A cover crop field day will be held on the Dan and Crystal Ley farm located near Richmond on Tuesday, May 16th. The Leys participated in a 3 year Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to determine the potential economic value of various winter small grains planted as cover crops in the fall and harvested in the spring as silage. Dan planted cereal rye, winter triticale, spelt, and winter wheat in strips on a 12 acre field in the fall of 2015 and 2016. Dan has been measuring silage yield and forage quality of the cover crops as well as yield impact on the following soybean crop. He also tracked changes in soil health in the small grain fields and compared that to an adjacent check strip with no cover crops. Standard series soil tests, along with the new Haney Soil Health Tool, were also run on each strip. Dan also monitored physical soil changes including soil temperature, soil moisture, permeability, and compaction. The Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and Ag. Resources Consulting, Inc. of Albany assisted Dan with these tests.
The field day will take place from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Tuesday, May 16th. You will see what these crops look like prior to harvest and hear speakers from the U of M Extension, Ag. Resources Consulting, Inc., and the SWCD summarize the data, including economic value of the winter small grain silage. There is no cost to attend the event and a light lunch with refreshments will be provided.
Directions(24198 222nd Street, Richmond MN): if you are coming from the east, drive 4 1/2 miles west of Richmond on State Highway 23 to 246th Avenue, then about ½ mile north on 246th Avenue to 222nd Street, then east about ¼ mile on 222nd Street to the site. From the west, drive about ½ mile east of Roscoe on Highway 23 then north on 246th avenue as above. Signs will be posted. Contact Brad Wenz at 320-251-7800, ext. 3 for more information or visit the SWCD website at www.stearnscountyswcd.net.