by: Jim Lopshire
Cover crops are an effective tool to reduce soil erosion and increase nutrient recycling on farmlands, thereby also decreasing the soil and nutrient loads entering lakes and waterways. Cover crops can have numerous other benefits including improvement of soil quality, pest management, fertility management, water availability, landscape diversification, and wildlife habitat.
Proper choice and management of cover crops are important in maximizing the benefits and reducing potential problems. Characteristics important for cover crop selection include life cycle, seeding date and rate, winter hardiness, nitrogen fixation or scavenging ability, feed or forage value, and establishment costs. There is no single cover crop or system that will provide all these benefits.
The OSU Extension Offices of Van Wert andPauldingCountiesare holding an agronomy program focusing on the incorporation of cover crops into cropping systems. With talk of needing greater nutrient management, and the potential future restrictions on the usage of fertilizers and manure on the farm for crop production, the use of cover crops may become a greater necessity to assure that nutrients applied to fields stay in the fields until cash crops utilize them.
This program will be held on March 22, 2012 at the Van Wert County Fairgrounds in theJuniorFairBuildinginVan Wert,Ohio. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m. with program starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. Lunch will be served. The registration fee of $10 is payable at the door.
Speakers for the day include Florian Chirra, OSU Extension educator, discussing Soil Ecology and Dissolved Reactive Phosphorus Problem;Jim Hoorman, OSU Extension educator, will cover Biology of Compaction, Cover Crop Rotations, and Cover Crop Economics; and Glen Arnold, OSU Extension Field Specialist, will share his research on Applying Manure to Actively Growing Crops.
The event is open to all interested persons, and registration fees include materials and refreshments.
To pre-register for the program please call the Van Wert (419-238-1214) or Paulding (419-399-8225) Extension Office or email: young.2 @cfaes.osu.edu to pre-register for the program.