Helps students show the benefits of cover crops to parents
Photo: Elijah Brandel and AG trainer Mark Cornuer explain the crop testing scheme at Brandel Farm to field day participants.
A cover crop project involving students, businesses, and a farmer-led catchment group is helping the next generation of farmers to demonstrate some new stewardship practices to their older family members.
Seventh grader Elijah Brandl is a member of the FFA in Auburndale, Wisconsin where farming classes have teamed up with the Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council not only to learn about cover crops but also to provide students with tools and seeds to try at home…parental permission. “We visited one type of alfalfa, two types of wheat and one type of radish.”
Cover crops were planted in forage corn using a tool tape the school got from an Iowa farmer and a tractor supplied by a local trader. At first, the cover crops weren’t showing much progress, Brandel Brownfield told initially, but, “There was corn in it, and then I took out the corn and it really started growing.”
Seventh through 12th graders participating in the cover crop project either live or work on area farms and have been able to try different things using the interseeding tool and most of them have been successful. Brandl’s advice to farmers next season? “Maybe they should.”
Brandel spoke with Brownfield during Farmers Field Day of Mill Creek near Auburndale, Wisconsin Wednesday, Dec. 8.