Published Jul 10, 2018

Small-grains conference will explore production, marketing of small grains – July 30, in Mankato, Minnesota

By Tamsyn Jones

For Release: July 10, 2018


Alisha Bower | Strategic Initiatives Manager | Practical Farmers of Iowa (515) 232-5661 |

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

AMES, Iowa — Registration is open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s second annual small-grains conference. This year’s event – “Rotationally Raised – Making Small Grains Work” – is being held in partnership with Freeborn Area Soil Health Team, and will take place on Monday, July 30, from 10 a.m-5:30 p.m., in Mankato, Minnesota, at Minnesota State University-Mankato’s Centennial Student Union (620 S. Road, on the southwest side of campus).

The day-long conference will cover a variety of topics related to growing small grains and the benefits of an extended crop rotation – which range from economic to environmental. The event includes lunch, and will also feature a plenary talk and an afternoon reception to help connect small-grains buyers and sellers with one another.

Registration is required by Monday, July 23, and is free for Practical Farmers of Iowa members or $40 for non-members. Register online at, or contact the PFI office at (515) 232-5661.

Practical Farmers of Iowa is expanding its work to include areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota due to a Conservation Innovation Grant awarded by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in 2016. The grant funds programming to help farmers add small grains and green-manure legume cover crops to their farming systems.

The conference portion runs from 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., with nine breakout sessions throughout the day that will explore the agronomy of successfully raising small grains; integrating animals with a small-grains operation; and marketing small grains. Sessions will include:

  • Weed Control With Small Grains
  • Triticale and Other Small-Grain Silage in Dairy Production
  • How to Sell Small Grains as Cover Crop Seed
  • Small Grains Disease Identification and Management
  • Green Manures 101
  • Summer Cover Crops for Grazing and Manure Management
  • Starting an On-Farm Processing Enterprise for Organic Small Grains
  • Feeding Small Grains to Swine
  • What to Expect When Marketing to Breweries

After lunch at noon, a plenary from 12:30-1:30 p.m. will feature Matt Liebman, professor of agronomy and the Henry A. Wallace Endowed Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, speaking on the benefits of an extended rotation. The networking reception will take place from 4:45-5:30 p.m., and will feature a small selection of Minnesota-brewed beers.

Full conference details – including session and speaker descriptions, driving directions and a map – are available at For questions, contact Alisha Bower, or (515) 232-5661.

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