Published Dec 7, 2016

2016 Cooperators’ Program

By Steve Carlson

Over the past several weeks, you may have noticed a flurry of research reports being published and blogged about by Practical Farmers’ staff members. This is an annual occurrence as PFI farmer-cooperators submit data from their on-farm research trials to be analyzed and published prior to the December Cooperators’ Meeting. At the two-day event happening this week, our farmer members gather to discuss past research and plan on-farm projects for the next year.

Learn about this longstanding Practical Farmers program, and the research projects conducted during the 2016 season.

research locations for fb

Since 1987, more than 288 different farmers have conducted more than 1,385 research trials on their farms. Results from this research are shared through research reports; the Practical Farmer, our quarterly newsletter; in various agriculture magazines, at field days and workshops; at our annual conference; and at our annual cooperators’ meeting. Knowledge from these research projects has influenced both farmers and university researchers to adjust their designs to better fit farmers’ needs – and even been the foundation for ground-truthing hypotheses that ultimately led to university research projects.

2016 Field Crop Projects

Tim Sieren

Tim Sieren

  • Cover Crop Variety Trial
  • Frost-seeded Clover vs. Summer-seeded Mix: Green Manures Ahead of Corn
  • N Rate Comparison in Corn Following Brassica and Legume Green Manures
  • Oat Pilot Project
  • Winter Triticale Seeding Rate
  • Roller-crimping Rye Before Soybean (2016) and Hairy Vetch Before Corn (2017)
  • Cover Crop Following Short- vs. Normal-season Corn/ Soy
  • Termination Date of Cereal Rye Cover Crop Ahead of Soybeans
  • Termination Date of Cereal Rye Cover Crop Ahead of Corn
  • Interseeding Covers Into Seed Corn at V3-6 Stage
  • Fungicide and Plant Growth Regulator Effect on Cereal Rye Production
  • Fungicide Drift Trial
Bruce Carney

Bruce Carney

2016 Livestock Projects

  • Cover Crops and Chicken Litter for Summer Forage Establishment
  • Grazing Cover Crops to Improve Soil Health
  • Economic Benefits of Utilizing Cover Crops as Forage
  • Pasture Managment and Carcass Quality for Grass-Fed Beef Production
  • Improving Cool-Season Pastures with Interseeding Annuals and Grazing, Spring – Summer 2015
  • Winter Feed Monitoring 2015-2016
  • Small Grain Fed Swine
  • Comparing Swine Vitamin and Mineral Premixes
  • Controlling Invasive Species Using Goats and Fire
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Supplementation in Feeder Pigs
  • Grazing Cover Crops and Crop Residue
  • Pasture Monitoring –Transitioning CRP Land into Pasture Land
  • Pasture Monitoring Before and After Implementing Rotational Grazing
  • Monitoring Birds in Rotationally Grazed Pasture
Alice McGary

Alice McGary

2016 Horticulture Projects

  • Enterprise Budgets for Cucumbers
  • Oat Cover Crop vs. Straw Mulch for Garlic Production
  • Broccoli Variety Trial
  • Determinate Tomato Variety Trial in High Tunnel
  • Flowering Annual Herbs Strip Trial
  • Living Mulch with Peppers and Cucurbits
  • Whole Farm Financials for Diverse Fruit and Vegetable Farms

2016 Partner Projects

  • Winter Cereal Rye Cover Crop Effect on Cash Crop Yields, Yr. 6 Update (Iowa Learning Farms)
  • Optimal Oat Planting Populations for Organic Cropping Systems (Iowa State University)
  • Oat Variety Trials (Iowa State University)
  • Cover Crop Seeding Techniques (Iowa Learning Farms and Hagie Manufacturing)
  • Cover Crop Mixes (Iowa Learning Farms)
  • Tile Monitoring (Iowa Soybean Association)

Click here to learn more about the Cooperators’ Program