Breakout Sessions

This event gathers farmers, researchers and buyers from the region to share their expertise on making the most of cover crops and extending rotations with small grains.

Register today

Growing & Selling Cover Crop Seed: It’s Not Hard … It’s Just Complicated!

1-2 p.m. | Ballroom A

Are you interested in growing and selling cover crop seed but you don’t know where to start? What’s allowed for “variety not stated” versus named varieties? What permits do you need? Make sure you’re on the right side of the law before you get started or brush up on what to know to legally sell cover crop seed in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois.

Michael zabel headshotLifetime PFI member Mike Zabel operates and manages Zabel Seeds located in Plainview, Minnesota. The business grows and sells certified, registered and foundation classes of oats, barley, wheat, rye and hemp, and produces and packages soybeans for Stine Seed Company & Legacy Seeds. Mike also operates Prairie Ridge Farm, where he grows small grains like cereal rye and oats, as well as corn, soybeans, alfalfa and sweet corn.

Relay Cropping Rye and Barley With Soybeans

1-2 p.m. | Ballroom F

Want to harvest two crops back-to-back and keep living roots in the ground throughout the year? Relay cropping a small-grain with soybeans can provide a unique opportunity to do just that – but careful considerations are needed to make this system work. Come learn about planting, harvesting, benefits and challenges of relay cropping in this session.

Scott Wedemeier

Scott Wedemeier owns and operates a 911-acre family farm near Maynard, Iowa. Scott is the third generation to farm this land. The Wedemeiers raise organic corn, soybeans, oats and hay and have dairy cow, goat, pig and beef livestock enterprises. In 2019, Scott began growing oats for Seven Sundays as part of a supply chain pilot project with PFI.

Post-Harvest Handling for Cover Crop Seed and Added Value From Cover Crops

2:15-3-15 p.m. | Ballroom A

In this session, learn what equipment and on-farm infrastructure is essential for operating a cover crop seed business and how to glean added value from cover crops and small grains. Hear from speaker Amos Troester about post-harvest handling of cover crop seed, the equipment he uses and how he makes the most of cover crops in his diversified operation.

Image0Amos Troester and his wife, Tina, are fourth- and fifth-generation farmers who own and operate T-A Family Premium meats alongside their diversified livestock and row crop farm in northeastern Iowa. They grow corn, soybeans, cereal rye, oats and diverse covers and they raise cattle that they graze on covers and rotationally graze on pastures. Amos sells cover crop seed and cleans his own seed on-farm.

Small Grains Market Decisions

2:15-3:15 p.m. | Ballroom F

Jim CopherFarmers who grow small grains can sell them for seed, feed and food-grade uses. In this session, we’ll focus on feed and food-grade markets. Learn about market requirements, growing quality small grains and how to choose your market wisely.

Jim Copher works as a specialty grain originator for The DeLong Co., Inc. in both its organic and non-GMO programs. He trades truck, rail and barges across the Midwest covering both food- and feed-grade positions.

RichieRitchie Breeggemann is an organic buyer for Grain Millers based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Grain Millers is a small-grain buyer with facilities in the Midwest including a mill in St. Ansgar, Iowa where they purchase both organic and conventional small grains, primarily oats.