Cover Crops, Companion Crops & the Roller-Crimper Focus of Sept. 3 Field Day in SE MN

CALEDONIA, Minn.—Cover crops, companion crops and the use of the roller-crimper will be the focus of a Land Stewardship Project soil health field day on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 3, from 10 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. Registration starts at 9:45 a.m. on Mark Klinski’s farm (9379 Sanden Rd.) with a car caravan departing at 11 a.m. for Bob Mierau’s farm (13598 Heinz Rd.). After the field day, there will be a picnic lunch with ice cream (free-will donations accepted). For more information and to RSVP by Friday, Aug. 31, contact LSP’s Shona Snater at 507-523-3366 or e-mail her at ssnater@landstewardshipproject.org.

Directions: The Klinski farm is located about six miles northeast of Caledonia off of MN-44 on Sanden Road. The Mieraus are located five miles east of Caledonia off of County Road 3. Turn right onto Heinz Road and look for signs.

This field day will feature information that's useful for both conventional and organic farmers. Both Klinski and Mierau are working to build soil, increase crop diversity and learn more about new soil health practices. These two farmers are willing to share their learning experiences with using different soil health methods and will lead discussions on topics such as techniques for using the roller-crimper, spring-seeding a cover crop of winter rye, growing wheat to be followed by a cover crop mix, and interseeding cover crops into corn.

Klinski raises organic, food-grade soybeans and will talk about his first-year experience with seeding soybeans into roller-crimped rye, the lessons he has learned and the results he has seen. Klinski will also describe his experiment of seeding winter rye in the spring to forgo vernalization and planting soybeans into the stand.

Mierau will describe his experiments with interseeding into corn, companion cropping and his plans for grazing cover crops to increase his soil building capacity. Mierau raises conventional, no-till row crops and organic corn, soybeans, small grains and cover crops. He has also built his own roller-crimper and will detail the construction process as well as have it on display.

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