Students help show parents the benefits of cover crops

Photo: Elijah Brandl and Ag Instructor Mark Cournoyer explain the cover crop test plot on the Brandl farm to field day participants

A cover crop project involving students, businesses, and a farmer-led watershed group is helping the next generation of farmers show their older family members some new stewardship practices.

Elijah Brandl

Seventh-grader Elijah Brandl is an FFA member at Auburndale, Wisconsin where the agriculture classes have teamed up with the Farmers of Mill Creek Watershed Council to not only learn about cover crops but provide the students the tools and seed to try it at home… with their parent’s permission. “We planted one type of clover, two types of wheat, and one type of radish.”

The cover crops were interseeded into silage corn with a toolbar the school got from an Iowa farmer and a tractor supplied by a local dealer.  Brandl tells Brownfield at first, the cover crops didn’t show much progress but, “There was corn in it, then it took the corn out and it really started taking off growing.”

Seventh through 12th-grade students participating in the cover crop project either live on or work on area farms and were able to try different things with the interseeding tool and most were successful.  Brandl’s advice for farmers next season? “They should probably do it.”

Brandle spoke with Brownfield during the Farmers of Mill Creek field day near Auburndale, Wisconsin Wednesday, December 8th.

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