University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Organic Farm Tours from 1:30-5 p.m. on Aug. 16 will help organic producers learn more about increasing soil health by incorporating cover crops into cropping systems.Tours will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Larry Stanislav farm two miles north of Abie. Participants will join Stanislav to discuss his diverse cropping system of spring wheat, corn, soybean and cover crops.
Participants will also learn how Stanislav has reduced tillage and managed weeds using a roller crimper and flamer, said UNL Extension soil scientist Charles Shapiro. Stanislav has participated in a Ceres Trust Grant to incorporate a roller crimper into his cropping system.
Starting at 3:30 p.m. participants will tour Randy Fendrich's farm.
Fendrich also participated in the grant. He will discuss his cultural practices and crop rotation using a roller crimper and a 12-row flamer/cultivator that he built himself for weed control.
At 4:30 p.m., Randy Anderson, USDA-ARS research agronomist at the North Central Agricultural Research Laboratory in Brookings, S.D., will present an update on his research findings.
Anderson, a weed ecologist, will discuss the goal of his research program to develop a continuous no-till cropping system for organic producers. He will present results on converting red clover fields to cropland without tillage and describe the impact of under seeding clovers in winter and spring wheat on downy brome growth.
Producers will learn how to minimize the need for tillage to control weeds and how a system based on winterkilled cover crops can control weeds adequately to grow no-till.
Though this is focused on organic producers, any producer wanting to decrease input costs will find this information useful.
Producers using no-till rotations can learn more about how continuous no-till rotations can improve land productivity, farm economics, soil health and resource-use-efficiency in the Great Plains.
After the tours, a free dinner provided by the Fendrich Family will be served at 5 p.m. Reservations are needed. Please call Wendy at 402-584-3837 to RSVP or for more information about the tour or directions.
UNL Extension is in the university's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.