PEWAMO, Mich. – Michigan Milk Producers Association (MMPA) members gathered last week to learn more about cover crops from farmer panelists, industry representatives, and Michigan State University (MSU) Extension experts.
Hosted at Cook Dairy Farm in Pewamo, Mich., the half-day program included a field tour, lunch, presentations by experts and a farmer panel. Participants learned about seed selection for forage cover crops, manure management, planting and harvesting methods, and the practical application of cover crops in a dairy crop rotation.
“MMPA is committed to cooperative social responsibility and sustainable business practices throughout our entire supply chain. The Cover Crop Field Day is one way for members to gather together, learn from each other and experts about the practical management and benefits of cover crops on dairies,” MMPA Board Chairman Doug Chapin said.
Since 2020, MMPA has partnered with Barry Callebaut and Unilever’s brand Breyers in a Cover Crop Project to study and share the feasibility of cover crops on dairy operations. As an extension of the Cover Crop Project, the Cover Crop Field Day included a panel of MMPA members who have participated in the project.
“In a dairy operation like mine, where we are tightly balanced between cows and acres, we’re always a little short on feed and a little long on manure. Cover crops address both of those problems,” Kris Wardin, MMPA member and Cover Crop Project participant shared on the panel. “With cover crops, I can get high quality feed while utilizing nutrients more effectively and reaping all the soil benefits that cover crops are known for. To me, using cover crops on our operation has become a real win.”
61 percent of MMPA farms utilize cover crops and the field day builds on MMPA’s sustainability mission to continually strive for a more sustainable future. For more information about the Cover Crop Field Day, Cover Crop Project and MMPA’s sustainability commitment, visit mimilk.com/cover-crops.