Published May 31, 2018

Field day will explore ways to diversify with cover crops and small grains – June 19, near Weldon

By Tamsyn Jones

Kauffman Family 2018 2 1 727x545

For Release: May 31, 2018


Arlyn and Sue Kauffman | Kauffman Structures | (641) 414-4470 |

Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 |

WELDON, Iowa — Arlyn and Sue Kauffman, of Kauffman Structures, will host a Practical Farmers of Iowa field day about their experience adding cover crops and small grains to their farm on Tuesday, June 19, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at their farm near Weldon (25186 Popcorn Road, about 3 miles south of town).

The event – “Wows and Woes of Diversifying with Cover Crops and Small Grains” – is free to attend and includes a lunch after the discussion. RSVPs are requested for the meal to Debra Boekholder, or (515) 232-5661, by Wednesday, June 13. This field day is sponsored by Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance and Grain Millers.

This event is part of Practical Farmers’ main 2018 field day season, which includes 40 events across the state, and beyond, on topics spanning the agricultural spectrum.

Arlyn and Sue farm about 250 acres of crops near Weldon, including corn, soy, alfalfa and several small grains while aiming for 100 percent cover crop coverage on row crop acres. They are especially excited about warm-species cover crops following small-grains harvest, for soil amendment and grazing. They also raise cage-free, non-GMO eggs from 20,000 layers.

This field day will explore the benefits and challenges of cover crops, especially focusing on corn production following rye and the challenges of seedling diseases. Other topics include: adding wheat, rye and triticale into a cropping system, and the benefits and challenges of sharing labor and machinery with family.

Alison Robertson, a professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Iowa State University, will give a presentation to attendees on the research her lab has conducted to understand the role of seedling disease in yield drag, and discuss best management strategies to reduce disease.

Guests will also learn about incorporating small grains production into traditional crop rotations, and the unique cover crop opportunities this provides. Following lunch, guests are invited to stay for a tour of the depopulated layer facility.

Directions from Humeston: Take County Road J22 / Guy Porter Street west for 12 miles. Co Rd J22 becomes Popcorn Road. Kauffman Structures will be on the right (north) side of the road just before the junction with Co Rd R48.

From I-35: Take Exit 22 for Van Wert. Go east on Line Street / 120th Street / Co Rd J14 through Van Wert to U.S. 69, turn right (south) and go 1 mile to Co Rd J22 / Popcorn Road. Turn left (east) and drive for 2.25 miles. Kauffman Structures will be on the left (north) side of the road.

Practical Farmers’ 2018 field days are supported by several sustaining and major sponsors, including: Albert Lea Seed; Applegate Natural & Organic Meats; Blue River Organic Seed; Cascadian Farms; Center for Rural Affairs; Farm Credit Services of America; Gandy Cover Crop Seeders; Grain Millers, Inc.; Green Cover Seed; Green Thumb Commodities; Iowa Agriculture Water Alliance; Iowa Beef Center; Iowa State University Department of Agronomy; Iowa Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE); ISU Extension and Outreach; La Crosse Forage and Turf Seed; MOSA Organic Certification; Natural Resources Defense Council; Organic Valley / Organic Prairie; PepsiCo; Pipeline Foods; Premier 1 Supplies; Sunrise Foods International; The DeLong Company; The Fertrell Company; The Scoular Company; Unilever; University of Iowa College of Public Health (I-CASH); USDA: Natural Resources Conservation Service; Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture; and Welter Seed & Honey Co.


Practical Farmers of Iowa works to equip farmers to build resilient farms and communities. Our values include: welcoming everyone; farmers leading the exchange of experience and knowledge; curiosity, creativity, collaboration and community; resilient farms now and for future generations; and stewardship of land and resources. To learn more, visit