University of Idaho Extension, Gooding Soil Conservation District and Natural Resources Conservation Service are teaming up for a field day for producers on incorporating cover crops into their cropping systems.
The free event is set for Oct. 26 in Gooding from 1:30 to 5 p.m. at the USDA-NRCS Gooding office at 820 Main St. It will include a tour of two nearby cover crop plots and discussions on other cover crop projects.
Topics will include the agronomics of cover crops and which species can be used for different purposes, as well as the economics of grazing cover crops, whether grazed or used as a harvestable food source for livestock, said Mario de Haro-Martí, UI extension dairy and livestock environmental specialist.
The field day will include a tour of two nearby cover crop plots and discussions on other cover crop projects, he said.
“On one project, we are interseeding cover crops into planted field corn at different intervals to see how this affects the corn growth, the total silage production and the grazing after corn harvesting,” he said.
On another, de Haro-Marti is checking a proof of concept in demonstration plots on the effects of dual cropping with cover crops and corn with the intention of pulling nutrients from the soil and increasing soil health.
The field day will offer applicable information for growers to use in their own operations, updates on the research that is ongoing in Idaho and networking opportunities with other producers, he said.
The university — in collaboration with NRCS, soil conservation districts and producers — is looking at cover crops from a variety of perspectives, from soil health, erosion control, savings in production or increased income to nutrient management efficiencies, he said.
“In that regard, we keep looking for farmers that want to become collaborators in some of these trials,” he said.
For more information, contact de Haro-Marti at (208) 934-4417 or (208) 539-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.