Iowa farmers could consider anything from seeding cover crops to diversified crop rotations to help build organic matter and soil health on their farm, Mark Licht, Extension cropping systems specialist at Iowa State University (ISU), told interested farmers during an educational seminar at Iowa Farm Bureau’s annual meeting Dec. 6.

ISU research shows acceptable profitability when implementing conservation efforts such as cover crops, no-till or strip till practices, despite potential yield drag, due to cost savings in fuel, equipment, maintenance and labor.

Growers shouldn’t necessarily dismiss changing up a farming practice from full-width tillage to strip till or no-till, or seeding a cover crop, due to concerns about yield loss, said Licht. 

Iowa farmers boosted cover crop plantings to more...