Illinois Soybean Association Field Talk – Cover Crop & Nitrogen Management

As an Illinois farmer, David Olson faced rising nitrogen bills. To alleviate this issue, he began to implement legume cover crops on his farm to produce nitrogen after wheat harvest.

Starting out, Olson had many questions about costs, synthetic fertilizer, yield, and return on investment. To find answers, Olson collaborated with Jim Isermann of the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership to develop research plots on his farm for evaluation over a 4-to-5-year period. Doug Hanson with ProHarvest Seeds also assisted with soil and nitrate testing and selected cover crop species for the plots.

Illinois soybean farmers will have the opportunity to learn about this multiyear study at the next Illinois Soybean Association Field Talk. During this event, Olson and a line-up of expert speakers will explain the 1st year of this study pertaining to legume cover crop after wheat and nitrogen management. The study aims to assess the cost, return on investment, and average yield of this multiyear legume cover crop and nitrogen management strategy.


9am – 9:30am On-Farm Research of Legumes Following Wheat (David Olson, Farmer)

9:30am – 10:00amSoil and Nitrate Testing with Analysis and Cover Crop Species/Seed Selection (Doug Hanson, ProHarvest Seeds)

10:00am – 10:45amPhD Research: Water Quality, Nutrient Loss, and Nitrogen Management for Nutrient Cycling and Reduction Strategies (Dr. Giovani Preza-Fontes, Assistant Professor, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois)

10:45am – 11:30am Illinois Soybean Association Update (Abigail Peterson, ISA Director of Agronomy and Stephanie Porter, ISA Outreach Agronomist)

11:30am – 11:45am – Torey Colburn, American Farmland Trust

11:45am – 12:00pmProgram and Cost Share Opportunities (Vermilion Co. SWCD/NRCS)

Noon – Lunch

Lunch and CCA credits provided.

The first 50 registrants receive a free Illinois Soybean Association bag chair.




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