Minnesota: 2 Cover Crop Management Workshops, Feb. 28, March 2

Farmers are gaining confidence in using cover crops more each year. Whether used for soil erosion, capturing nutrients, breaking disease cycles, improving soil health, adding organic matter, or one of the many other benefits, cover crops can be beneficial.

However, in spite of the many benefits, challenges exist. Upcoming workshops in St. Charles on February 28th and in Owatonna on March 2nd will address some of these challenges, including  managing residual herbicide effects, establishing the cover crop and interseeding, and managing manure application timing.

Some herbicides have residual activity that can impact cover crop establishment. In addition, farmers who plan to use cover crops for grazing or forage need to make special considerations as well. Liz Stahl, UMN Extension Educator, will provide guidance to growers to help them safely and effectively manage herbicides and cover crops. At the Owatonna location, TJ Kartes, Saddlebutte Ag, will also address this issue along with his tips for establishment and termination.

If cover crops aren’t planted until after corn or soybean harvest, there is a narrow window to get them established. What if cover crops could be seeded earlier in the season? Dr. Scotty Wells, UMN Extension Forage Specialists, will present a recently completed project that looked at planting cover crops early in the summer using multiple interseeding methods and species. He’ll share how successful the different seeding methods were, how the different species performed, and how the crop was impacted.

Many conventional livestock producers struggle to envision how cover crops can fit into their operations, especially with seasonal injection of liquid manure. Randy Pepin, UMN Extension Educator, will explore seeding winter cereal rye immediately after harvesting either corn silage or soybeans, then injecting liquid manure into the growing rye later that fall. Is this practice feasible and what are the benefits and challenges?

This program will be held at the St. Charles City Hall, 830 Whitewater Ave, on February 28th. The same program will be at the Steele County Community Center, 1380 S Elm Ave in Owatonna on March 2nd. Both programs are from 1-4 pm. There is no fee or pre-registration for this program. Contact Jake Overgaard, Winona County Extension, with any questions, over028@umn.edu/507-457-6440 or see the Cover crop workshop brochure.

These workshops are funded by the MN Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on MN Resources (LCCMR).

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