Farmers’ interest in cover crops grows

By Sarah Rohm for LASA

DARLINGTON — Continuous learning is an important part of conservation progress and a cornerstone for members of the Lafayette Ag Stewardship Alliance.

Farmers, educators, industry leaders and community members came together during a field day on July 30 to explore the benefits of cover crops. Josh Kamps, University of Wisconsin-Extension agriculture educator in Lafayette County, covered the ins and outs of summer annual cover crop species through a plot tour at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center.

The hands-on experience also included a demonstration of a rainfall simulator, created by a research group at UW-Platteville. The rainfall simulator was designed to help the group evaluate the effect of cover crops on water quality. UW-Platteville Professor Dennis Busch explained research data and emphasized the importance of cover crops.

Steve Richter, agriculture strategies director for The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin, said collaboration is a key to innovation.

“We all need to work together when trying new processes. A great way of doing this is through these field days,” Richter said.

Farmers also learned about various cover crop cost-share programs available through the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lafayette County Land Conservation Department, and LASA and how to pick the best option for them. Farmers can learn more and enroll in LASA’s program here: