The 2024 National Cover Crop Summit, a virtual event hosted by Strip-Till Farmer sister publication Cover Crop Strategies, is scheduled for March 12-14. It will feature 7 sessions packed with practical tips to help strip-tillers implement cover crops into their farm operations and learn more cover crop strategies and management practices. Here is a brief preview of a few sessions that will be featured at this year’s National Cover Crop Summit.
On-Farm Intercropping Trials
Erin Silva, director for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present the results of a 3-year on-farm trial of intercropping cover crops into corn in the upper Midwest.
“Farmers in the upper Midwest face challenges to diversifying the species of cover crops grown on their farms because of the short window for planting and establishment after corn harvest,” Silva says. “Interseeding cover crops shortly after corn planting offers an opportunity to plant the cover crops during the summer, which can allow for greater time for establishment and growth as well as wider choices of cover crops to plant.”
From Dirt to Soil
Matt Burkholder, a grower in Allen County, Ohio, will detail his experience with no-till, cover crops and other regenerative agriculture practices. He will also share soil pictures and soil health test data of 2 different management practices of fields side by side: rotational tillage vs. aggressive regenerative ag practices.
Controlling Moisture with Cover Crops
Do cover crops help or hurt when dealing with extreme drought? This question could have many different answers depending on a farmer’s region, soil type, crop rotation and more. Rob Myers, director for the Center for Regenerative Agriculture at the University of Missouri, will discuss cover crops’ impact on soil moisture during droughts and wet periods.
Cover Crops & Livestock
Grazing is often considered the final step in what some call the “holy grail of soil health,” but for many farmers it can be the most challenging to implement. Rob Dowdle of Dowdle Family Farms in Steens, Miss., will present on feeding soil, nourishing livestock and the major roles of cover crops on a livestock farm. Dowdle believes that while cover crops are most commonly used on row crop farms, they are too often overlooked as a means of building soil health on a livestock farm. His presentation will encompass what he has learned about regenerating soil while grazing cover crops with cows and pigs.
More Cover Crop Knowledge
The 2024 National Cover Crop Summit will also feature soil health expert and longtime cover crop user Jim Hoorman, who will present on nutrient and fertilizer content of cover crops, and a presentation from Washington County, Iowa, grower Michael Vittetoe about utilizing cover crops for weed control.
The event will also include a panel-style presentation featuring Washington State University agronomist Andrew McGuire as he shares research about the pros and cons of using cover crop mixtures vs. monocultures.
For more information on all the speakers, presentations and registration for the 2024 National Cover Crop Summit, head to CoverCropSummit.com.