As fall cover crops go into the ground, many farmers have questions about how to best manage cover crops and achieve benefits such as soil health and nitrate retention. Mike Castellano will share his research on how cover crops can best be managed to maximize benefits during the Iowa Learning Farms’ monthly webinar on Wednesday, Sept. 21. The webinar is free, and all that is needed to participate is a computer with internet access.

“Future gains in crop production and environmental quality will require a systems approach that integrates many disciplines,” Castellano said. To achieve this vision, Castellano uses expertise in soil science and ecosystem ecology to work with a broad range of scientists, managers and policy makers. Castellano is the William T. Frankenberger Professor of Soil Science and associate professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. He has a PhD in soil science from Pennsylvania State University.

The Iowa Learning Farms webinars are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. To log in, go tohttps://connect.extension.iastate.edu/ilf/ at 1 p.m. on the afternoon of the webinar and log in through the “guest” option. Webinar participants can ask questions during the presentation using the chat function. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the Iowa Learning Farms website for viewing at any time at https://www.iowalearningfarms.org/page/webinars.

ILF has hosted a webinar every month since January 2011. To date, there are 68 webinars to view on a wide range of topics including soil erosion, water quality, cover crops and farmer perspectives.

Established in 2004, Iowa Learning Farms is building a Culture of Conservation, encouraging adoption of conservation practices. Farmers, researchers and ILF team members are working together to identify and implement the best management practices that improve water quality and soil health while remaining profitable. Partners of Iowa Learning Farms are the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa Natural Resources Conservation Service and Iowa Department of Natural Resources (USEPA Section 319), Conservation Districts of Iowa, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Water Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa. For more information about Iowa Learning Farms, visit the website, www.iowalearningfarms.org.