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Iowan felt implementing cover crops was “right thing to do”

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Iowa

Several agricultural groups are joining the movement for enhanced cover crop adoption.

A Grundy County farmer shares why he decided to implement cover crops on his farm.

Kevin Holl, of Conrad, Iowa, has been utilizing cover crops for five plus years. He can’t quite recall why he initially chose to implement this sustainable practice. However, he does remember thinking it was “the right thing to do.”

“I don’t know what triggered it, but I thought it was the right thing to do. I saw a lot of erosion with seed corn I grow because of the many trips you make across the field. I wondered if cover crops would help, and they did,” Holl said.

All of Holl’s corn acres are now followed up by cover crops. He continues to implement this practice, as it helps increase soil structures.

While reflecting on years past, Holl admits he did face some challenges early on. 

“We had armyworm issues on seed fields one year. I had one year where it didn’t grow from an airplane application. Slugs got that. I haven’t had any problems with drilling since. It’s great,” Holl said. 

Holl encourages interested farmers to attend a field day and/or educational meeting.

“They need to come to a meeting, and watch the rain simulator demonstration,” Holl said. “You can compare a cover cropped, no-till field versus one that’s been tilled, with no covers, and see the difference and how well the no-till, cover crop performed.”

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