Kuhn encourages soil conservation
Dean Adkins - Wed, 12 Dec 2012 16:39:31 CST
(Atlantic)--Kevin Kuhn can definitely relate to Johnny's Cash's great song "I've Been Everywhere, Man" because when it comes to promoting soil conservation in Iowa, Kevin's been all over the place touting the benefits of dedicated soil stewardship.
Kuhn, the Natural Resource Conservation Service Area Resource Conservationist, is now based out of Atlantic but has worked over the years in northwest, northeast and southwest Iowa with stopoffs in places like Guthrie, Mills and Adair Counties where he worked as a District Conservationist.
Originally from Humboldt, Kevin has a sister serving our country in the Army and two sisters that are teachers while his parents now reside in Le Mars.
Among the many soil conservation topics these days, there is maybe no hotter topic than cover crops. Kuhn says the interest is great because cover crops offer so many benefits.
From decreasing soil erosion, increasing organic matter, bolstering soil structure, increasing microbial activity, breaking up compaction, tying up residual nitrogen, lowering fuel costs and combating weeds, Kuhn says cover crops are worth taking a hard look at.
He suggests starting small and sticking with it for at least three years to give it fair shot because of the yearly challenges that are out there, including of course, the weather.
Winter hardy grains such as cereal rye and winter wheat make good cover crops, as do radishes, turnips, oats and legumes. They'll perform best if planted in August, so flying on the seed is one recommendation while post harvest drilling is also one alternative.
Kuhn says for success in the spring those winter hardy grains need to be killed around 2 to 3 weeks ahead of planting, especially if one is planting corn.
State and Federal cost share dollars are also available.
If you'd like to visit with Kevin on the subject of cover crops, feel free to give him a call in Atlantic at 712-243-2913 ext. 103 and if you'd like to learn more about the benefits of soil conservation in general, check out the video below.