Tag Archives: cover crops

New Cover Crop Research Published

A movement is picking up steam to introduce radishes as a viable cover crop, and
for good reason, says a recent eOrganic publication co-authored by IOGA’s very own Joel Gruver, of Western Illinois University. At the heart of the publication are the many potential benefits that radishes bestow upon a field in which they are planted. For starters, they provide almost complete weed growth control “both during and for some time after active radish growth”. Furthermore, this weed suppression is documented in the piece as lasting until the summer months. Radishes also have been proven to penetrate deeper into cover soil than cereal rye, a staple cover crop. Such penetration, the article suggests, along with other factors such as nitrate leaching leads to “significant increases in corn and soybean yields following radishes as compared to fallow or other cover crops”.

In short, this article covers the benefits, management and possible dangers of using radishes as a cover crop. The co-authors of this publication are Dr. Joel Gruver of WIU, Dr. Ray R. Weil of the University of Maryland, Charles White of Penn State University and Dr. Yvonne Lawley of the University of Manitoba. The full text is linked below.

Radishes – A New Cover Crop for Organic Farming Systems

Cover Crops Field Day on July 9, 2011

If you have any interest in cover crops, this will be a great opportunity to learn from an experienced farmer and researcher!!!

The Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network (CISFN) and the Illinois Organic Growers Association (IOGA) are co-sponsoring a field day on Saturday, July 9, 1:30-4:00 pm (registration starting at 1:00 pm). Learn more about how and why cover crops work and how you can build cover crops into your farming operation. Dave Bishop will share how cover crops are used extensively at PrairiErth Farm, both in row crop and vegetable production. Dr. Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University, will discuss the benefits of cover crops and how to select the best cover crops for your farm. He will also share information about cover crop research at the Allison Farm as well as information about the Cover Crop Innovators group.

The field day will be held at PrairiErth Farm, 2047 2100 Road, Atlanta, Illinois (search for directions on the farm’s website ONLY: www.prairierthfarm.com).

The field day is free for CISFN and IOGA members; the cost for nonmembers is $15. Registration is required. Click here to register. IOGA members should register using the section titled, “Field Day Registration for CISFN Members.”

Central Illinois Sustainable Farming Network’s (CISFN) mission is to promote the development of local food systems in Central Illinois through farmer support and training. Network members are committed to sustainable farming and are willing to share knowledge and participate in learning opportunities. Programming for CISFN is facilitated by the University of Illinois Extension and The Land Connection and with direction provided by an Advisory Group of Central Illinois farmers.

Allison Farm Field Day on August 3, 2011

IOGA is a co-sponsor of the 2011 Allison Farm Field Day. Click here to register.

Partnerships for Conservation Innovation is the theme for the annual Allison Farm Field Day to be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2011. Field day attendees will learn about carbon sequestration, nutrient management, cover crops, and other strategies for building and maintaining good soil; enjoy a free lunch featuring local farm products and tour the WIU/Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Farm in Roseville, IL.

Thanks to a partnership with the Illinois Organic Growers Association, the field day will have a new morning session, in addition to the traditional lunch and afternoon tour of the Allison Organic Research and Demonstration Farm. The keynote lunch speaker will be Steve Groff of Cover Crop Solutions. Participants may attend some or all activities during the day.

All activities are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required for the morning session and free lunch. Please register by Monday, August 1.

The morning session, “Methods and Metrics for Soil Conservation and Stewardship; What Works for You?” will be an interactive presentation on various aspects of soil conservation. Researchers and agency specialists from NRCS, EPA, and SWCDs, will explore relevant standards, programs, tools and tests. Audience members will provide instant input through an electronic audience response system. The session will take place from 9:30 to 11:30.

At 11:30, Joel Gruver, manager of the Allison Farm and assistant professor in Western’s School of Agriculture will provide an overview of recent research results at Allison Farm, followed by a lunch of local foods.

Steve Groff of Cover Crop Solutions will be the keynote speaker starting at 12:30. His presentation will include information about the use of the Tillage Radish and other cover crops to promote good soil stewardship.

After lunch, tours of the Allison Farm will be led by Joel Gruver. Two tour times will be available, starting at 1:30 and 2:30. Extra time for networking and open discussion will be available from 1:30 to 2:15, with support from UI Extension staff.

Sponsors of the Partnerships for Conservation Innovation field day at the Allison Farm include: Western Illinois University Organic Research Program, Illinois Organic Growers Association, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, UI Agroecoloy and Sustainable Agriculture Program, University of Illinois Extension, and Cover Crop Solutions.

Directions to the Dakin Farm shop (130 20th St., Roseville, IL):

If arriving from the north, travel on Rt. 67 five miles south of the Rt. 67 and Rt. 116 intersection in Roseville to County Rd. 20th Ave. N, then turn west and travel four miles on 20th Ave. to the southeast corner of the Allison Farm (intersection of 20th Ave. and 20th St.). Turn left and proceed south 0.7 miles on 20th St. to the Dakin Farm shop.

If arriving from the south, travel on Rt. 67 seven miles north of the Rt. 67 and Rt. 9 intersection in Good Hope to County Rd. 20th Ave. N, then turn west and travel four miles on 20th Ave. to the southeast corner of the Allison Farm (intersection of 20th Ave. and 20th St.). Turn left and proceed south 0.7 miles on 20th St. to the Dakin Farm shop.