By Liz Stahl

Extension Educator

and Anna Cates

Extension Specialist in Soil Health

Register now to reserve your spot with the University of Minnesota Cover Crop Academy. This new, innovative program is a hybrid, year-long, statewide course designed for those who work with farmers including crop advisors, consultants, educators, agency personnel, agronomists, ag lenders, and personnel at non-profits, soil and water conservation districts (SWCD) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) offices.

This unique opportunity will take a deep dive into cover crops and will be tailored to Minnesota cropping systems and conditions. Participants will address the challenges and opportunities associated with using cover crops in Minnesota and attendees will be able to participate in research trials members develop to help address some of the unknowns around cover crops.

The academy will kick off with in-person meetings at the Research and Outreach Centers (ROC) in Lamberton, Waseca, and Crookston in June 2024. Participants will visit cover crop research plots and learn about what is and is not working in their region. Topics will include developing a cover crop plan, weed management and cover crop termination best practices, soil fertility considerations, avoiding cash crop issues, and getting started with cover crops. 

Bi-monthly online webinars that dive deep into cover crop topics will follow. The academy will wrap up in May 2025 with a final in-person session where participants will be able to see results from trials you helped develop as an attendee.

All academy attendees should leave with an expanded knowledge base and toolkit to help in cover crop implementation along with a peer network of cover crop advisors. CEUs will be applied for, primarily in the soil and water, nutrient management, and pest management categories.

There is only a nominal fee to participate in the UMN Extension Cover Crop Academy, thanks to the program sponsors. 

For more details and to register, go to Register by June 1, 2024, to reserve your spot for one of three locations: Waseca, Crookston, or Lamberton.

Registration is limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Note, all attendees are expected to participate in the entire program, and certificates of completion will be awarded at the final session.

This program is organized by University of Minnesota Extension, with support from the Minnesota Natural Resources Conservation Service and General Mills.