NB_360_23_7 - NB 360-23-7 PER – Request for Participants: Advanced Cover Crops Pilot Training
NB 360-23-7 PER – Request for Participants: Advanced Cover Crops Pilot Training
National Bulletin: 360-23-7  
Date: May 2, 2023 
Subject: PER – Request for Participants: Advanced Cover Crops Pilot Training

Action Required By:  May 15, 2023     

Purpose.  This national bulletin requests state conservationists and Caribbean and Pacific Islands area directors to submit a prioritized list of participants for the Advanced Cover Crops pilot training course offered by the Soil Health Division (SHD). 
Expiration Date.  December 31, 2023 
Background.  Based on requests from state conservationists, SHD has developed an Advanced Cover Crops training course to meet the needs of conservation planners. There is a growing need for NRCS conservationists to understand, convey, and provide technical assistance to producers and partners on the proper selection, establishment, use, and management of perennial and annual cover crops as part of a soil health management system. 

Explanation.   The Advanced Cover Crop training course intends to expand the knowledge and application of cover crops as an integral part of a full soil health management system. SHD is offering a pilot of the course to seek input from state specialists on the content, delivery, and efficacy of the course. Participants who attend the pilot will receive credit for the course. Participant evaluations of the pilot course will be used to refine the content and delivery of the official Advanced Cover Crop course.

Participants must have completed the Soil Health and Sustainability for Field Employees course. Participants should be specialists assigned to area or state office staff levels, as the target audience for the course is those who provide technical leadership within the states. Feedback should focus on the content, effectiveness, and quality of the course.

Training Dates. June 13-15, 2023, starting on June 13 at 8:00am and ending on June 15 at 5:00pm.

 Training Location.  Elsberry, Missouri Plant Materials Center, 2803 N. Highway 79, Elsberry, MO 63343.

Course Modules.

      1. Introductions & Cover Crop Species Discussion (Pre-course assignment is required)
      2. Cover Crops in regional cropping systems
      3. Principles of Diversity and Cover Crop Functional Groups
      4. Equipment to Manage Cover Crops
      5. Planning a Cover Crop System
      6. Incorporating Grazing into Cover Crop and Annual Forage Systems
      7. Policies, Management, and Termination Strategies
      8. Scenario planning exercise
      9. Onsite field activities

State conservationists should email their prioritized list of participants to Loretta Metz, National Soil Health Program Coordinator, at Loretta.Metz@usda.gov, by May 15, 2023.
Contact.  For any questions on the Advanced Cover Crop training course, email Loretta Metz, National Soil Health Program Coordinator, at Loretta.Metz@usda.gov



Deputy Chief for Science and Technology


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