According to the recently released Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy, “The adoption of cover crops as a routine management practice may provide the best means of achieving large reductions in nutrient losses, particularly in the southern two-thirds of the state.” This strategy calls for a 45-percent reduction in phosphorus reaching the Mississippi River.
To help anyone get some information on the use of cover crops, the Soil & Water Conservation Districts in Fayette and Effingham counties, along with the Council for Best Management Practices, are sponsoring a “Cover Crop for Beginners” meeting next Monday at the Altamont Carriage House Event Center in Altamont.
Registration begins at 8:30 and the meeting is at 9 a.m., followed by lunch.
With all of the rain this year, many fields did not get planted. These fields would provide an excellent opportunity to try cover crops for those farmers who have never done so, according to SWCD officials.
Speakers will address: choosing the right cover crop; timing of planting and terminating; and the effect of cover crops on soil health.
There will also be a panel of local farmers with experience using cover crops.
Area residents can register for the meeting by calling either 283-1095, ext. 3 or 1-217-347-7107.