Workshop in using living mulch systems for grain crop production

Incorporation of perennial legumes and cover crops into our row cropping systems and reduction of tillage will reduce soil erosion and concurrent loss of phosphorous and nitrogen to the surface water. Kura clover (Trifolium ambiguum) is a relatively new forage legume in North America that can be used in a living mulch system. It has an excellent forage yield and is persistent under a wide range of soil and climatic environments. Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, and Integrated Farm/Livestock Management Demonstration Program, with the assistance of Iowa State University Extension, are currently funding a large on-farm demonstration project in northeast Iowa on educating growers about kura clover living mulch systems for grain crop production.

No-tillage corn with living mulch

No-tillage corn in a kura clover living mulch system (Ken Albrecht, University of Wisconsin)

A one-day workshop will be held on this topic on January 26, 2005, at North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. The workshop will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. To register for this event or for more information, visit the Agribusiness Education Program Web site. The fee for this workshop is $25, which includes lunch. Registrations will not be accepted at the door. The final day for registration is January 21, 2005. Questions regarding registration should be sent to or call (515) 294-6429.

This workshop will feature four speakers.

  • Ken Albrecht from the University of Wisconsin-Madison will speak about utilizing kura clover in pastures for beef and milk production. He will also give a talk on corn production in a kura clover living mulch situation.
  • Ken Moore from Iowa State University will provide information on using kura clover as a forage crop.
  • Rick Cruse from Iowa State University will present information on soil erosion and what the future has in store.
  • Jeremy Singer from the USDA-ARS will focus on the implementation of conservation tillage practices using cover crops.

For Certified Crop Advisers (CCA), this workshop is an excellent opportunity to obtain additional continuing education credits. The following CCA credits have been applied for: 2.5 crop management and 1.5 soil and water management.

This article originally appeared on page 138 of the IC-492(23) -- December 6, 2004 issue.

Updated 12/05/2004 - 1:00pm