Published Feb 22, 2012

Farminar recording available: Adding small grains to a large grain rotation

By Luke Gran


Tuesday February 21, 2012, a 90-minute farminar was held hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa. Beginning farmer, Wade Dooley, of Albion, IA led questions to experienced farmer Tom Frantzen of New Hampton, Iowa. 20 others joined in to hear more about extending the rotation, adding more value to the same number of acres of land.

This latest Farminar was focused on adding a small grain crop to a a corn and soybean crop rotation.

  • What markets are best for Iowa small grains?
  • Oats, Barley, and Wheat are typical “small grain” crops, what ones work best on different soils?
  • What equipment is needed to produce and harvest them?
  • Can you improve marginal land with adding a small grain to the rotation on those soils?
  • Can you grow your own seed for your farm?

Tom Frantzen highlighted the importance of small grains in this statement:

If fossil fuels go away, I’m still here, if combines and big tractors go away, I’m still here, but if you remove my small grains, my farm system doesn’t work. That is how important they are to my weed management strategies and alfalfa establishment.

View the complete farminar recording at

Next week, February 28, 2012, Kim Alexander and Garrett Caryl will lead a new Farminar on Pricing Poultry: Eggs, Broilers, and Turkeys. Join us online at 7:00PM CST!


Supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2010-49400-21843