West Des Moines, IA – The Soil and Water Conservation Society (SWCS), Conservation Districts of Iowa (CDI), and the Midwest Cover Crops Council (MCCC) will hold the Iowa Cover Crops Conference on February 17‐18, 2015, at the Sheraton Hotel, in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Conference highlights include:
- Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will share his personal use of cover crops in his own farm operation.
- Nearly a dozen farmers will speak about their experiences using cover crops.
- Individuals studying and using cover crops in seven Midwestern states will share their latest results from controlled and on farm demonstrations.
- Agribusinesses will be providing attendees with their latest products and innovations related to cover crops during sessions and as exhibitors.
A complete agenda and registration information ($99 through January 27, 2015) are available on the conference website at www.swcs.org/15IACC.
Cover crops have increased in popularity as more and more farmers have discovered they provide multiple benefits for agriculture and the environment. In Iowa, the number of cover crop acres has increased dramatically over the past several years — from fewer than 10,000 acres in 2009 to about 300,000 acres in 2013. Numerous studies have shown cover crops can improve soil health, protect water quality, improve farm resiliency, suppress weeds, increase forage availability and improve wildlife habitat. Cover crops are a suggested practice in Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy, a way for farmers to voluntarily protect water quality without regulatory intervention, and can reduce nitrate loss by 31% or more. The goal of this conference is to provide a forum for farmers, industry leaders, and agribusiness professionals to exchange information, discuss opportunities for collaboration, and learn about successful cover cropping practices.
The Iowa Cover Crops Conference is supported by the following sponsors:
Diamond Sponsors: Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance (IAWA)— created and funded by Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and Iowa Pork Producers Association
Gold Sponsors: Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship (IDALS)
Silver Sponsors: Albert Lea Seed and the Iowa Chapter of the Soil and Water Conservation Society
Conference Supporters: Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) and the Illinois and Wisconsin Chapters of the Soil and Water Conservation Society
Soil and Water Conservation Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization that fosters the science and art of natural resource conservation. For more information on Soil and Water Conservation Society mission, programs, and events, visit www.swcs.org, or follow on Facebook at /soilandwaterconservation or Twitter @swcsnews.