Since 1987, the Cooperators’ Program has been Practical Farmers of Iowa’s vehicle for conducting on-farm research on the issues and concerns deemed most important by our members. The Cooperators’ Program is the epitome of what PFI is all about: Farmer-led investigation and information sharing. In 2015, 63 farmers took part in 35 research projects on […]
December 17, 2015
Cultivation of cereal rye for cover crop seed offers the possibility of frost-seeding a legume into the standing rye crop in early spring, where the legume can produce biomass and fix N following rye harvest. In 2014, farmer-cooperators Tim Sieren and Dick Sloan grew corn in rotation following cereal rye frost-seeded with red clover and […]
December 16, 2015
Farmers today can be bombarded with soil test results, but without proper context or interpretation, a plan to act on these results is difficult to decide upon. The Haney Test takes a novel approach to determine fertilizer recommendations while considering soil microbial activity and carbon and nitrogen concentration. Soil microbial ecologist Sarah Hargreaves will address how soil microbial activity translates into nutrient turnover and what this means for a farmer. Farmer Paul Ackley will explain how he’s been using the Haney Test results to reduce his fertilizer rates and maintain crop yields.
December 2, 2015
Recent interest in micronutrients, such as boron, has farmers curious about yield impacts of in-season, foliar applications of these micronutrients to commodity crops. Intrigued by an article he read in Wallaces Farmer a few years ago and learning that deficiencies in micronutrients are typically localized, farmer-cooperator, Duane Johnson of Lohrville in Calhoun County, compared soybeans that received a foliar application of boron with those that […]
April 23, 2015
For a few years now, some of our farmers have been curious about nitrogen fertilizer rates to corn following a winter cereal rye cover crop. This past December, Practical Farmers of Iowa released an updated research report of a study that investigated this issue entitled, Side-dressing corn following a winter rye cover crop–Update 2014.
March 2, 2015
Applying manure or fertilizer with a
nitrogen stabilizer has been identified
as a practice farmers can use to reduce
the potential for nonpoint source pollution
of surface waters.
• Farmer-cooperator Tim Sieren assessed
the effect on corn yields of liquid swine
manure and anhydrous ammonia
applied with commercially available
• Corn yields were the same with and
without a nitrogen stabilizer.
• The amount spent on N per bushel of
corn produced was significantly greater
when a nitrogen stabilizer was used
December 7, 2014
Using cover crops and side-dressing
nitrogen fertilizer is a common bundle
being investigated by Iowa farmers
concerned about soil health, water
quality and return on investment of
• Cooperators grew corn following a
winter rye cover crop and applied a low
and high rate of N fertilizer in a sidedress
• In only one of six site-years did the
high side-dress N rate result in greater
• In most cases, by not applying the high
N rate the cooperators nearly recouped
the cost of establishing the cover crop
with savings in N fertilizer.
December 5, 2014