Registration is open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s second annual cover crop boot camp. The event is free and will be held virtually Dec. 3-4 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

The two-day workshop will ex­­plore how cover crops boost soil health, improve weed control and provide grazing opportunities. Row crop and livestock farmers of all cover crop experience levels are invited to attend. 

Certified crop advisor participants can earn one continuing education unit (CEU) for each session, for a total of six credits in the soil and water category across both days.

Registration is open until Dec. 3. To sign up, visit Farmers without access to a computer or reliable internet connection will have the option of calling in to participate. 

Boot camp agenda

Attendees will hear from a combination of farmers, university re­­­searchers and agricultural professionals. Day one will focus on the basics of cover crops in each topic area and will provide a good introduction for those just getting started with cover crops. 

Sessions this day will explore how cover crops improve water storage, initial adjustments farmers should consider if they wish to use cover crops for suppressing weeds and the ways in which cover crops link the forage chain for livestock grazing.

Day two will feature more ad­­vanced strategies for those row crop and livestock farmers wanting to advance their cover crop journey. 

Participants will learn how cov­er crops affect soil biology, as well as how to measure soil health on their own farm; the ways that cover crops improve weed control over the long term; and innovative ways to graze cover crops, including stock cropping.