Member Priority: Research and Demonstration

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Report sheds light on fruit and vegetable farm financesFor Release: May 5, 2017 Download PDF (104 kB) Kate Edwards, of Wild Woods Farm Contacts: Nick Ohde | Research & Media Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [email protected] Liz Kolbe | Horticulture Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | [...]

May 5, 2017 


We continue our celebration of Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Cooperators’ Program’s 30th anniversary with another installment of our “Better Know an On-Farm Research Project” series. Previously, we featured Vic Madsen discussing strip trials that investigated N fertilizer rates for corn and Dave Lubben discussing some of the biological and alternative amendments he tried for corn […]

May 4, 2017 


Toward our on-going effort to facilitate discussions about profitability of diversified fruit and vegetable farms, the Year 2 Report of the Whole Farm Financial Project is now available. Twelve farmers contributed their profit-loss statements and balance sheets to Practical Farmers of Iowa for this report, and work on the next edition of the report (FY2015 and 2016) […]

April 27, 2017 


In a Nutshell
• 12 fruit and vegetable farms provided a
profit-loss statement and simple balance
sheet for 2014.
• Four of the 12 are meeting their personal
expectations for profitability.
• Seven of the participating farms also
provided data for Year 1 (2013)
• Number of years farming as a business
ranged from 1 – 35 years.
• The range (difference between highest
and lowest reported values) is large for
many aggregated categories. Averages
(and medians) with large ranges associated
should not be used as benchmark
• No two farm financial strategies or situations
are the same. This report serves
as a starting point for profitability conversations,
and for farmers to compare
their own numbers with their peers.
• For six farms whose largest market was
Summer CSA, they earned, on average,
68 percent of their total revenue
through Summer CSA.
• All participating farms had debt to asset
ratios <0.62. • Net income ratios among farms ranged from -0.11 to 0.83. • Gross income per acre ranged from $3,020 to $30,191. • The conclusion of the report includes reflections from four participating farmers on their numbers, financial strategy, and using this report.



Mark and Melissa Schleisman, of M & M Farms near Lake City, hosted 46 people on April 11. The sun was shining, cows were out grazing cover crops and a few newborn calves had just been born in a field of cereal rye. Mark came back to his family’s farm full time six years ago, after a career […]

April 26, 2017 


On March 30, a group of farmers got together to learn about grazing cover crops and the value cattle bring to crop fields. Bruce Carney, a cattle grazier who produces grass-fed beef, and Rick Kimberley, a row-crop farmer, are neighbors who live outside Maxwell, IA. They’ve worked out an agreement for Bruce to graze cover […]

April 18, 2017 


On March 29, Jack Boyer hosted a field day to share his experiences and successes with using cover crops on his family’s farm near Reinbeck. Jack and his wife, Marion, are lifetime members of Practical Farmers. They raise corn, seed corn, soybeans and cereal rye for cover crop seed. They have been integrating cover crops into the […]

April 13, 2017 


Using Sustainability Metrics to Capture Changes On-FarmApril 11, 2017 View Farminar Pre-recorded Practical Farmers of Iowa and the Sustainable Food Lab launched a pilot project to meet the needs of small grain farmers in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin to improve production. As a part of that work PFI and SFL work with food and beverage [...]

April 11, 2017 


Greg Rebman operates Rebman Farms near Frederick, Illinois, raising corn, soybeans, small grains and certified organic, rotationally grazed beef cattle on about 1,875 acres. He uses cover crops on some of his farm’s row-crop acres – and is interested in transitioning more acres to cover crops as a means of providing “holistic fertility” on the […]

April 7, 2017 


Practical Farmers’ Cover Crop Caravan spring field day series kicked off on March 28th at Glenwood Century Farm near Albion. 29 attendees came to hear Wade Dooley, an integrated crop, livestock and vegetable farmer who’s been planting cover crops since 1997. About ten years later, Wade started taking advantage of those cover crops with his […]

April 6, 2017