertility and suppress weeds. They can increase farm profits by increasing crop yields and potentially reducing nutrient and chemical inputs after long-term use.
“Cover crops are such a hot topic right now, and we’re working with a lot of growers on using the right species, mixes, application methods and timing of planting,” said Conservation Technician Colleen Forestieri of the Van Buren Conservation District. “We want to give farmers the opportunity to see how cover crops work on the ground and hear how other farmers are benefiting from them.”
The event will be held at the Meachum Family Farm, located at 46028 48th Ave., in Lawrence, MI. A free dinner will be provided to attendees by the Van Buren County Farm Bureau. Other partners and sponsors include CHS, Crop Production Services, La Crosse Seed, Goetz Irrigation and Wyckoff Hybrids. People interested in attending are asked to RSVP for this free event by calling the Van Buren Conservation District at (269) 657-4030 x 5 or registering online at www.VanBurenCD.org.
The mission of the Van Buren Conservation District is to promote the conservation of natural resources through partnerships and by providing public education, demonstrations and technical assistance while working together for future generations.