Winter Cover Crop School – March 22

Puyallup –Farmers and agricultural professionals are invited to a one-day workshop focused on effectively incorporating cover crops into vegetable production systems in western Washington.  Space is limited for the March 22 Cover Crop School that will include classroom and field activities.  Prior to this advanced cover crop training participants will complete a preliminary 2 hr online class.

Winter cover crops protect soils from rain, increase organic matter content, add nutrients, and can play a role in managing pests.  Cover crop choice, timing of planting and seeding rates maximize these benefits.  Integration of cover crops into complex production systems requires an in-depth understanding of cover crop types.

The preliminary online class will build basic knowledge on the use of winter cover crops, nutrient cycling, and soil quality.  The in-class and field activities will take a closer, more in-depth look at cover crops selection, nutrient availability, and integration into cropping systems.

WSU Soil Scientists Craig Cogger and Andy Bary will discuss cover crop varieties and strategies for blending cover crops to maximize nitrogen benefit and to enhance biomass production in complex cropping systems.  Extension educators Chris Benedict and Doug Collins will discuss cover crop choices and nutrient availability from cover crops.  A regional farmer panel will relate their personal experiences integrating cover crops in their production systems.  Results of a winter cover crop variety trial will be viewed in the field.

Washington State University Pierce County Extension and Small Farms Program have compiled this workshop to increase the knowledge of regional farmers and agricultural professionals on the use of winter cover crops.  The in-class workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday March 22nd at WSU’s Puyallup Research & Extension Center.  All participants will be required to complete a 2-hr online course prior to March 22nd.  The costs for the class is $40 (includes lunch).  To register go to: http://wsupiercecountyextension.wufoo.com/forms/wsu-winter-cover-cropping-school/. Information can also be found at: http://pierce.wsu.edu/ag/index.html

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