the Practical Farmer: Winter 2023/2024
- From the Executive Director
- Field Crops
- Horticulture and Latino Programming
- Farmland Owner Legacy Award
- Field Day Photos
- Member Survey
- Member Photos
- Member Book Review
- PFI News
On the cover:
Field day attendees examine a mix of oats and field peas that will soon be foraged by Scott Schultz’s cattle on his farm near Watertown, Wisconsin, in September. See more highlights from the 2023 PFI field day season.
A Prairie’s Point of View
Most of what’s written about establishing prairie is from a third-person view – a human perspective. But what if we could hear the prairie speak?
Gains With Grains
The decision to add oats has helped Brad Sheely and his sons expand their farm with livestock, harvesting and other enterprises.
PFI farmers share their experience with different pig breeds and crosses.
Farming From the Heart
For Max Chavez, sharing his harvest with others brings joy and helps him overcome barriers as a Latino farmer in Iowa.
When land near their homes came up for sale, a group of northeastern Iowa neighbors mobilized to safeguard it for sustainable agriculture.
When Rachel Perry was introduced to PFI, she quickly connected with its network and farmer-led approach.
A Bird’s-Eye View
Data from our recent member survey, sent every three years, offers a wealth of insights about our members and their priorities.
Meet the Newest Members of PFI’s Team
Conference and Events Coordinator
Marketing Project Coordinator
Cost-Share Administrative Assistant
Seeking Participants for Two PFI On-Farm Trials
Have you been using soil health practices like cover crops, diversified crop rotation, integrated livestock grazing, reduced tillage or compost, among others? Join farmers from the Upper Midwest in an ongoing research study that pays you to put your soil health to the test!
This project involves comparing your typical nitrogen fertilizer rate to a reduced N rate of your choosing in randomized, replicated strips. For instance, if your typical N rate is 200 lbs N/ac, your reduced rate could be 160 lbs N/ac (a 40-unit reduction).
The reduced rate is entirely up to you; decide on your reduced rate in any manner you see fit. When, how and what form of N you apply is also entirely up to you, whether it’s pre-plant, split application, side-dress, Y-drop, chemical fertilizer, manure, a combination of the two, etc.
Do Cover Crops Increase the Number of Days Suitable for Field Work?
Do you think you’re getting into your fields earlier than your neighbors in the spring and not leaving ruts in the field when harvesting in the fall? Do you suspect these suitable field conditions are due to your use of cover crops? If so, consider joining a multifarm effort that will help unpack what’s going on.
This project relies on farmers like you observing cover-cropped fields through the year. You’ll complete a short survey on a weekly basis that asks, “If you wanted to, could you have completed field activities this past week without compromising field integrity? On which days this past week could you have done so?”
Labor4Learning Jobs Will Go Live in February
The Labor4Learning program is designed for beginning farmers seeking paid farm work along with additional training in farm management and production skills. Past jobs have covered a range of enterprises and marketing practices in field crops, livestock, dairying, horticulture and orcharding, and have been located all around the state.