Iowa State University is hosting 3 field days in April in northeast Iowa as part of a research project demonstrating the use of winter annuals for spring grazing. 

Many Iowa farmers grow winter annual forages as a cover crop to improve soil health and water quality. The forages also reduce feed costs and improve the health of spring calving cow herds when used for early spring grazing.

Denise Schawb, Iowa State University extension beef specialist, says the farmers hosting the 3 April field days will share their experiences with growing and grazing annual forages. Extension staff will also share yield data from research trials and management tips for grazing winter annuals. 

Strip-tillers Matthew and Dan Harting of 10515 Bishop Rd. in LaPorte City, Iowa, will host the April 26 event. The Hartings have cover crops on much of their corn residue acres, and they plan to graze the covers, chop some for feed and terminate some. They'll strip-till corn on most of the fields following the cover crop. 

Other field day hosts are Lillie Beringer of Cascade, Iowa, on April 19 and Dan Welter of Onslow, Iowa, on April 27. More information about their operations and locations is available on the Iowa State University website

The field days are free and open to anyone. They start at 7:30 a.m. and end at 9 a.m. RSVP by calling the Benton County Extension office at 319-472-4739 or emailing with your name, the location you plan to attend and number of participants.

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