Published Feb 16, 2021

Stock Cropping: Raising Crops and Livestock Simultaneously in the Same Field – 2021 Virtual Annual Conference

By Practical Farmers of Iowa


Stock cropping is a regenerative agricultural system that raises row crops with livestock simultaneously in the field. In this session, you learn how Zack Smith raises pigs, sheep and goats in a mobile, autonomous barn that has unique attributes, including catching rainwater for animal use. The barn moves through 20-foot strips of cover crops planted between rows of corn and soybeans, followed by a flock of poultry. The following year, row crops are planted where the livestock grazed.

  • Zack Smith farms in Winnebago County, Iowa, where he has raised corn and soybeans using strip-till and cover crops since 2014. Recently, Zack and his business partner, Sheldon Stevermer, developed an innovative system they call “stock cropping” that combines livestock and row crops in the same field space. The system has potential to increase farm profitability and soil health, lessen a farm’s carbon footprint and expand economic opportunities for rural communities.