A farmer network initiated in March 2015 by Purdue Extension is seeking new participants. Purdue Extension of Delaware and Madison Counties is coordinating the network for those interested in local and regional food production, with a focus on diversified, specialty crop, and small- to mid-scale farm owners and operators marketing their products direct to consumers and to local and regional buyers. Beginning or aspiring farmers are highly encouraged to participate.
Purdue Extension in Delaware County will host the "Cover Crop Guy," Dan Perkins, at the annual Purdue Extension-Delaware County Field Crops Program on December 1 in Muncie. Perkins, a Certified Crop Adviser, will provide valuable insight into making cover crops "pay" based on his extensive experience working with northwest Indiana farmers.
Michael O'Donnell, Extension Educator, visits a field that was "planted green" in Delaware County. Check out this YouTube video to learn more about this emerging production system. In this case, soybeans are no-till planted into a green, living cover of cereal rye.
A national survey--conducted by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and carried out by the Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC)--has documented for the second year in a row that farmers see a yield increase from the use of cover crops in corn and soybeans. It also provides information on the challenges and benefits that farmers see and expect with cover crops, costs of seed and establishment of cover crops, and how farmers learn to
Michael visits a specialty crop farm to discuss a cover crop mix planted after a potato crop. A four-way cover crop mix is discussed, along with details of each species, the benefits of cover crops in a small-scale production system, and management details.
Michael visits a Delaware County producer's field that was no-till drilled to an eight-way cover crop mix after wheat harvest this year. He briefly discusses the species in the cover crop mix, the soil health benefits that result from the cover, and the corn crop that will be no-till planted into the cover crop residue in spring 2015.