For Greene County News
LONDON, Ohio — An Ohio State University Extension educator will host a workshop on cover crops Friday, Jan. 29 in London.
“The workshop will focus on using cover crops to promote healthy soil microbes and improved soil health,” said session host Jim Hoorman in a release. The workshop will also offer growers an advanced, marathon session on cover crops, with the opportunity to work hands-on with soils and seeds and learn about managing specific cover crops, he said.
According to a release from the OSU Extension Madison County, farmers who plant cover crops can expect to see lower input costs and healthier soils for both crops and livestock.
For crop producers, the benefits include lower pesticide usage and more efficient usage of soil fertilizer and nutrients. The increase in soil organic matter from cover crops results in improved water infiltration, less water runoff, improved soil structure, reduced soil compaction and ultimately higher yields.
The benefits of cover crops for livestock producers include growing and harvesting more forages, improved pastures and an extended grazing period, according to a soil expert with the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences at The Ohio State University.
Winter cover crops, especially grasses, are a viable alternative for the winter application of manure because the live crop improves water infiltration, and the live fibrous roots are efficient at taking up soluble manure nutrients.
Topics for the daylong workshop include ecological farming practices, soil compaction, soil demonstrations, the economics of cover crops and more.
The registration cost for the workshop is $35 and includes lunch, handouts, fact sheets and a new Midwest Cover Crop Field Guide. The event will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Madison County Engineer’s Office, 825 US Highway 42 NE, London. To register, contact Mary Griffith, Extension Educator Madison County, 740-852-0975, ext. 13. The deadline to register is Jan. 22.