Home 5 Ag Stories A southeast Iowa farmer plants cover crops for first time

A southeast Iowa farmer plants cover crops for first time

Photo by Ben Nuelle

By Ben Nuelle

When you get tired of doing the same thing day in and day out you try something different. A southeast Iowa farmer tells something different he planted this year. Mark Jackson is a grain and livestock farmer from Rose Hill.

He was very pleased with this year’s soybean harvest and says his whole yield average was 70 bushels per acre plus. Corn was around 200 bushels per acre but he tried something new this year. Planting cover crops in between the rows. He threw on around 300 acres of cover crops in August.

“We planted it in the standing corn and we’ve had very good success with it. The showers that came in August helped germinate. So we have this little green tent growing in the corn fields. It’s been harvested and we still have this cover catching those nutrients and flustering them into the plant. It is kind of our next little adventure we are trying to expand on,” Jackson said.

He says this is the first time they have planted cover crops.

“We’ve kind of experimented with them a little bit and talked to a lot of people and find out what would be the best because there are a lot of dollars involved. Probably close to $25 or $30 per acre investments for a farmer. With a very short term return on that investment so I think it becomes one of those factors trying to justify. It becomes a continuous improvement as we talk about sustainability in agriculture,” Jackson said.

Jackson adds they had a few disease issues with soybeans this year but not many. He says corn yields were great but feels they weren’t better than last year because of excess moisture.