Cover Crop Field Day Scheduled for Sept. 7 in Nemaha County

Rye cover crop in corn
Rye in continuous corn April 19, 2018 at the Eastern Nebraska Research and Education Center near Mead. (CropWatch file photo)

Cover Crop Field Day Scheduled for Sept. 7 in Nemaha County

Nebraska Extension, NRCS and SARE are sponsoring a Cover Crop Field Day on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 at the Daryl Obermeyer Farm in Nemaha County. We are excited to finally be able to host a face-to-face field day in Nemaha County after almost two years.

The field day will be held at the NRCS Soil Health Demonstration Site at the Daryl Obermeyer Farm, 1.5 miles south of Highway 136 on 643A Avenue. The field day will start at 9 a.m. with registration and coffee, juice and rolls.

Presentations include:

  • Andrea Basche, assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and her graduate student, Fernanda Souza Krupek, will discuss soil health and cover crop biomass data, and research they are doing with aerial imaging and cover crops impact on cash crops from this project and other sites in Nebraska.
  • Laura Thompson, Nebraska On-Farm Research coordinator, will report on corn and soybean yields from four years of this on-farm research experiment. Laura has used a drone to take aerial photos of this and other on-farm research sites throughout the state. She will also demonstrate the use of the drone at the field day. 
  • Gary Lesoing, extension educator in Nemaha County, will report on cover crop biomass data from several farms in southeast Nebraska. He will report on biomass, nutrient production and feed value from cereal rye in the spring and in the fall, data from five different mixes of cover crops that are planted in July following wheat. These mixes have been planted by Paul Jasa, extension engineer at the Rogers Memorial Farm near Eagle, at ENREC (near Mead) after wheat at the Crop Diagnostic site, previously by Trent Bohling near Johnson in Nemaha County, and this year in these plots by Daryl Obermeyer. These different mixes are designed to fix nitrogen; produce high levels of carbon; break up compaction; provide early grazing; or provide late grazing.
  • Nathan Mueller, Water and Integrated Cropping Systems extension educator from Saline County, will also discuss incorporating wheat into corn and soybean cropping systems in southeast Nebraska to provide an opportunity for using cover crops.
  • Paul Jasa, extension engineer at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will discuss research he has been doing for several years at the Rogers Farm, comparing tillage to no-till and incorporating cover crops into these cropping systems.
  • Aaron Hird, Nebraska NRCS soil health specialist, will be present to discuss soil health and answer questions, as well. We plan to demonstrate the tabletop rainfall simulator, showing differences in water infiltration on a continuously tilled field compared to a long-term no-till field with cover crops, and show how we have evaluated soil biological activity on these plots.
  • A farmer panel of area farmers will discuss how they have been using cover crops on their farms in recent years. There will also be an opportunity to view the different cover crops, and plenty of time to network and engage with other farmers and the speakers.

While this field day is free, please contact Nebraska Extension in Nemaha County at (402) 274-4755 or email Gary Lesoing so we can provide a number for ordering rolls, pizza and handouts.

In case of severe weather or continuous rain, we have reserved the 4-H Building at the Nemaha County Fairgrounds in Auburn as an alternative site.

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A field of corn.