Cover Crop Event Brings Together Farmers and Cattle Operators
Farmers and livestock feeders interested in growing and using cover crops can learn and network with each other at an event Wednesday, August 9, during the Lancaster County Super Fair.
“Opportunities for Growing and Grazing Cover Crops” will be held from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Lancaster Event Center, 84th & Havelock in Lincoln, in the Exhibit Hall next to Pavilion 3. The event is free but pre-registration is required by Friday, August 4 at lancaster.unl.edu/ag/covercrops or calling 402-441-7180.
Nebraska Extension, Lancaster County Farm Bureau, the Nebraska Corn Board and North Central SARE have teamed up to provide this unique opportunity for cover crop growers and cattle operators. Lunch will be provided.
The day will feature a trade show, speakers from public and private organizations, and first-hand insight from producers using cover crops in Nebraska.
Presentations will include:
- Making Cover Crops Work: Advice from Nebraska Producers, a video during registration
- What Every Farmer Needs to Understand About Soil Health — Jacob Ness, Soil Health Partnership
- Opportunities for Incorporating Cover Crops and Grazing into Cropping Systems — Daren Redfearn, Nebraska Extension forage specialist
- Impacts of Cattle on Cropland — Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension beef systems specialist
- Integrated Crop-Cattle Production: One Farmer’s Journey — Mike Buis, Chatham, Ontario, Canada
- Pricing Cover Crop Grazing and Developing Rental Agreements — Jay Parsons, UNL Agricultural Economics Professor
- Partnering for Profit: Producer Panel on Keys to Successful Farmer-Cattlemen Partnerships — panel members include Chad Dane, Gary Bader, Burdette Piening, Rodney Wiese, Mike Buis
There also will be opportunities for participants to visit a trade show and network with producers and agribusiness. Lunch is included for those who preregister and a reception will follow the event.
Soil Health, Feed & Income Benefits
While cover crops offer many challenges and opportunities, using cattle to graze cover crops offers several benefits.
“Cover crops can be a way for both livestock producers and grain producers to improve soil health and increase their income," said Rod Hollman, president of the Lancaster County Farm Bureau. "Cover crops can provide extra feed for livestock, allowing producers to increase the size of their herds.”
Mary Drewnoski, Nebraska Extension beef systems specialist agreed, adding “Using cattle to graze cover crops is a way to capture extra income while also gaining some environmental benefits.”