Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Earlier this week, Eric and Ann Franzenburg, of Pheasant Run Farm near Van Horne, became the 100th household to become a lifetime member of Practical Farmers of Iowa. Please join us in thanking them for making a lifetime commitment to Practical Farmers of Iowa, and for helping us achieve this special milestone!

The Franzenburgs have been members since 1994, sharing their knowledge through numerous field days, farminars, and conference sessions over the years, in addition to participating in on-farm research and serving on various PFI committees and the board of directors.

Thank you, Eric and Ann, for your continued leadership within Practical Farmers’ network and across Iowa’s farming landscape! Anyone can become a lifetime member! Learn more about lifetime membership.
Thanks to increasing demand and premium prices for cover crop seeds like oats and rye, many growers are looking to these markets to fit small grains profitability into their operation. But seed is heavily regulated, and laws governing seed sales and labeling vary from state to state.

Growing a high-quality seed crop also requires some production practices that differ from techniques used for food- or feed-grade grain.
On-farm research opportunities with PFI!
Are you interested in conducting on-farm research on cover crops?  We currently have three on-farm research projects in need of participants.

Read the brief descriptions below, and  follow the links for more information or to signal your interest.  We have limited funding and would like to distribute the sites geographically as best as possible -- so unfortunately, we will not be able to accept all those who are interested.
Project #1:  Cover Crops and Manure

Are you curious about pairing cover crops and liquid swine manure? Have you ever wondered things like:

Do I need a nitrogen inhibitor with my manure if I use cover crops?

Can I apply manure earlier in the fall if I have a cover crop out there?

Will a cover crop affect manure nitrogen availability to corn?

Project #2:  Effect of Planting Green on Corn Seedling Disease, Stalk Rot and Yield

This is a two-year collaboration with Alison Robertson, Iowa State University plant pathologist, who has recently been studying how often seedling disease shows up on corn following cereal rye cover crops.

Cooperators must commit to participating both years.

Project #3:  Cereal Rye Cover Crop Seeding Date and Rate Comparison

This on-going project is designed to test the effects of cover crop seeding date and rate on cereal rye biomass production and corn yield.

We are looking for two sites to join this multi-year, multi-site project starting this fall.

Are you a beginning farmer struggling to find direction and support? Caleb and Jacqueline Shinn of Osceola applied to the Savings Incentive Program in hopes of getting help with creating their farm business plan.

“Going through the business plan portion [of SIP] showed us many options to tweak and guide our plans," Jacqueline says.

“Hearing from other farmers and professionals helped us improve and increase efficiency on our farm,” Caleb says. Through SIP, the Shinns learned about marketing methods to help them sell halves and wholes of the livestock they raise.

Read more about the Shinns' farming journey in the summer issue of "the Practical Farmer." To be part of the 2021 Savings Incentive Program class, apply before Oct. 11.  
Tuesday, Sept. 17 | 4-7 p.m. | West Branch, IA
Hosted by: Mark Quee

Saturday, Sept. 21 | 2-4 p.m. | Iowa City, IA
Hosted by: Susan Young

Sunday, Sept. 22 | 4 – 7 p.m. | Glenwood, IA
Hosted by: Carol Fassbinder-Orth
Sept. 15 | 5-7 p.m. | Carlisle

Alfonso Valenzuela Gumucio and Douglas Rooney started Gleann Daire Farm in 2018. They are currently raising laying hens and are building a mobile chicken coop to move the flock out onto the pasture.

The newest residents at the farm include 10 Romeldale-CVM sheep and their llama guardians. Future plans include a high tunnel structure for cut flower and vegetable production, as well as 3 acres of vineyards. Join Alfonso and Douglas to hear about their first year establishing a diversified farm.
Sept. 15: Social - Beginning Farmer
5-7 p.m. | Carlisle

Sept. 17: Field Day - Establishing Pollinator Habitat
4-7 p.m. | West Branch

Sept. 21: Field Day - Rotationally Raised Poultry
2-4 p.m. | Iowa City
Sept. 22: Field Day - Beekeeping in Iowa
4-7 p.m. | Glenwood

Sept. 28: Field Day - Goats for Ecological Restoration
1-5 p.m. | Chelsea

Oct. 6: Field Day - Extending the Vegetable Season
3-5 p.m. | Mt. Vernon
Hear from farmers Ann Franzenburg and Mark Peterson about why they are members, and why you should join us, today!

“On our farm we do a lot of weird things," Ann says. "Sometimes you feel like you’re the lone voice crying in the wilderness. And then you get together at a PFI social or the annual conference and you feel like, ‘yeah, these are my people. I am home.’”
Mark and Melanie Peterson of Stanton and Colten Catterton with Green Cover Seed were featured in the Furrow: Cover Crop Collaboration

Stefan Gailans and Laurie Nowatzke, both of Ames, were featured in The Lens: Shrinking the Gulf Coast dead zone part 2: Upriver
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.