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USDA promotes cover crops in prevented planting fields

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 11:21 a.m. CST

DES MOINES — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is encouraging Iowa farmers to explore the benefits of planting a cover crop on fields that will go unplanted this year.

“Through this difficult situation, farmers with unplanted fields will have to weigh their program and insurance options,” said Barb Stewart, state agronomist with NRCS in Iowa. “We encourage producers to also assess agronomic options for ensuring long-term productivity.”

Stewart says planting a cover crop will help producers with unplanted fields capture applied nutrients, fix nitrogen, build organic matter, control weeds, reduce erosion and improve soil health and biology during the remainder of the season.

Iowa NRCS recently developed a fact sheet for planting cover crops on prevented planting fields. The fact sheet includes a table with diverse cover crop mixes to address specific natural resource concerns. This fact sheet is available in the “Agronomy” section of the Iowa NRCS website (www.ia.nrcs.usda.gov) or at your local NRCS office.

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