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Reduce Yield, Disease Risks When Using Cover Crops
Iowa Ag Connection - 02/14/2018

Iowa Learning Farms will host a webinar about how producers can reduce yield impact and disease risks when using cover crops on Feb. 21 at 1 p.m.

Despite the many documented benefits of cover crops, some farmers are hesitant to add cover crops to their operations due to perceived risks of yield impact and increased disease. Alison Robertson, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and an extension field crops pathologist at Iowa State University, will discuss best management practices that can help farmers avoid reduced stands and lower yields. She also will explain how a cover crop may act as a green bridge for oomycete pathogens, thereby creating an increased risk of seedling disease in corn without proper management.

"The goal of our research is to develop best disease management practices that protect yield potential and ensure profitability," said Robertson. Robertson hopes that webinar viewers will gain a better understanding of the factors that can cause seedling disease of corn when using cover crops so that producers can appropriately manage risk. Robertson specializes in the research of seedling diseases caused by oomycete (water molds).

The Iowa Learning Farms webinar series takes place on the third Wednesday of the month. To watch, go to shortly before 1 p.m. on Feb. 21 and log in through the "guest" option. The webinar will be recorded and archived on the ILF website for watching at any time at

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