Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Two floors of the Iowa State Scheman Building are shown buzzing as people network and mingle with one another at our 2019 annual conference, "Cultivating Connections," held Jan. 17-19 in Ames. Thank you to all of our speakers, sponsors, attendees and volunteers who made this year's conference possible!
Jan. 29:  Farminar -  Regenerative Grazing Technology
7 p.m. |   Tune in here

Feb. 1: Shared Learning Call - Effectively Using Variety Trial Information to Select Oats
Noon - 1 p.m. | Dial (641) 715-3620 and enter passcode 357330#

Feb. 2:  Workshop -  Chestnut Growers Workshop
9 a.m. - 5 p.m. |   RSVP here

5:30 - 8 p.m. | Ames | RSVP here

Feb. 5:  Social -  Fruit and Vegetable Farmer Meet-Up
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Waverly

Feb. 6:  Meeting -  Grazing Cover Crops for Profit
6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | Boone

9:30 - 11:30 a.m.  | Logan

Feb 9:  Workshop -  Farmland Access Bootcamp
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. | Newton
Some Iowa farmers who have experience growing cereal rye are coming up with creative ways to get cover crops seeded beyond planting rye in the fall. Over the past three years, more farmers have begun planting (interseeding) cover crops earlier in the season -- just a month after corn is planted. They plant the cover crop around V4 corn growth. Read the research here.
Join fellow farmers to discuss the upcoming season, challenges, opportunities and ideas, and to network with other farmers over a cup of coffee and some breakfast.

All meet-ups run from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and are FREE and open to all fruit and vegetable growers. You don’t have to be a PFI member to attend. More dates and locations TBD.

  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 – Waverly
  • Thursday, Feb. 7 – Logan
  • Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Solon
  • Thursday, Feb. 28 – Decorah
Managing pasture and herd health in a rotational grazing system requires detailed data collection and an organized management system to use and interpret that data. In recent years, new technology has become available to help graziers with this.

Erin Kiley will discuss what information graziers should be tracking, and how the app PastureMap is addressing these needs. Grazier Andy Welch will join Erin to share his limited experience with PastureMap and learn from Erin how it can benefit his operation. Tune in on Tuesday at 7 p.m.!
Join us Feb. 1 for a shared learning call on effectively using variety trial information to select oats
Variety trial data can be difficult to parse into a decision on what oat to plant this year. Melanie Caffe-Treml is an assistant professor and oat breeder at South Dakota State University.

She will speak on our shared learning call on Friday, Feb. 1, from noon-1 p.m., about how to interpret variety trial results to select a top-performing variety in your area and how to parse the 2018 results in a historically bad year for small grains.

We'll also preview an exciting new project PFI is undertaking with several universities to make variety trial results for oats and other small grains more actionable. To join the call, dial (641) 715-3620 and enter passcode 357330#.
PFI and Red Fern Farm are teaming up to offer a full-day chestnut workshop at the Iowa Arboretum in Madrid, on Feb. 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The workshop will cover all aspects of chestnut production and marketing in the Midwest. Topics will include site selection, planting and tree management, varietal recommendations, grafted versus seedling trees, harvesting and curing, marketing and financial resources. Read more about the workshop here.

The cost to attend is $10 for PFI members and $60 for non-members.
Join us Monday, Feb. 4, at Gateway Hotel in Ames (2100 Green Hills Drive) at this FREE dinner and information meeting to learn about cost-share options available through Unilever’s Sustainable Soy Program, which is open to farmers who sell soybeans to the Archer Daniels Midland supply chain.

Practical Farmers is a partner in the program, which provides cost-share and agronomic support for planting cover crops and gives participants access to a robust cover crop support system through PFI’s network.

  • Reception begins at 5:30 p.m.
  • Dinner and program from 6-8 p.m.

Why should you attend?

  • If you're brand-new to cover crops, you may be eligible for the new "40 x 40" cost-share option, which offers $40 per acre on up to 40 acres of cover-cropped ground.

  • If you're savvy at getting other cover crop funding, learn how you can combine our $10-per-acre cost-share funds with support from other programs for coverage on up to 160 acres of cover crops, or 10 percent of what you farm, whichever is larger.

  • If you are a first-time customer to Iowa Cover Crop and its dealer network, you'll hear how you are eligible for a cover crop seed and application discount this fall.

  • If you want to learn about cost-share options available through the Sustainable Soy Program, and how you can get hands-on support for success with cover crops.

If you sell soybeans to the ADM supply chain, or participated in another PFI cover crop support program last year, plan to attend and learn more about changes for 2019.
Kirk Leeds, CEO of Iowa Soybean Association will share insights on soybean exports and tariffs.
First-time customer of Iowa Cover Crop  and its dealer network? Get a seed and application discount this fall!
Ray Gaesser, farmer in southwest Iowa, will share his playbook for how he plants and manages 2,600 acres of cover crops.
Cover crops have value as livestock feed – but how much value? On-farm research shows that cover crops offset winter feed and put money back into farmers’ pockets the same year of planting.

Hear from  Mark Schleisman , Lake City cattle and crop farmer, and  Meghan Filbert , PFI’s livestock program manager, on how to manage cover crops for grazing and maximal profits.

This is a public event. There is no need to RSVP. Learn more about this event on Facebook!
Darren and Becky Housberg of Osceola were featured in Wallaces Farmer: Good soil grows good apples .

Rob Stout of Washington was featured in Iowa Farmer Today: Iowa producer continues family focus on pork genetics, tech

Aaron Lehman of Polk City was featured in:

Jean Eells of Webster City was featured on the Iowa Conservation Education Coalition's website: Winners of the 2018 IAN/ICEC Awards for Excellence in Environmental Education

Mark Schleisman of Lake City was featured in Iowa Ag Connection: National Legacy Award Winner Uses Cows, Crops, Conservation

Tim Landgraf of Kanawha and Sarah Hargreaves of Aylmer, Ontario, were featured in Farmtario: On-farm research solves problems close to home

Virginia Nichols of Ames, David Weisberger of Clemson, South Carolina, and Sarah Carlson of Pleasant Hill were featured in No-Till Farmer: How Much Cover Crop Growth is Needed for Weed Control

Jack Boyer of Reinbeck, Fred Abels of Holland, Chris Teachout of Shenandoah and Brian Kessel of Lamoni were featured in Wallaces Farmer: Interseeding cover crops in extra-wide corn rows

Dick Sloan of Rowley was featured in an article on the Iowa Department of Natural Resources website: Water quality improvements lead to mussels’ return, Lime Creek off state impaired waters list
Have you been featured in the media? Tell us when and where to find a link to the article, and we'll feature you in a future issue of Practical News.