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Cover crop field day slated for October 29

Lititz, Pa . -- The 19th annual Cover Crop and Soil Health Field Day will actually be held over two days this year. The first session will take place on Tuesday, October 29, at 6:30 p.m.; then resuming on Wednesday, October 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. All sessions will be held at Steve Groff's Cedar Meadow Farm near Holtwood.

The event provides CEU credits for Nutrient Management (3 credits), Soil and Water Management (3), Integrated Pest Management (1) and Crop Management (2.5).

The latest cover crop research will be presented along with the market introductions of three new pieces of equipment engineered specifically for cover crop planting, including a robot that plants between rows of standing corn.

Research in cover crops has been ongoing for nearly 20 years at the farm, known today as the Cover Crop Solutions Research Farm. Over 500 research plots cover 100 acres with the objective of giving North American farmers reliable and practical data for use when making cover crop planting decisions.

Presenters include nationally known cover crop scientists, researchers and teachers Mike Plumer, Dr. Ray Weil, Dr. Steven Mirsky, Joel Myers, Dr. Sjoerd Duiker, Lara Bryant, David Dum, and many others. The roster, agenda and complete details are at CoverCropSolutions.com.

Steve Groff, farmer and cover crop innovator, helps plan the research and oversees the facility. "There is a rapidly growing interest in cover crops, a practice many farmers have been following for years, some for decades.

"The current agronomic focus on soil health and cover crops is terrific, but the whole approach has to pay off for the farmer. We want to show him how. Our research is building data that will help give farmers highly reliable decision making tools when it comes to cover crops."

The event features indoor presentations and a multi-station field tour where attendees ride in a covered-wagon to see all the key field demonstrations in comfort. The lunch tent features stand up discussion tables where attendees can speak one-on-one with event presenters.

New cover crop planting equipment, each making market debuts, include the Cover Crop Interseeder™–developed by a team from Penn State Agricultural Research. The Rowbot™ is, what else, a robot that plants cover crops between rows of mature standing corn as a means of getting cover crops planted earlier. Gandy Manufacturing is introducing a cover crop seeder that attaches to a corn or soybean combine harvesting head, allowing simultaneous harvest and planting.

Event registration is $95, and includes lunch, a binder with a wide range of cover crop educational materials, and a coupon good for the purchase of $100 of cover crop seed from Cover Crop Solutions, the event sponsor.

A Google Map search for "Groff Farm Lane" points to the precise location of the event.

Steve Groff, farmer and cover crop innovator, helps plan the research and oversees the facility. "There is a rapidly growing interest in cover crops, a practice many farmers have been following for years, some for decades,” the Lancaster Countian says.