Grazing cover crops can improve soil health, water quality, and profitability. Below you will find several resources for cattle producers interested in utilizing cover crops.
Economics of Cover Crops - ISU Extension and Outreach, March 2018
The decision tool provides worksheets to analyze three different cover crop scenarios: projected economic costs and benefits of crop crops without grazing or harvesting, projected economic costs and benefits of crop crops with grazing or harvesting, actual economic costs and benefits resulting from cover crops, including grazing or harvesting.
USDA NRCS Iowa Agronomy Technical Note #38 - Cover Crop Management, April 2016
Includes cover crop benefits, site preparation & weed control, seeding, termination, seeding rates, planting dates, a map of planting zones, examples of diverse crop mixes for specific concerns (compaction, nitrogen, grazing, erosion control, etc.)
NRCS Cover Crops: A Guide for Iowa Producers
Includes a helpful chart with a variety of cover crops and their seeding dates, rates, depth, establishment techniques, best uses, and management information
RMA Fact Sheet on Cover Crops and Crop Insurance - May 2016
NEW 2016 guidelines allow insurance on cash crops following cover crops, if proper termination guidelines are followed
Herbicide use and Grazing Cover Crops - Iowa State University
Includes information on safe herbicides to use when grazing cover crops.
NRCS Cover Crops Job Sheet
Cover Crops in the Iowa Cattleman Magazine
The Economics of Cover Crops (June 2018) Cattle producers have a better chance than row-crop farmers to make cover crops cash-flow, but what are the keys to making that happen?
Why Early Interseeding? (May 2018) How and why to interseed cover crops into standing corn in the spring or early summer.
Cover Crops and Crop Insurance (August 2017)
Cover Crops and Cattle - Ingredients for Success (July 2017) Karl Dallefeld, Prairie Creek Seed, offers advice to producers who want to use cover crops.
Capitalizing on Cover Crops with the Cowherd (July 2017) Erika Lundy, Beef Extension Specialist, Iowa Beef Center, gives an overview of cover crops.
What's your Cover Crop story? (July 2017) Six ICA members share their experiences with cover crops and cattle.
Record Yields from the Bottom Up using No-Till, Cover Crops (July 2017) This article features Kevin, Jason and Kyle Prevo of Bloomfield and the conservation practices they've used on their row-crop and cow/calf operation.
Are Cover Crops an Opportunity for a New Stocker Industry? (July 2017) Iowa Beef Center director, Dan Loy, discusses the forage value of cover crops in his monthly column.
Collaborative Conservation between a Cow-Calf, Feedlot and Row-Crop Operation (April 2017) This year's Iowa Environmental Stewardship Award Winners utilize cover crops as an important conservation and forage tool on their farm.
Untapped Potential: Cover Crops and Cattle (August 2016) Mark Schleisman of Lake City has integrated cover crops with his cattle operation for more than 30 years.
Prairie Creek Seed, ICA President's Council member and Stewards of the Land partner, will donate 5 cents back to the Iowa Cattlemen's Association for every pound of forage and cover crop seed sold. Visit www.prairiecreekseed.com for more information.
The Stewards of the Land Program is intended to improve grazing practices in Iowa while simultaneously providing environmental benefits, such as improved soil health and water quality. The program is grant funded by the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) with additional support from the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation and Prairie Creek Seeds.