Cover Crop Field Tour Sept. 17 in Nemaha County

Figure 1. Cover crops planted after wheat harvest at the Daryl Obermeyer Farm east of Auburn in Nemaha County. On the left are oats plus turnips and radishes. On the right are turnips and radishes and cereal rye. The brassicas (turnips and radishes) out-compete the cereal rye in late summer. (Photo by Gary Lesoing)

Cover Crop Field Tour Sept. 17 in Nemaha County

A Cover Crop Field Tour of three sites in Nemaha County will look at how cover crops are being used and what the early yield and biomass data are showing. A soil pit at one site will also offer insights into longer-term soil health benefits of cover crops.

It is sponsored by Nebraska Extension, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Nebraska, and the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR SARE) program.

The tour on Tuesday, September 17, will start at the NRCS Soil Health Demonstration Site at the Daryl Obermeyer Farm east of Auburn, 1.5 miles south of Highway 136 on 643A Avenue. It will start at 9 a.m. with registration and coffee, juice, and rolls. Representatives from the University of Nebraska Department of Agronomy will discuss this project, conducted jointly with NRCS, and the soil data being collected. Gary Lesoing, extension educator in Nemaha County, will report corn and soybean yields and cover crop biomass data from the first two years of this on-farm research experiment.

The second stop will be at Trent Bohling’s farm west of Auburn, 1 mile west of the intersection of Highways 136 and 105 and 1/8 mile south on 629 Avenue. Bohling has five cover crop mixes that he planted in July following wheat. Paul Jasa, Nebraska Extension engineer, planted these same mixes at the Rogers Memorial Farm near Eagle and Extension Educator Keith Glewen planted them at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Extension Center near Mead. The mixes are designed to

  • fix nitrogen,
  • produce high levels of carbon,
  • break up compaction,
  • provide early grazing, or
  • provide late grazing.

Lesoing plans to take biomass and forage quality samples of these strips this fall. Bohling also has some grazing mixes and forage for harvest. Daren Redfearn, Nebraska extension forage specialist, will discuss forages for grazing and harvesting in Nebraska. This stop includes a pizza lunch.

The final tour stop will be Ron and Lane Meyer’s farm three-quarters of a mile south of Highway 136 on 628 Avenue. Turn south at the corner by the water and cell towers. Cover crops have been planted in this field for several years. A soil pit will be available and Jasa will discuss the effects of cover crops on soils. Lesoing will report on data showing how cover crops have impacted the soils at this stop.

RSVP Requested

While this field day is free, please contact Nebraska Extension in Nemaha County at (402) 274-4755 or Extension Educator Gary Lesoing at glesoing2@unl.edu to help provide a number of expected attendees for pizza and handouts. Download a program flyer and share with a friend who may be interested in attending.

If you have a conflict on September 17, Jasa will be hosting a Cover Crop Field Day at the Rogers Memorial Farm on Friday, September 13, at 1:30 p.m. Lesoing will be a speaker at that event.