Small grain harvest is underway! At least for winter small grains like wheat and rye I've heard from several Iowans and Illinois-ians who have completed their harvest. Hopefully spring small grains are right around the corner and we can see how oats performed this year. If you're direct cutting your grain don't forget to put some air on it while it goes through its sweat. Your grain or seed quality will show the results! Remember, Smithfield Grain in Allerton and Davis City is still offering bids for wheat and oats if you don't have a market lined up for those crops. You can also check out our small grains directory for more market options.

If you're planning to plant a summer cover crop after small grain harvest review some of our resources on summer cover crop selection. If you can't count on a rain to get seed to soil contact, consider drilling your cover or doing some light incorporation after broadcasting your seed.

Happy Harvest,
August 7 Online Meeting will be on Small Grain Silage as a Feed Source for a Dairy Farm
"By adding small grains into our rotations we've been able to grow more forage for our herd."

Our next convening of our shared learning call series will be a special affair - we're going online to hear and see guest presenter Josh Tranel (quoted above). Josh's presentation will highlight how his family farm plants a variety of small grains and has been using it as a feed source for their dairy herd. He'll compare rations with and without small grain silage, assess how dairy cattle performed and step back for a view on how adding a small grain silage crop to the farm has changed soil health and production.

Please note: this event will convene via a zoom meeting so we can view Josh's slides. But don't worry we'll still reserve a lot of time for Q & A and discussion. Please register for this unique event in our shared learning series.
Blog Online from Call on Summer Annual Forage
While usually we talk a lot about cool season crops like small grains and clovers, our July call revolved around incorporating warm-loving summer annuals for forage after small grain harvest. The recap blog covers the content shared by Daniel Olson, a 7th generation dairy farmer from Wisconsin who is also a researcher and forage specialist that works with progressive dairies across the United States. Dig into the blog for more details on summer annual forage species, matching your goals to the right summer annual forage and best harvest techniques for each.
Attend a Virtual Field Day on Small Grains and Extended Rotations
PFI has over 60 virtual field days planned for this summer! While we'll miss being out on the farm, we're excited that this will be an opportunity for folks from all over the U.S. and the world to tune in to learn more about agriculture in the Midwest. We have two small grain field days coming soon that you'll want to add to your calendar:

  1. August 11 Growing High-Quality Food-Grade Oats hosted by AJ and Kellie Blair (pictured right)
  2. August 13 Wheat: A Gateway Crop to Soil Health, Resilience and More hosted by Jim Moseley
Did you take an early season nitrate test? Let us pay for it!
If your fields qualify, we can reimburse you for your early season nitrate test expenses. To participate, simply send rebecca@practicalfarmers.org the test results and bill from two fields: a) 2020 cornfield following last year’s small grain + leguminous cover AND b) 2020 cornfield following soybeans. These fields should be similar in slope, landform, organic matter content, soil texture, etc.

Contact rebecca@practicalfarmers.org with any questions.
July 22, 2020 12:45 p.m. CDT | Madison, MN Farmer Carmen Fernholz

August 7, 2020 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. CDT | Zoom Platform: [Register Here LINKED]

August 11, 2020 1 - 2 p.m. CDT | Dayton, IA Farmers AJ and Kellie Blair

August 13, 2020 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. CDT | Clarks Hill, IN Farmer Jim Moseley
Harvest and Post-Harvest Handling
Harvest and post harvest handling are crucial to maintaining quality in your small grains. Check out these resources on how:

If you don't already have a market lined up for your grain, here are some resources on identifying a market that lines up with the grain quality you've achieved with your crop:
And don't forget about straw!
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661