Tag: On-farm Research

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In 2014, Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers began a joint research effort to investigate the use of a highboy seeder to seed cover crops into standing corn and soybeans. The objective was to determine the effects of planting technique on the successful establishment of sole species and mixed species cover crops. Cover crop planting […]

March 22, 2017 

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This year marks the 30th anniversary of Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Cooperators’ Program—our vehicle for conducting on-farm research trials. As such, throughout this year we’ll periodically be taking a look back at work done by farmer-cooperators over the past 30 years in a series of blog posts entitled “Better Know an On-Farm Research Project.” In […]

February 14, 2017 

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Winter Cereal Rye Cover Crop Effect on Cash Crop Yield: Year 8 is now available! This is a long-term project being conducted by Iowa Learning Farms and Practical Farmers of Iowa. Between 2009 and 2016, 12 farmer-cooperators have contributed to 59 site-years of on-farm research to investigate what effect a cereal rye cover crop might have to […]

January 24, 2017 

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Goats are becoming increasingly popular for managing unwanted vegetation because they provide a ‘green’ alternative to pesticides while benefitting the animals and land. This project evaluated the use of goats to control invasive species, such as honeysuckle and multiflora rose, and invigorate native savanna growth. A research plot was established for comparing the effectiveness of […]

December 20, 2016 

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In 2016, 76 farmer-researchers conducted 109 trials on farms across the state spanning the field crops, livestock, and horticulture program areas. On Dec. 8-9, 2016, 70 farmers gathered in Ames at the Cooperators’ Meeting to discuss completed on-farm research projects and design new experiments. The Cooperators’ Program is the epitome of what PFI is all about: […]

 

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Grassland bird populations in Iowa have been in decline, but studies have shown that conservation of birds can be facilitated in landscapes by introducing grazing disturbances at appropriate stocking densities.  Bird species that have been threatened, such as the bobolink, dickcissel, grasshopper sparrow, Henslow’s sparrow, and the eastern bluebird, nest in grasslands, which can be provided by […]

December 14, 2016 

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Last week, we released a new research report, “Cereal Rye Cover Crop Termination Date Ahead of Soybeans, 2016 Update.” The cooperators involved, Jeremy Gustafson and Jack Boyer, saw no ill effects of planting soybeans within 5 days of terminating a cereal rye cover crop. They were both able to reap some cost savings in weed […]

December 7, 2016 

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Delaying cover crop termination until corn planting is commonly understood to cause corn yield drag. However, the potential for increased cover crop growth by delaying termination has farmers wondering if that yield drag is true and/or can be overcome. Farmer-cooperator Dick Sloan planted corn on the same date (May 5) following two cover crop termination dates: […]

December 5, 2016 

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Growing tomatoes in the high tunnel gives farmers an early jump on the tomato market, and can help protect the plants from some environmental stressors.  Two farmers (Tim Landgraf at One Step at a Time Gardens and Mark Quee at Scattergood Friends School) conducted replicated variety trials in high tunnels of two determinate tomato varieties, Mountain […]

December 2, 2016 

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Delaying cover crop termination until near soybean planting would allow for more biomass production by the cover crop in the spring presenting the opportunity for more environmental benefit. Two farmer-cooperators continued work they began in 2015 that compares terminating a cereal rye cover crop 2-3 weeks prior to seeding soybeans (early termination) with terminating the […]

November 30, 2016 

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