AUSTIN, Minn. - On Wednesday, area farmers and landowners interested in planting cover crops attended informational sessions hosted by Mower Soil and Water Conservation District at Riverland Community College.
Tom Cotter, a fourth-generation farmer, and TJ Kartes, a seed dealer for Saddle Butte Ag, presented at the sessions to show farmers the basics of why and how to get started.
"It's really affected everything," says Cotter, who planted his first cover crop in 1998."It's helped me sell beef; It's helped me sell grain."
"We can salvage and hold a lot of the nutrients in the soil by using a cover crop," explains Kartes. "We need clean water. We need good, healthy soil."
Cotter and Kartes will be giving more Cover Crops 101 workshops in Southeastern Minnesota in February and March:
· Feb. 4 in Rochester - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Cascade Town Hall (2025 75th St. N.E.). Hosted by Olmsted Soil & Water Conservation District.
· Feb. 6 in Faribault - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Forest Township Hall (3625 Millersburg Blvd.). Hosted by Rice Soil & Water Conservation District.
· Feb. 18 in Albert Lea - 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Freeborn County Courthouse (Freeborn Room, 411 S. Broadway Ave.). Hosted by the Freeborn Soil Health Team.
· March 2020 (TBD) in Winona - Date and location pending.
· March 21 in Owatonna - 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Four Seasons Centre (1525 S. Elm Ave.). Part of the North American Farm & Power Show.