Season's Greetings,

With any luck your field season is done or will be soon and we can begin the next season -- meeting season! I hope to see you at our upcoming Smithfield event on January 7, at PFI's Annual conference January 17-18 or at the Small Grains Conference March 4-5. We'll also keep up our shared learning calls, our next call on January 10 will be clover management, looking ahead to spring management for those cover crops you planted after small grain harvest this summer.

We also have a research opportunity for oat and wheat growers in 2020 to help us test a variety selection support tool we've been developing. Farmers need to be in certain areas of ND, SD, IA, MN, WI, IL, IN or MI to be able to participate, scroll down for more details on this project!

Happy Holidays,

January 10 Call will be on Clover Management into a Corn Crop
Managing a cover crop heading into corn planting is a tricky business with any over-wintering cover crop, a good termination is key to limiting competition and maintaining corn yields. With clover, there is the added difficulty of not only adjusting fertilizer timing, but also the amount of fertilizer to account for the biologically fixed N the clover generated. On January 10th at noon, Kevin Shelley, Farm Nutrient and Cover Crops Specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will join us to share his management tips for clover cover crops and data from his research on N credits from legume cover crops planted after or co-seeded with a small grain.

The call will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday January 10. To join dial 605-313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.
Jan 7 Event - Learn More About Smithfield Pilot to Buy Wheat and Oats in Southern Iowa
Farmers in Southern Iowa will now have a new market option for wheat and oats! Learn more about the program here.

On January 7 there will be a lunch and program in Davis City which will feature presentations on 2020 wheat and oat prices and contracts with Smithfield, Practical Farmers's cost share program and small grain agronomic resources, and farmer and National Conservation Districts's president, Tim Palmer (pictured), will share his tips for adding small grains into rotation and the results he's seen on his farm.

2020 Corn, Soybean & Small Grain Marketing Program
Tuesday, January 7 Noon - 2 p.m.
Davis City Community Center
209 N Bridge St.
Davis City, IA 50065

Questions? Contact Alisha Bower at (515) 232-5661 or
Seeking Oat Growers for Variety Selector Tool Trial
In 2018, Practical Farmers of Iowa and University researchers from across the Upper Midwest secured a grant to build a decision support tool that will assist farmers in selecting varieties of oats and winter wheat for their farms. Researchers pooled their trial data and built a genetics by environment model that can predict the yield performance of oat varieties in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, North of I-80 in Iowa, south of I-94 in Minnesota, North of I-74 in Illinois, and small sections of Indiana and Michigan. Now that the preliminary version of the model is built we need farmers in these areas to plant their traditional oat variety (or a variety selected using traditional methods) alongside the model-predicted variety in 2020. We will also need winter wheat growers to conduct this trial for Fall 2020 planted wheat. You will be compensated for your participation. If you're interested in testing varieties for the tool or learning more about the project contact
Blog Online from Learning Call on Oat Variety Selection (with Rye Trial Bonus!)
PFI just wrapped up our fifth year of oat variety trials in Iowa and Wayne Koehler, who farms near Charles City, IA, has hosted a location for PFI's oat variety trails on his farm for two of those five years, including last year, 2019. The blog is now online with a summary of the information Wayne presented on our December shared learning call. The blog details Wayne's experience hosting the trials and using variety trial data to select and manage oat varieties for his own production. Read to the end for a bonus sneak peek at PFI's first rye variety trial!
Oatly Program Seeks More Oat Growers in N. Iowa and S. Minnesota
Oatly is increasing growers/acres in their program to source US grown oats in 2020 from farmers using cover crops and extended rotation best practices.  Participating farmers would receive forward contracts on their oats and cost share through PFI at $25/acre. Farmers are required to frost seed a clover or other legume cover crop into their oats or apply for a livestock exception to plant a diverse summer mix if livestock will graze the field. Program participation also includes guaranteed contract offers for three years (2020-2022) and assistance from Grain Millers in marketing oats that don't make grade.

If you're interested in participating contact Alisha Bower at or 515-232-5661 to talk through program requirements and eligibility.
Smithfield Event (see above)
January 7, 2020 | Davis City, IA

January 7-10, 2020 | Various Locations in Minnesota

January 16-18, 2020 | Ames, IA

January 24-25, 2020 | Madison, WI

January 30, 2020 | Mt. Vernon, IL

February 4-5, 2020 | Champaign, IL
March 4-5, 2019 | Springfield, IL
Spring Small Grain Variety Selection
Still unsure which small grain is right for you? Here are some resources:
Apply for Cost Share Assistance

Winter is a great time to look into programs that support growing small grains in extended rotations. Here are some resources:
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Celize Christy
Swine and Poultry Coordinator