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Can Cover Crops Improve Grassland Bird Habitat?

By Adam Janke

Farmers across the Midwest and beyond have been incorporating cover crops into their rotation at an increasing rate – mostly to improve soil health and reduce water quality concerns.

But can cover crops also provide habitat for birds and other wildlife? Two wildlife experts will help answer this question during an April 25 webinar hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Adam Janke, a wildlife specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and David Buehler, a professor of wildlife science with the University of Tennessee Knoxville, will present “Emerging Findings on the Effects of Cover Crops on Grassland Birds.”

The event is part of the USDA’s “Conservation Outcomes” webinar series, which provides research findings, data and tools for voluntary conservation efforts across the country.

Janke and Buehler will share findings from recent studies examining bird use of cover crops in Iowa and Tennessee conducted in partnership with USDA’s Conservation Effects Assessment Project.

“As cover crops continue to become more popular in Iowa and elsewhere, interest in their secondary benefits for wildlife is growing as well,” said Janke. “David Buehler and I will discuss what research in Iowa and Tennessee has revealed about the opportunities and limitations of cover crops to provide habitat for grassland birds.”

No registration is required. Participants can access the webinar via Microsoft Teams shortly before 2 p.m. Eastern Time by clicking "Join April 25 Webinar.” Those using mobile devices may need to download Teams in advance.

Participants can also join via audio by calling 202-650-0123 and entering the conference ID: 554 587 395.

More Webinars Planned

Additional webinars are being planned through the fall. Here is a look at what’s ahead:

  • April 25, 2024, at 2 p.m. ET: Emerging Findings on the Effects of Cover Crops on Grassland Birds.
  • May 2, 2024, at 2 p.m. ET: Mapping Riverscapes to Support Productive and Resilient Working Lands.
  • June 20, 2024, at 2 p.m. ET: USDA Pollinator Practices Support Pollination Services in the United States.

New information, including additional details for each event, will be posted to the site when available.

Source : iastate.edu

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