Practical Farmers holding field day at Frederick’s Greenbrier Township farm

Practical Farmers of Iowa will host a cover crop grazing field day on Tuesday, April 3, from noon to 3 pm near Jefferson (2458 M Ave, about 12 miles south of town), at the farm of Bill Frederick.

The field day is free to attend and will start with lunch. RSVPs are requested for the meal to Debra Boekholder, debra [at] practicalfarmers [dot] org or 515-232-5661.

The event is part of Practical Farmers’ 2018 spring cover crop “caravan” field day series, which features events at locations across Iowa exploring cover crop issues in grazing and row crop systems.

Bill and his parents, Al and Ann Frederick, operate a diversified crop and livestock farm on 800 acres that includes corn; soybeans; wheat; oats; triticale grown for cover crop seed; diverse cover crop mixes consisting of wheat, cereal rye, turnips, sorghum sudan grass, millet, kale and radishes; and 100 head of cows.

Bill Frederick also runs a full-service cover crop custom-seeding business, Iowa Cover Crop, which he co-founded and operates with friend and fellow farmer, James Holz of Grand Junction.

After lunch, guests will head to the field to see cow-calf pairs grazing cereal rye that have access to both the barn lot and cover crop pastures. Frederick will also discuss cover crop grazing mixes and rates; fall and spring grazing management; and spring termination. Attendees will leave the day with a better understanding of when to remove cattle in the spring to ensure successful termination before planting.

In addition, guests will hear from Holz, who will discuss feeding ryelage to feedlot cows; and farmer Dustin Farnsworth of Adair, who will discuss how grazing cover crops can help farmers make money during the transition to organic.

“Cattlemen seem to be reluctant to use cover crops, but you can recoup your costs in the same year when they are used as forage” Frederick said. “I hope field day attendees will learn how to get an economic benefit off cover crops through grazing.”

Directions: From Jefferson, head south on Highway 4 for about 10 miles and turn right (west) onto County Road E-63. Drive 1.5 miles and turn left (south) onto M Ave; Frederick’s farm is in a half-mile on the left (west) side of the road.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2018 spring cover crop field days are supported by Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Pepsi and Unilever.

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