Member Priority: Field Crops
Increasing rates of cover crop use on rented ground is the next frontier in improving water quality, promoting soil health and improving farmers’ resilience and not all of this rented land is privately owned. Local, state, and federal agencies own a large amount of land in the U.S. for the purpose of protecting natural resources and providing public infrastructure […]
November 15, 2017
Cover crops are gaining new attention for their ability to reduce weed pressure in soybeans. Specifically, when seeding soybeans directly into a thick cover crop. In the past two years, farmer-researchers Jeremy Gustafson and Jack Boyer have documented reduced herbicide use when planting soybeans into a tall, thick cereal rye cover crop that they chemically terminated […]
• Cover crops are gaining new attention
for their ability to reduce weed
pressure in soybeans. Specifically,
when seeding soybeans directly into a
thick cover crop.
• Farmer-cooperators Jack Boyer and
Scott Shriver investigated the effect
of row-width on soybean yields when
rolling a cereal rye cover crop. Boyer
rolled select strips after terminating
with an herbicide; Shriver used a
roller-crimper to terminate his cover
• The narrowest soybean row-width at
both farms (10-in. at Boyer’s; 7.5-in. at
Shriver’s) resulted in greatest yields.
• Boyer saw the greatest return on
investment where he drilled soybeans
in 10-in. rows and did not roll the
cover crop after chemical termination.
The drill itself appeared to lay down
much of the cover crop residue.
A group of farmers traveled to Ohio in August to spend a day at Dave Brandt’s farm. This blog accompanies the article in the Autumn 2017 Practical Farmer “Members Reflect on Lessons Learned in Ohio.” By Sally Hertz Gran In this reflection, I will be highlighting some of the topics we dug into during the […]
November 3, 2017
Clark Porter manages his family’s farm near Reinbeck. He is a former teacher and non-profit administrator. A Practical Farmers member since 2012, Clark is an advocate for healthy soil and clean water. He and his wife, Sharon, a Spanish teacher, have two grown sons. In his spare time, Clark enjoys kayaking, hiking and camping throughout […]
October 26, 2017
Keith and his wife, Barb, raise corn and soybeans, both GMO and non-GMO, on about 1,300 acres near Rockwell City. They use cover crops in their operation (the Sextons reported in their 2017 member survey that PFI field days on cover crops have been most meaningful); are currently enrolled in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; […]
October 19, 2017
PRAIRIE POTHOLES ARE USUALLY SMALL IN SIZE – but when farmed, these perennially wet spots on the landscape can have outsize implications for the environment and farm profitability. The Prairie Pothole Region extends from Canada south and east, through parts of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. In Iowa, many of these areas […]
October 18, 2017
Continuing work from the previous two years, Practical Farmers of Iowa and partners conducted another round of oat variety trials in 2017. Fifteen varieties were screened at two Iowa State University research farms (Kanawha, Nashua) and one PFI farmer-member farm (Wayne Koehler, Charles City) Find the new report here: Oat Variety and Fungicide Trials 2017. […]
October 17, 2017
In a Nutshell
• Can frost-seeding small-seeded
brassica species into crop residue
be an effective spring cover crop
• Among three locations, mustard
provided the most groundcover.
• When frost-seeded in the spring,
cover crop growth appears to be
related to GDD accumulated prior
October 16, 2017
In a Nutshell
• Small grain crops, like oats, are seeing
renewed interest by farmers in Iowa.
Iowa was once a nationwide leader
in oats production, but many farm
families have not grown them for a
generation or two.
• 15 oat varieties were screened at two
Iowa State University research farms
and one commercial farm.
• Top yield performers differed at each
• Antigo had the highest test weight at
each location (≥38 lb/bu) but was also
among the lowest yielding varieties.
Reins scored a test weight of 38 lb/bu
• Application of fungicide did not improve
yield or test weight for the four
varieties tested at Nashua.