Published Mar 1, 2017

Diversifying Your Crop Rotation With Small Grains

By Practical Farmers of Iowa

Earl Canfield has spent the last two years relearning how to grow small grains in Iowa. He has researched machinery, production strategies, varieties and more. He and his family are working on how to best grow small grains while also seeking potential market streams. One market opportunity includes direct-marketing small grains to small-scale livestock owners as either whole grains or as part of complete mixed feeds.

Earl Canfield farms with his wife, Jane, and their four children near Dunkerton, Iowa. Their children represent the sixth generation of the Canfield family to be on the land since the mid-1860s, for which they received a Heritage Farm Award at the Iowa State Fair in 2016. The Canfields are making a transition from growing strictly corn and soybeans to growing and direct-marketing a diverse mixture of coarse grain, small grains, forage, and vegetable and flower crops.