Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
A few dedicated cover crop farmers are planting corn in wider 60-inch rows so they can get cover crops established early, between the V4 and V6 stages of corn growth.

Through Practical Farmers of Iowa's Cooperators' Program, these farmers researched how planting corn at wider row widths to interseed cover crops affects yield. In this video, learn more about the research and what participants discovered. PFI members Jack Boyer of Reinbeck and Fred Abels of Holland are featured, along with Stefan Gailans, PFI's research and field crops director.
NEWS
For farmers who raise organic corn and soybeans, weed control starts with crop rotation.

In this video, farmers share their strategies for rotating crops to interrupt weed cycles and suppress weed growth and reproduction. Their approaches include planting perennial crops like alfalfa; including cool-season, spring-seeded small grains like oats; or adding fall-seeded small grains like winter wheat, rye or triticale.
Planting soybeans into a living cereal rye cover crop -- and terminating the cover crop after planting -- lets you maximize the benefits of cover crops: more biomass for weed control, nutrient retention and organic matter.

Jeremy Gustafson of Boone no-tills soybeans into standing cereal rye cover crops. In this video, he talks about the adjustments he's made to his soybean planter to aid in planting.
This research explored ways to plant soybeans earlier while minimizing yield loss by adjusting row width and planting dates prior to roller-crimping cereal rye.
In this enterprise budget report for cherry tomato production, revenue, expenses, net income, production practices and a breakdown of labor by task are shared for the two farms.
Do you or someone you know have journalism or communications experience that could help farmers tell their stories?

This new, full-time position will work with PFI staff, members and partners to grow the impact of our members’ voices in their communities and in the media by coaching them on speaking and media interviews, and coordinating speaking appearances at events and in the media.
As part of the Labor4Learning program, Dean and Judy Henry at the Berry Patch Farm in Nevada are looking to hire an employee and share their years of farming experience.

“We believe it is important that aspiring farmers have a hands-on experience, in addition to study and formal schooling,” Dean says. “This affords a realistic, three-dimensional experience to help plan for their future in horticulture.”
UPCOMING EVENTS
Celebrate the start of the 2019 growing season with other beginning farmers during an afternoon of good food and networking in West Des Moines. Make new friends and connect with old ones while learning about each other’s spring projects, plans for the year and improvements from last year.
Join one of six grazing groups getting together this spring! These groups will go on pasture walks and discuss spring grazing management, first cutting of hay, planting summer annuals and more. Meet and learn from fellow livestock farmers. Each of these events runs from 4:30-7 p.m. and will have a meal provided.
Thursday, May 9 |  Lamoni
Host:  Chad Hensley
Wednesday, May 22 |  Remsen
Host:  Robert Alexander
Thursday, May 30 |  Oxford
Host:  Doug Darrow
Thursday, May 16 |  Lockridge
Host:  Tim Diers
Thursday, May 23 |  Maxwell
Host:  Bruce Carney
Sunday, June 9 |  Charles City
Hosts:  Wendy Johnson & Johnny Rafkin
9 a.m. - 4 p.m. | PFI office

May 9: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30 - 7 p.m. | Lamoni

May 16: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30 - 7 p.m. | Lockridge

May 18: Social - Beginning Farmers
4 - 6 p.m. | West Des Moines
May 22: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30 - 7 p.m. | Remsen

May 23: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30 - 7 p.m. | Maxwell

May 30: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30 - 7 p.m. | Oxford

June 9: Meet-up - Grazing Group
4:30 - 7 p.m. | Charles City
MEMBERSHIP
Volunteer and mingle with PFI staff and members!
We will be stuffing envelopes for our spring fundraiser mass mailing on Tuesday, May 7, and are seeking volunteers to help! Please join us at our office between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. We will be folding, stuffing and stamping letters. We will have tasty snacks from our farmers and prizes for volunteers. If interested, please contact debra@practicalfarmers.org or call (515) 232-5661.
MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
Melissa and Andrew Dunham of Grinnell were featured in The Scarlet & Black: Grinnell Heritage Farm plants roots in community
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.