Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Winter weather didn't stop people from attending the fruit and vegetable farmer meet-up in Logan last Thursday, Feb. 7! About a dozen growers got together on a snowy morning for coffee and breakfast at Logan Flours to talk about the upcoming season and more.

Hoping for a fruit and vegetable farmer meet-up near you? You may be in luck! Scroll down this email to see upcoming dates and locations. We also have a new meet-up scheduled for flower farmers!
Feb. 19: Farminar - Precision-Seeded Cover Crops
7 p.m. | Tune in here!

7 p.m. | Tune in here!

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Solon

Feb. 26: Social - Flower Farmer Meet-Up
9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Solon

9:30 - 11:30 a.m. | Decorah

7 - 8:30 p.m. | Iowa City

7 - 8:30 p.m. | Jefferson
Wheat can be used as the sole cereal grain in grow-finish pig diets. While wheat is an expensive feed grain in cash grain markets in the Corn Belt, it can have a beneficial role in an integrated crop-livestock system when fed on or near the farm.

Variety selection for any crop is a critical choice that can affect input costs and yields down the line. Unfortunately, variety trial data on oats is not nearly as abundant as data from crops such as corn and soybeans. Where oat variety data is available, the way it's presented can make it hard to quickly and easily choose a variety suited to the conditions on a particular farm. To help us wade through this data, we invited oat breeder Melanie Caffe from South Dakota State University on our February shared learning call where we dug into oat variety selection. Read the recap from this call!
Lately, waterhemp control, or lack thereof, has been a hot topic of discussion around rural coffee shops. Farmers all over the Midwest have been trying to tame the waterhemp beast for years, but are struggling to win the fight. Managing this weed is not easy, but there are some simple practices you can implement to help manage it, starting with understanding the weeds in your field.

Practical Farmers of Iowa's land-matching website, Find A Farmer, connects landowners and land seekers to help preserve family farms. Whether you're looking for farmland to lease or own, or you're a farmland owner hoping to find a new tenant or buyer, this website provides a comfortable place to connect.

Long-time Practical Farmers member and former board member John Pesek, of Ames, died on Feb. 11. John had a long, esteemed career as a professor and department chair in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. He was generous in sharing his vast knowledge and genuine support with others. John was a leader in the movement that gave rise to PFI in the 1980s. In 1991, he received PFI's Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award, becoming the second person to be recognized with the award. He gave the inaugural Pesek Colloquium in 2001, where he delivered this speech.
As cover crops are more widely adopted, many farmers are experimenting with planting methods to make the most use of their time and resources. Jon Bakehouse has experimented with special plates that let him use his planter to seed cereal rye on 15- and 30-inch rows. Michael Vittetoe has been experimenting with seeding cereal rye on 8-inch twin rows on 30-inch centers using a drill. Both farmers will share their thoughts on these seeding methods and what they plan to do in the future. Tune in Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Join fellow farmers to discuss the upcoming season, challenges, opportunities and ideas, and to network with other farmers over a cup of coffee and some breakfast.

All meet-ups run from 9:30-11:30 a.m., and are FREE and open to all fruit and vegetable growers. You don’t have to be a PFI member to attend. RSVPs are not necessary. Just show up!

Find an upcoming fruit and vegetable meet-up near you:

Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Solon
Hosted by: Laura Krouse (Abbe Hills Farm)
Salt Fork Kitchen: 112 E Main St.

NEW: Flower Farmer Meet-Up
Tuesday, Feb. 26 – Solon
Hosted by: Molly Schintler (Echollective Farm)
Salt Fork Kitchen: 112 E Main St.

Thursday, Feb. 28 – Decorah
Hosted by: Barb Kraus (Canoe Creek Produce)
Canoe Creek Produce: 2912 Manawa Trail Rd.

Tuesday, March 12 – Des Moines
Hosted by: Jenny Quiner (Dogpatch Urban Gardens) and Angela Tedesco (retired farmer)
HoQ: 303 E 5th St.

Thursday, March 14 – Algona
Hosted by: Joanne Roepke Bode (Bode's Moonlight Gardens)
The Chocolate Season: 16 E. State St.
Session slides are now available online!
You can now download session slides from several presentations held during our 2019 annual conference. You can access the slides one of two ways:

1). Head to this page to scroll through the list of sessions, and click on the buttons provided underneath each session.

2). Go to our past conference page to search through a sortable table (scroll down to the middle of the page to find the table).
Wade Dooley of Albion, Matt Russell of Lacona and Katie Rock of Nevada were featured in Public News Service: More Iowa Farmers Adapting to Climate Change

Kate Edwards of Iowa City and Greg Padget of Newton were featured in Newton Daily News: Ag experts coach new farmers at Farmland Access Bootcamp

Jude Becker of Dyersville was featured in the Midwest Messenger: Becker retains generations of rural commitment

Bruce and Connie Carney of Maxwell and Dave and Meg Schmidt of Exira were featured in Wallaces Farmer: Verifying nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef
Have you been featured in the media? Tell us when and where to find a link to the article, and we'll feature you in a future issue of Practical News.