Small Grains

Iowa was once a nationwide leader in small grain production, especially oats, but many farm families haven’t grown them for a generation. Now that more and more members have become interested in growing small grains, Practical Farmers of Iowa’s staff and members have been busy compiling information about how to plant, harvest, store, and sell small grains.

Rotationally Raised -- Making Small Grains Work Conference

On August 17, 2017, Practical Farmers of Iowa will host our first ever small grains half-day conference in Ames, IA. This event, Making Small Grains Work, will gather the top small grains growers, researchers and buyers from the region to share their expertise on making the most of these crops. The conference events are scheduled from 11:30 AM-6:00 PM including lunch and an early evening reception in the Quality Inn and Suites Starlite Conference Center (2601 E 13th St Ames, IA 50010). This event is free from PFI members and $40 for non-members. Click here to find out more about membership or become a member.

Making Small Grains Work Conference Schedule and Information

Making Small Grains Work Conference Register Here


Growing Small Grains Profitably in Iowa – Jochum Wiersma – PDF


“Growing Good Small Grains” short course 2016

The State of Small Grain and Oat Production in Iowa – David Weisberger – PDF

Profitable Oats Produciton – Bruce Roskens – PDF

Small Grains Market Update – Jessie VanderPoel – PDF

Basics of Spring Wheat and Barley Production in North Dakota – Joel Ransom – PDF

Adding Oats to a Corn-Soybean Cropping System – Matt Liebman – PDF

Production of Wheat and Oats in Iowa – Fred Kolb – PDF


Growing Profitable Small Grains – Klaas Martens – PDF


Adding Winter Small Grains to a Corn and Soybean Rotation – Nathan Anderson – PDF

Rotationally Raised: Livestock I–Feeding Small Grains – Wallaces Farmer online – Apr. 4, 2017

Rotationally Raised: Markets, Opportunities and Challenges – Wallaces Farmer online – March 22, 2017

Rotationally Raised: Post-Harvest, Handling and Storage – Wallaces Farmer online – March 14, 2017

Rotationally Raised: Harvest, When and How – Wallaces Farmer online – March 7, 2017

Rotationally Raised: Crop protection–growth stages, fertilizers, fungicides – Wallaces Farmer online – March 1, 2017

For small-grain success, plant the crop early – Wallaces Farmer – March 2017

How to calibrate a grain drill – Wallaces Farmer – Feb. 2017

Rotationally Raised: What to Plant, Where and Why – Wallaces Farmer online – Jan. 18, 2017

Rotationally Raised: Freedom from Inputs – Wallaces Farmer online – Jan. 13, 2017

Choose the right oat variety for your farm – Wallaces Farmer – Jan. 2017

Rotationally Raised: A new video series from Practical Farmers of Iowa – Wallaces Farmer online – Jan. 5, 2017

PFI releases small grains series – Wallaces Farmer – Dec. 2016

Small grains in the Corn Belt – Wallaces Farmer – Nov. 2016

Focus on basics for growing oats – Wallaces Farmer – Oct. 2016

Small grains: Overcoming the challenge – Wallaces Farmer – Sept. 2016

Farmer: plant small grains – Wallaces Farmer – Aug. 2016

Ready for harvest in July – Wallaces Farmer – July 2016

You’re never too old to try covers – Wallaces Farmer – May 2016

Crop rotation and oat quality – Wallaces Farmer – March 2016

Learning about small grains – Wallaces Farmer – Feb. 2016

Pros, cons of small grains in Iowa – Wallaces Farmer – Jan. 2016

Wheat crop offers side benefit – Wallaces Farmer – June 2015

Small grains can work in hog diet – Wallaces Farmer – June 2015

Cereal rye goes to seed – Wallaces Farmer – May 2015

Three-year rotation improves soil – Wallaces Farmer – Feb. 2015

Small Grains Crop Rotation May Offer Many Benefits – Organic Broadcaster – Jan./Feb. 2015

Small grains spawn biodiversity – Wallaces Farmer – Oct. 2014

Diversify by growing cover crop seed – Wallaces Farmer – July 2014

Practical oat production tips – Wallaces Farmer – March 2014

Postharvest handling tips – Wallaces Farmer – Sept. 2013

Small grains gain favor – Wallaces Farmer – Sept. 2013

Harvest small grains carefully – Wallaces Farmer – July 2013

Bringing back a ‘third crop’ – Wallaces Farmer – Aug. 2013

ISU Oat Variety Trials : 201220132014 – 2015ne – 2015nc

Illinois Wheat and oat Variety Trials

Nebraska Hard Winter Wheat Variety Trials

Minnesota Small Grain Variety Trials:  Oats Barley Spring Wheat

Practical Farmers of Iowa Oat Variety Trial: 20152016

North Dakota State University: Oat/Barley/Rye – Spring Wheat –  Winter Wheat 

South Dakota State University: Oat – Spring Wheat – Winter Wheat 

University of Wisconsin: Oat/Barley – Winter Wheat

Contact Infromation

For more information about small grains programming, contact: Alisha Bower at