Farminar Archive

Browse archived farminars and listen for free.

Practical Farmers of Iowa offers farminars at no cost to participants. These 90-minute, online seminars feature a wide variety of farming topics with farmers as the experts. Broadcast over the Internet, farminars are typically held Tuesdays from 7–8:30 p.m. CST from November to March. We record these sessions and make them available for free so you can keep learning year-round. Files are available to download as MP3 audio recordings, or FLV format for online video viewing. Check out all recorded sessions below.

Date Title Description Member Priorities People Tags
12/18/14 Haney & PLFA Soil Tests: What, How? Why?
12/12/14 To Bee- or Not to Bee-Keep: What are Your Options? H
12/02/14 Getting Started in Dairy Farming
11/25/14 Extending the Rotation Beyond Corn and Beans CCBFFC · ·
11/18/14 Cut Flower Production BFH · ·
11/11/14 Business-Planning with Finances in Mind BFHL
06/20/14 Successfully Aerially Seeding Cover Crops Explore strategies for effective aerial seeding of cover crops - pilots and a cover crop consultant discuss what works for them, including seed selection, equipment needs, and timing of application. This Farminar is geared towards pilots but there is something for anyone interested in aerial seeding of cover crops. CCBF ·
03/11/14 Land Access – Leases to Support Conservation … Explore legal issues pertinent to beginning farmers, including farm succession, the transition of land and assets to the next generation, custom grazing legal questions and writing farm leases. BFL · · · · · ·
03/04/14 Budgeting for Success: Adding a New Generation … Want to ensure you stay profitable on a cash grain and livestock farm? Learn when, why and how to do farm budgets from a farm that has been successful for generations – and is in the process of adding a new generation to the family farm business. BFFCL · · · ·
02/25/14 Pesticide Drift: Response and Compensation Consider this scenario: your farm is subjected to chemical drift from a neighbor's application to their property adjacent to your land. What steps do you follow once this happens? Learn how an organic vegetable and livestock farm has responded (and continues responding) to pesticide drift. BFHL · · · · ·
02/18/14 Making Niche Pork Work for You at Any Scale Iowa farmers have fattened hogs on abundant grain from their farms for generations, and opportunities abound for direct-to-consumer and wholesale niche pork. Hear how other farmers have made niche pork work for them, explore how you can get started and learn about new growth opportunities in niche pork production. BFFCL · · · · ·
02/11/14 Growing Better Potatoes and Carrots on a Few Acres Learn production techniques to help you achieve success growing organic potatoes and carrots at the 1- to 4-acre scale. BFH · · · ·
02/04/14 Outwitting Weed Resistance on a Cash Grain Farm Resistance is futile… when farmers are armed with weed ecology knowledge, small grains, steel and fresh weed management ideas. Learn about the latest weed resistance research, and practical strategies you can use to stay a step ahead. BFFC · · · ·
01/14/14 Planning Your Diverse Crop and Livestock Farm … Hear farmers share their experiences creating and using the essential farm business plan, and learn to use FINPACK, software that can help crunch the numbers. BFFCL ·
12/10/13 Building Relationships, Building Customers Relationship-building can be a powerful marketing tool. Hear from two farms of different scales about how they focus on building relationships with customers to be successful. BFHL · · ·
12/03/13 Revenue Projections and Profit Potential of … Listen in as an experienced livestock farmer shares his insight with beginning graziers. BFL · · · · ·
11/19/13 Transplant Production Improvement Considerations Explore systems to keep your transplants happy (even in the heat of summer) so they are ready to grow in top condition. BFH · ·
11/12/13 Efficient Crop Marketing and Distribution of … Ready to explore a new distribution business to help increase efficiency and amount of local food available in nearby communities? Learn from an established local food distributor now entering its seventh year, hear an Iowa beginning farmer’s vision for her food distribution company, and then listen as the two discuss considerations when creating a local food delivery business. BFHLF · · ·
11/05/13 Crop Insurance by Written Agreement for Apple … Learn the timelines to report and apply for insurance, and the recordkeeping and other requirements to gain crop loss protection. BFH · · · ·
09/19/13 Managing cover crops Many farmers planted cover crops on prevented planting acres this season and now have questions about managing those acres this fall and winter. Other farmers are considering planting cover crops for the first time this fall and have questions about species selection, timing, spring management and more. CCBFFC · · ·
06/14/13 Cover crop options for prevented planting acres … This spring has presented challenging conditions for farmers hoping to plant corn and soybeans in Iowa and across much of the Midwest. Also, cover crops have become a popular choice for farmers looking to enhance soil health, improve soil structure, prevent erosion and reduce nitrogen and phosphorus loss on their farms. But many questions remain about which cover crop varieties to select and the practical management questions farmers must consider for all scenarios. Practical Farmers of Iowa along with the Agribusiness Association of Iowa/Iowa Certified Crop Advisers, Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship invite you to learn and ask questions about how cover crops can successfully fit into prevented planting acres this year. CCBFFCL · · · · · ·
04/02/13 How to Hire Farm Laborers, By the Books Have you thought about hiring farm employees but feel confused or unsure where to start? This farminar is for you.Learn from two farmers about their experiences hiring farm laborers across the spectrum, from H-2A visa holders and migrant seasonal contractor crews, to regular part-time workers and full-time employees. Listen in as the farmers ask questions of experts from each regulatory agency that Iowa farmers will need to work with in order to be legally compliant farm employers. BFFCHL · · · · ·
03/26/13 Network with other PFI Beginning Farmer … Beginners, learn how to be an excellent employee and learn the most on the job this summer. Farmer employers, hear how farmers make time for a better learning experience for employees. BFH · ·
03/19/13 Cover Crop Decision-Making Tools Just getting started with cover crops or want to hone your cover crop selections? Learn more about two online tools, the SmartMix (cover crop) Calculator, developed by Green Cover Seed of Bladen, NE and the Cover Crop Selector Tool developed by the Iowa Cover Crop Working Group in Ames, IA. Both resources are available online for farmers and landowners to improve their cover crop decision-making. CCBFFC · ·
02/26/13 Vegetable Irrigation Basics for Beginning Farmers New to irrigation? Get the basics you need to build a system to more efficiently water your vegetable crops in the field this summer. BFH
02/19/13 Selecting the Right Genetics for a … Three graziers share their path to find animals that work on grass. Hear what traits to select for in your beef cowherd and choose superior genetics for finishing on grass. BFL · · · ·
02/12/13 Feed Alternatives to Corn and Soybeans Feeding livestock and cringing at the high prices of feed corn and soybean meal? Find out how to add alternate grains to your ration to cut costs. BFL · ·
02/05/13 Considerations for Year-Round Employment for … Do you plan to grow your farm to offer year-round employment to staff? Learn practical ways to build your farm's capacity to provide work and pay for employees all year. BFH ·
01/29/13 Explore the Profit Potential of High Tunnels Learn how to harvest not just great winter greens, but profits as well from your season-extending structure. BFH · ·
01/24/13 Specialty Crop Insurance: One Farmer’s … Have you considered insuring for your fresh produce farm this summer? Hear a farmer's take on what is available as well as his vision for a more suitable insurance program for fruit and vegetable farms. BFH
01/22/13 Cover Crop Basics for Corn and Soybeans Learn from farmers with experience using cover crops in conventional and organic systems. CCBFFC ·
01/15/13 Selecting Corn Hybrids and Soybean Varieties Gain a diverse view of the nuts and bolts of genetic selection and decision-making for corn and soybean seeds. Farmers and a seed production expert will cover genetically-modified, non-GMO, open-pollinated and organic seeds. BFFC · · · ·
01/08/13 Yeomans Plow and Keyline Design Get to know the Yeomans Plow and Keyline Design and learn how subsoil plowing can improve your farm productivity, water holding capacity, and reduce compaction. BFL · ·
12/18/12 Pricing and marketing produce at farm stands … Learn how to price and better market your produce to increase retail and wholesale revenue. BFH ·
12/11/12 Beginning a crop and livestock farm: Equipment Are you wondering if you should buy that planter for your crops or the ripper for primary tillage? Hear perspectives from farmers about what equipment a beginner should own to make profits on a beginning farm. BFFCL · · ·
12/04/12 Poultry enterprise budgets: Know your expenses … Learn how to price your poultry to ensure profits return to your farm. BFL · · · ·
11/27/12 Drought recovery grazing: Ideas to get through … Are you keeping livestock through the drought? Hear from an experienced farmer on how to get through the winter and plan for next year. Learn how to build resilient soils with managed grazing and more. BFL · · ·
11/20/12 Production in high tunnels: Salad greens, … Hear how to grow higher quality salad greens and microgreens in a season-extending high tunnel. BFH · · ·
11/13/12 Profitable direct-to-consumer meat and dairy … Learn more strategies to market your own meats and dairy products directly to families in your community. BFL ·
11/06/12 Farmers as employers: legal responsibilities Learn farmers' legal responsibilities for hiring farm employees. Two farmers will share their farm labor employment scenarios and ask questions of a Labor Department director, who will also summarize Iowa farm labor laws. BFFCHL · ·
03/13/12 Long-Term Fertility Management, Adding … High costs can quickly eat up all your profits. Learn how livestock management and longer rotations can increase your profitability while nurturing healthy soils, plants and animals on your farm. BFFCL · ·
03/06/12 Determining Whether Your Produce Farm Will … Want to grow healthy food for your local community and make a profit doing so? Learn how to plan for profit by using financial record-keeping to help guide your farm's development of production systems and markets. BFH ·
02/21/12 Integrate Small Grains into Large Grain Row … Farmers who attend this session will learn how adding alternative crops can reduce input costs and pest pressure while helping them raise more profitable and healthy livestock. BFFCL · ·
02/07/12 Improve your Farmer’s Market Sales Coming home from market with only $50 and a vehicle full of product can be discouraging. Participants will learn how to calculate the costs of attending farmer's markets, how to set a farmer's market income goal and strategies to reach that goal and achieve a profit that's worthy of the effort. BFHL · ·
01/31/12 Profitable Recordkeeping: Simple Strategies for … Designed with farm profitability in mind, this farminar will focus on how to track expenses and income, and collect data that can help farmers make informed business decisions. BFL · · ·
01/24/12 Insect Pest Management in Organic Vegetable … Participants will learn organic-approved strategies to mitigate the damage caused by flea beetles, cucumber beetles, thrips, European corn borer, cabbage root maggot, and aphids. BFH ·
01/17/12 Scale and Profit: A Financial Snapshot of Three … This Farminar is targeted to those currently operating or thinking about starting a CSA. It will help CSA farmers determine the proper scale for their CSA based on their skill level, farm size and markets. The presenters will cover profit potential, legal structure, goals, vision and more! BFHL · · · ·
01/10/12 Tax Preparation Training for Farmers Farmer Jerry Peckumn and CPA Leo Brooker talk about tax preparation basics and how to properly file farm business taxes. Topics covered will be guided by participant questions but will likely include business deductions, preparing tax documents for farm employees and recordkeeping tips to make tax season less stressful. BFFCL ·
12/27/11 Grow better with High Tunnels How do I get the best germination rates, design the best crop rotation, and earn the most with this season extending technology? Learn this and more as our guest from Michigan returns for his third annual farminar! BFH · ·
12/20/11 Setting up a system of recordkeeping (and … Enterprise budgets help farmers know, in detail, what crops are making money for the farm. Learn how to setup a system of recordkeeping for your farm that will allow you to run these budgets and increase your profit. BFH ·
12/13/11 Inexpensive, effective season extension Join in to find out how to extend your season without overextending your budget. BFH ·
11/29/11 The marketing end of grass-fed beef For many farmers, raising a good product comes first, but marketing it is equally important to create a viable business. This Farminar will cover techniques to successfully market your products. BFL · ·
11/22/11 Pasture Seed Mixes for Success Attend this Farminar to learn which species of grasses and legumes to choose for your pastures and what seeding rates will establish a good stand. BFL ·
11/15/11 How to better use Facebook to increase your … Do you want to begin or better your use of this free online social media tool? Attend to hear how to make Facebook an effective marketing agent for your farm. BFFCHL · ·
11/08/11 Wholesale marketing with distributors, what … From food safety, to packaging, order, and delivery details, this farminar will discuss what it takes to successfully sell produce commercially to a wholesale market. BFFCHL · · ·
11/01/11 Financing options for beginning farmers From bank loans, to USDA beginning farmer loans, to small business development loans, this farminar will overview the multitude of financing available for beginners. BFFCHL · ·
07/12/11 Putting a Face on your Farm This Summer Farminar on creating a brand for your farm features experienced marketing consultant and a beginning farmer. Create WOW Marketing president Andrew B. Clark, (self proclaimed “The Brand Chef”), is renowned for his more than 15 years of expertise in the branding and marketing communications arena. BFFCHL
04/05/11 Keeping Good Records on a Vegetable Farm Managing records for a diverse vegetable operation can be tedious, but good records equal better production and profit potential. BFH
03/29/11 Brokering Tips Brokering other farmers' products has great potential for expanding the profitability of your direct sales while helping other farmers expand their sales. Get some great advice from Nick Wallace on maintaining fairness, transparency and accountability when brokering products for other farmers. BFL · · ·
03/22/11 Profitable Grass-based Livestock Systems Thirty-seven year veteran rancher and author Cody Holmes will teach Torray and Erin Wilson how to plan for a profitable grazing system, how to work smarter with animals, how to track sales and costs, and how to maintain profit with grass–based livestock. BFL · · · ·
03/15/11 CSA Members as Partners Community supported agriculture (CSA) fosters a relationship between farmers and their customers in which customers have a keen interest in their food system. By taking a partnership role, your member customers can help you increase productivity and profits. Hear from Elizabeth Henderson how to better integrate members into your CSA through core groups, work hours, distribution and farm events. BFH ·
03/08/11 Building Wholesale Relationships Farmers, do you want to sell to wholesale outlets like groceries and restaurants? Grocers and chefs, are you interested in offering more local fare? Hear from both sides of the transaction to learn how to build strong wholesale relationships that are beneficial to both parties. BFL · ·
03/01/11 Managing Farm Labor Experienced farmer Eric Franzenburg Pheasant Run Farm produces corn, soybeans, swine, meat poultry, flowers and high value herbs, near Van Horne, IA. This diverse farm requires the helping hands of many skilled laborers to succeed. Eric will be coaching beginner Morgan Hoenig, Mogo Organics, who began a CSA in 2009. BFH ·
02/22/11 Organic Cucurbit Production Glenn Drowns with his wife Linda manage Sand Hill Preservation Center near Calamus, Iowa. They save farm genetic diversity with heirloom seeds, and poultry breeds. Glenn has been perfecting his techniques growing cucurbits organically for decades and is eager to share his knowledge. Ben Saunders has worked at Turtle Farm CSA near Granger, IA, for several years and is working to transition the farm to the next generation. With a university degree in Horticulture, Ben loves working with nature and educating on the farm. BFH ·
02/08/11 Farm Fresh Eggs, Handlers Licenses and … Tai Johnson-Spratt's Foxhollow Poultry Farm sells pasture-ranged meat birds and eggs of specialty poultry breeds, including guinea fowl, duck, quail, chicken and turkey, to central Iowa customers. Theresa Gould is co-owner with her husband Robert of Cornucopia Family Farms, which is a new vegetable CSA located in the suburbs of Chicago. She and her family of 10 dream of having a bit of everything on their farm from veggies and eggs to a variety of animals. BFL · · ·
01/25/11 Tomatoes Inside and Out Adam Montri, Outreach Specialist for Michigan State University, and operator of Ten Hens Farm, a year-round farm near Bath, MI, will share how to grow crops well in high tunnels, manage for pests, fertility and rotations. Sara Hanson a beginning farmer is putting the finishing touches on a hoophouse of her own in northern Iowa. BFH · ·
01/11/11 Growing in High Tunnels Adam Montri, Outreach Specialist for Michigan State University, and operator of Ten Hens Farm, a year-round farm near Bath, MI, will share how to grow crops well in high tunnels, manage for pests, fertility and rotations. Sara Hanson a beginning farmer is putting the finishing touches on a hoophouse of her own in northern Iowa. BFH ·
12/28/10 Value-Added Legal Considerations Sean Sullivan manages Juan O'Sullivan's Gourmet Salsa Co. and adds value to fresh produce by converting it to salsa for supermarket shelves. Beth Kemp is a beginning farmer who sells at the Ames farmers market as Jumping Bean Farm. Her products include fresh produce, breads, and she is planning on adding more value-added products like jams and jellies. BFH · · ·
12/14/10 Financing Niche Pork Jason Penner is a PFI member and beginning farmer with six years of experience producing niche pork in Minnesota. Jason will share his experiences, what worked for him and what he would have done differently, with beginners Devan Green and James Frantzen. BFL · · · · ·
11/30/10 Setting Marketing Goals Grass Run Farms is a small business started by PFI members Kristine and Ryan Jepsen. Their business has developed an increasingly specific mode of operation in the way they present themselves, brand the company, approach potential customers, and nurture relationships with existing customers. Says Kristine: In the meat business, the goal is to have a “home” (one or more customers) for all parts of the carcass you're selling; this determines where we focus our marketing energy. BFL · · ·
11/16/10 Growing Greens Better Larry Cleverley (Cleverley Farms) has been a horticulture farmer leader for more than a decade and has had success growing high quality greens. Joining Larry will be beginner Northeast Iowa horticulture farmer Glen Elsbernd (G it's Fresh). BFH · ·
11/02/10 Cover Crops and Natural Manures Building and maintaining soil health is essential to all farmers. Watch the first “Fishbowl” farminar of the season with eastern Iowa farmer Mark Quee (Scattergood Friends School Farm) and cover crop beginner Sally Gran (Wild Greens Farm). Learn how to manage cover crops, rotation recordkeeping, compost and manure applications. CCBFH ·
10/19/10 Vegetable Storage in Existing Facilities Fruit and vegetable farmers are growing their operations, but don't always have the financing to build new structures for all their needs. Join Denise O'Brien (Rolling Acres, Atlantic) and Melissa and Andrew Dunham (Grinnell Heritage Farm, Grinnell) to hear how they are storing their crops in existing facilities on the farm. BFH · · ·
06/01/10 Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) Get the lowdown on the new CSP from NRCS specialist Tom O'Conner and Plainfield, IA farmer Scott Weinburg. Includes questions and answers to help get your farm paid to do the right thing for the conservation of your land. BFFCL ·
03/23/10 Beginner Fishbowl – Grass-Fed Beef Grass-based livestock expert Doug Gunnink, Gunnink Forage Institute, and beginning farmers Dave Schmidt and Ethan Book talk about grass-fed beef production, setting up a system for the beginning grazier. Topics include what forage mixes, what breeds, pasture management, and tips on grass-finishing. BFL · · ·
03/16/10 Beginner Fishbowl – Vegetable Marketing Farmer Susan Jutz, ZJ Farms, has produced vegetables on her farm near Solon, IA for years supplying a large weekly delivered share-based CSA market. Learn from her all the marketing techniques that she finds to be worthwhile. Beginning Farmer Chris Corbin will lead questions and share his input. BFH · ·
03/09/10 Beginner Fishbowl – Vegetable Production Farmer Gary Guthrie, Growing Harmony Farm, the "Carrot King" of Iowa, has 12 years of experience producing vegetables on about 2 acres of intensively managed land in a five-year rotation near Nevada, IA. Come with your small-scale "high intensity" questions and learn the system of roto-tiller/hand tool vegetable production. BFH · ·
03/02/10 Beginner Fishbowl – Pastured Poultry Farmer Tim Daley produces and markets poultry on pasture. He will share his extensive knowledge on this topic with beginning farmers Brian and Cheryl Ness. Join in with all your questions will be answered - ensuring you will not fowl-up your beginning operation. BFL · · ·
02/16/10 Opportunities in Agroforestry Tom Wahl will overview the potential for various high value tree crops suitable for Iowa's climate, including cultural practices, production, prices, markets, pests and diseases. Tree fruits to discuss include chestnut, persimmon, heartnut, paw paw, and more. Tom and his wife Kathy have grown high value tree crops since 1986 and also operate a small tree nursery which provides high quality varieties. BFH · · ·
02/09/10 Grow Vegetables Year-Round Adam Montri, Outreach Specialist for Michigan State University, and operator of Ten Hens Farm, a year round farm near Bath, MI, will share how crops are grown all year in Michigan. He will provide detailed crop schedules. High Tunnel Crop Schedule PDF's:http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/p97422401/http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/p26064265/http://connect.extension.iastate.edu/p54027061/ BFH
02/02/10 Ramp up Vegetable Production Martin Stosiek and his wife Christa have farmed near Hillsdale, NY since 1988. Martin will provide a virtual tour of his Markristo Farm while discussing areas he has ramped up production, and how he made decisions to scale up in these areas. Martin will also discuss to which markets he sells his products and why. BFH
01/26/10 Whole Farm Soil Planning Learn how to use the online Web Soil Survey to access valuable soils information for your Farm. Learn the best place to put perennials, annuals, and building structures. BFFCHL ·
12/22/09 Financing Your Enterprise How do you put together a financing plan for your new business? This webinar will describe some scenarios to consider and describe a basic strategy for assembling monetary assets for your new or expanding farm business. Utilizing resources available that might include loans or grants from government or private sources. BFFCHL
12/15/09 Product, Placement, Pricing, Promotion, People Rick and Stacy Hartmann own and operate a small direct-market horticultural farm. Rick will take a version of the much used marketing formula, 'the five p's' - product, placement, promotion, product and people - and apply it to their operation. BFFCHL
12/08/09 Enterprise Budgets – Pricing for Profit Pricing products that do not have an established market can be difficult. For example, let's assume you are producing tomatoes and notice the local grocery store is selling California tomatoes for $1.50 per lb. In addition, you have asked potential buyers and they say they are willing to pay 10-20% above grocery store prices. From this information you sell your tomatoes for $1.80 per pound. Were you profitable? The key to long-term success is the ability to sell products at a profit. To do this you need to know your costs. BFH · ·
12/01/09 Fitting in the New Enterprises Wade Dooley, a young farmer from central Iowa, discusses his family farm story and the challenges and opportunities of "adding an enterprise" to an exisiting operation. Features 39 full-color photos of his farm life. Dave Baker from the Beginning Farmer Center also available with pointers and suggestions for ensuring a smooth enterprise addition. BFFCHL
11/24/09 Which Enterprise? Market ID One starting point with selecting an enterprise is to look to the marketplace to identify unmet opportunities. This session will start with an overview of a business plan outline, with particular emphasis on the marketing plan section. BFFCHL
11/17/09 Estate Planning Led by John Baker from the Beginning Farmer Center. BFFCHL
11/10/09 Legal Issues in Succession Planning the succession of a farm business and starting a farm business have a great deal in common. In both instances legal issues such as the selection of business entity, buy sell agreements, options, leases and other types of contract can and will have either a positive or negative impact on success. A basic knowledge of the legal "tools" can help those involved in either a succession or in starting a new business can help them to avoid costly mistakes. Led by John Baker from the Beginning Farmer Center. BFFCHL
11/03/09 Whole Farm Planning Tips on how to manage the whole farm with the Critical Path Method. Led by Dave Baker from the Beginning Farmer Center. BFFCHL
03/10/09 Ron Mardeson farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·
03/03/09 Tom Frantzen farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·
02/27/09 John Kenyon farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·
02/17/09 Tim Roseland farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·
02/10/09 Dan Wilson farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · · ·
02/03/09 Steve Howe farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·
01/27/09 Lyle Rossiter farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·
01/20/09 Martin Kramer farm tour Virtual tour of a niche pork farm led by the farmers and Iowa State University extension specialist Dave Stender L · ·