Field day will explore cover crops in corn and soybeans – April 4, near Hancock

For Release: March 21, 2017


Russ Brandes | Brandes Farms Inc. | (712) 579-0338 | rbrandes@fmctc.com

Alisha Bower | Midwest Cover Crop Associate | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | alisha@practicalfarmers.org

Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | tamsyn@practicalfarmers.org

HANCOCK, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa and farmer Russ Brandes will host a cover crop field day on Tuesday, April 4, from noon to 3 p.m., at Russ’ farm near Hancock (37333 Mahogany Rd., 6 miles west of town).

Russ operates Brandes Farms Inc., a 400-acre corn and soybean operation that incorporates cover crops and some alfalfa. He also has a small cow-calf herd and hogs.

The event – “Cover Crops for Corn and Soybeans” – is free to attend and includes lunch. Please RSVP for the meal to Alisha Bower, alisha@practicalfarmers.org or (515) 232-5661, by Friday, March 31.

The event is part of Practical Farmers’ 2017 spring cover crop “caravan” field day series, which features events at locations across Iowa exploring cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems.

The field day will start with lunch at noon, provided by Russ. After lunch, guests will head to the field, where Russ will share his experience with planting cover crops using his corn and soybean planter; managing spring cover crops; growing cover crop seed; and variety selection for summer cover crops. Colten Catterton, of Green Cover Seed, will also be on hand to discuss and answer questions about choosing varieties for summer cover crops.

“I’d like to be able to show the practices I do that people might not have thought of,” Russ says. “For example, I use my corn and bean planter to plant my rye, and I don’t know that everyone is aware you can do something like that.”

“I am certainly no expert, but I base my practices on what I hear, what I read and my gut feelings about the whole thing. By hosting this field day, other farmers who learn the same way I do can get to know more about cover crops and some unique practices they might want to try.”

Directions: From Hancock, head west on Mahogany Road / County Road G30 for 5 miles. Turn left on 380th Street / M16, and immediately turn right on Mahogany Road, which picks up again after this kink in the road; drive 1 mile to Russ’ farm.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2017 spring cover crop field days are supported by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship; Iowa State University Extension; Land Stewardship Project; Natural Resources Conservation Service; Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota; The Pasture Project; and Unilever.


Practical Farmers of Iowa strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. Our values include: welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in our network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables, and more. To learn more, visit https://www.practicalfarmers.org.