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Small Farms

Fruit and vegetable updates for local producers

Iowa Learning Farm cover crop calculator tool

Depending on the weather and your crop rotation, cover crops might be an option.  Iowa Learning Farm has a new cover crop calcuator.

"Cover crops are planted in the fall and stay on fields over the winter, covering the ground with foliage and holding soil in place with their roots. These assets help to slow soil erosion and reduce nitrate leaching thereby improving water quality. They also improve soil health and productivity and suppress weeds. Many farmers are seeking management advice about implementing cover crops into their corn-soybean rotations.

To help farmers in their decision-making, Iowa Learning Farms (ILF) has launched a new tool to help calculate and compare the costs of using cover crops including seed, application, and chemical termination. Modeled after the popular Ag Decision Maker tools developed by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, the calculator can be used for a single cover crop species or up to six species to a mixture. The tool calculates the cost of drilling and aerial application for easy comparison. It is available as an Excel file on the ILF website. To use the calculator, download and open the Excel file (Microsoft Excel software must be installed on your computer):"

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