Tag: grazing cover crops
Grazing cover crops can provide economic
returns to farming operations
within the same year cover crops are
• This study is in its third year and is
being conducted by farmers in the
North Raccoon watershed who are
participating in a Water Quality Initiative
• Utilizing cover crops as forage represents
a win-win for livestock producers
and the Iowa Nutrient Reduction
• Three cow-calf producers reported
that over two years, cover crops
provided up to 3.81 tons of dry
matter per acre.
• Grazing cover crops offset winter
feed expenses up to $38,953.
• Each farmer reaped economic
benefits within the same year of
planting the cover crops.
• Cost share was provided to each
farmer, which contributed to profitability.
January 4, 2018
Carmen Black and Mark Quee raise sheep on their diversified vegetable farms. They were curious if grazing a cover crop prior to a fall crop, rather than simply terminating the cover crop by mowing and tillage, would have an impact on the yield of the next crop. For this trial each farmer measured the yield […]
December 6, 2017
Feeding cows during the winter is the
greatest expense for most grassbased
• Grazing cover crops and stockpiled
pastures provides low-cost feed during
times farmers would normally be
• For many years, Dave and Meg
Schmidt have recorded grazing
moves and the amount of hay they
fed to the herd.
• From 2013 to 2017, they experimented
with feeding cover crops,
crop residue and stockpiled pastures
to cut down on the amount of hay
• During the winters of 2013-2014
and 2014-2015, cover crops and
crop residue provided almost half
of the winter feed needs for the
• During the winter of 2015-2016,
the most hay was fed, because
the farmers were not able to plant
cover crops the season prior.
• The least hay was fed in 2016-2017,
due to a combination of grazing
stockpiled pastures along with
cover crops and crop residue.
• Calf average daily gains were greatest
• Diverse winter forage sources
allow the Schmidts to feed less hay,
increase the size of their herd and
For farmers that grow small grains, the harvest is just the beginning. After harvesting the crop in July, the possibilities for cover crops to plant on that ground are endless. “The world is your oyster,” says Jon Bakehouse of Hastings. Because you can seed cover crops as early as July 1, there’s plenty of time for […]
March 9, 2017
In a Nutshell
• Planting cover crops, then grazing or
harvesting them, is a practical way to
effectively reduce nutrient pollution,
plus provide economic benefits to
• This represents a win-win for livestock
producers and water quality for Iowa.
• Four farmers in northwest Iowa
reported that in the fall and winter of
2015, cover crops provided 0.07 to
3.74 tons of dry matter per acre.
• Grazing this cover saved farmers
$1,306 to $22,801 in hay or other
stored feed expenses
November 9, 2016
So, why do you want to grow cover crops? is a second webinar in the American Society of Agronomy series on cover crops focused on how to make sure farmers think about goals for cover crops before getting started. Length of the growing season affects the growth of cover crops after establishment, which affects the potential benefits that can […]
July 26, 2016
56 farmers came to the Grundy County Fair on July 20, 2016 to learn more about cover crops and soil health at our “indoor” field day. Fred Abels, a long-time PFI member and Grundy County Commissioner helped plan another great workshop with ISU Extension and Grundy County NRCS.
July 22, 2016
October 28, 2015