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“Since the last people to grow small grains in this area were our grandparents or our great-grandparents a lot of small grains production [knowledge] seems like it’s through story telling. Some people say, well I’ve heard from my grandfather, that if you let small grains go down, it means they have a higher test weight. […]

January 27, 2017 


In my new role at Practical Farmers, one of the really exciting projects I’ll be working on is developing a small grains marketing pilot. Practical Farmers has gathered a group of farmers and small grains buyers throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to work through the logistics of growing and selling these crops in the upper […]

January 12, 2017 


The first season of Rotationally Raised has come to a close. We hope you learned a lot about production, and that you’ve decided that small grains could work on your farm. That said, in this episode, we shift the focus a bit to include the bigger picture. Members of Practical Farmers of Iowa want to […]

March 17, 2017 


When considering whether or not to grow small grains, one of the main things farmers consider is: can I sell them? In order to answer this big question, farmers often have to answer several smaller questions about who they can sell to, the logistics of how to sell, and what quality metrics and thresholds are expected. […]

February 7, 2017 


Marketing can be challenging for any crop, especially when commodity prices are low. But for small grains, the number of elevators that will even have bids out for most small grains is limited. Because Iowa farmers recognize the benefits of adding a third crop to their farm, they are finding both traditional markets and on-farm uses […]

February 23, 2017 


Vic and Cindy Madsen raise organic corn, soybeans, hay and small grains, as well as hogs and cattle, near Audubon. The Madsens grow small grains for many different reasons: weed management may be one of the most important for their organic operation, but small grains’ effect on the soil, their labor and the livestock operation […]

August 12, 2016 


Time was when oats were included in the diet of nearly every single farm animal (aside from maybe the dogs and cats) raised in the state of Iowa. Cattle, dairy cows, horses, chickens, pigs and sheep all ate oats (and other small grains) at various stages of their lives. That time has now past, of […]

March 2, 2017 


Nathan Anderson of Bobolink Prairie Farms in northwest Iowa recently hosted a field day with his wife Sarah, where he told the crowd some of the reasons that he grows small grains. The Andersons also raise corn, soybeans and grass-fed beef. You can read a recap of that field day at In addition to talking […]

July 22, 2016 


Paul and Nancy Ackley raise corn, soybeans, small grains, cattle and sheep on their farm near Bedford in southwest Iowa. They’ve grown small grains for many years – they used to raise winter wheat and use the straw for bedding when they had pigs. But over the past five years, they’ve been growing wheat again. […]

July 29, 2016 


Over 80 people gathered at the farm of Aaron and Nicole Heley-Lehman on June 20, 2016 to learn about the production and benefits of growing small grains in an organic crop rotation. The field day was held on the original farm that the Lehmans settled on, five generations ago. The farm was once much more diversified: […]

June 23, 2016