After seemingly endless rain, farmers and producers have been rushing to harvest their crops and take advantage of the sunshine while it lasts. Even still, some farmers found the time on Tuesday to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and talk about cover crops with Research agronomist John Rickertsen, Extension Agronomist Ryan Buetow, and other producers at C&N café.
Pheasants Forever Precision Ag & Conservation Specialist Emily Spolyar also briefly joined the conversation to advocate for conservation-focused planting.
Adams County Extension Agent Hannah Nordby organized the event with a more relaxed and engaging atmosphere in mind. The Adams County Soil Conservation District sponsored free coffee and treats for the event.
Nordby said that producers were both receptive to the easygoing talk and engaged with questions and discussion.
“I just liked the idea of just having a very short program where producers can come in, talk, and be engaged in a low-key event that’s not too time consuming,” said Nordby. “I think it’s really good to avoid ‘death by powerpoint.’ Things really seemed to stick better when the discussion was interactive.”
Specifically, the local agronomist specialists talked about cover crops. Rickertson said that with winter looming in the distance, farmers are already considering their next move to keep their fields at maximum productivity. Cover crops, according to specialists, are crops specifically planted to improve soil activity.
“The idea is to try and keep something growing in the soil at all times,” said Rickertson. “Cover crops can benefit the soil and keep micro biomes thriving when traditional crops aren’t being grown.”
At the coffee chat, producers were not only able to discuss the topic with local experts, but also discuss and share experiences with other producers.
Nordby said that, after seeing the success of the event, she hopes to continue hosting similar discussions in the future, and continue rotating the venue to different coffee shops and businesses in the area.
“We are planning on the next coffee talk happening in December,” said Nordby. “If anything else, the coffee talk is a great chance to talk with others in the community and learn something new.”