In 2013, the District established agricultural demonstration plots in a fallow field adjacent to the office. The total size of the plot is about one acre and there are currently five demonstration strips established in this area. The goals of this project are to:
- Experiment with different seed mixtures and cover crop establishment dates.
- Showcase seed mixtures and track success rates and soil health changes.
- Educate the general public on agricultural crops and the purpose of cover crops.
- Host farmer meetings and field days to share knowledge gained through these demonstrations.
The 2013 plots included
- Soil health diversity plot planted with seven different species. The goal of this plot is to increase microbial diversity, improve soil nutrient values, and provide pollinator habitat.
- Three soybean plots with various cover crop management practices. One plot had rye broadcast prior to leaf drop, one plot with drilled rye after harvest, and one plot with no cover crop established.
- One corn plot in which half the corn was harvested as silage and the other half as ear corn. The silage side was planted with annual rye grass, oilseed radish, and crimson clover. The ear corn side was drilled with rye after harvest.