OSU Extension is pleased to be offering a “Northeast Ohio Cover Crops Field Night” on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 at Caroma Farms located at 9499 State Route 46 in North Bloomfield, Ohio from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. We are very appreciative of the Barnett family for hosting this field night. The family is one of the early adopters of the use of cover crops and this will be a great opportunity for area farmers to learn more about cover crops.
This field night will feature Jim Hoorman from OSU Extension. Jim is a nationally known speaker in cover crops and will be on hand to help producers learn how to successfully use cover crops. This will be a great opportunity for crop producers who are looking to use cover crops to improve soil fertility, improve soil structure and increase the capacity of soil drainage.
During the field night Jim will discuss the basics of how cover crops increase soil organic matter and improve nutrient recycling and how roots change soil structure and improve drainage. Jim will share details of the major cover crops and how they are used in crop rotations such as corn and soybean. Each cover crop has a niche or special purpose. Legume cover crops are typically used to produce homegrown nitrogen. Grass cover crops are used to increase soil organic matter, recycle excess nutrients, and reduce soil compaction. Brassica crops are grown to loosen the soil, recycle nutrients, and suppress weeds. Some other cover crops are grown to suppress insects, disease, weeds, or attract beneficial insects.
Jim will also share how cover crops may be used to supplement forages for dairy, beef, and sheep. Attendees will also learn more about the economics of using and purchasing cover crops. Discussion will also be held on how cover crops may increase soil productivity and decrease chemical input costs through reduced herbicides, less fungicides, and improved nutrient efficiency.
The use of cover crops should be strongly considered in 2015 as we have thousands of acres which were not planted due to the extremely wet weather. Now is a great chance to plant a cover crop, or two, to help improve and protect our heavy soils here in Ashtabula County.
This workshop is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Participants are requested to dress for the weather as it will be held rain or shine. Participants are asked to bring a lawn chair. More information about this program can be obtained by calling the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008. A program flyer can be found at: http://go.osu.edu/ne-events