Seasons greetings,

With a few inches of snow, the landscape feels dormant in central Iowa, even as preparation for the 2021 growing season is well underway. A notable highlight for people looking to grow oats in 2021: we've released the results of our 2020 Oat Variety Trial, which tested 18 varieties across four research farms. Read on for additional small grain production and marketing resources.

Wishing you happy holidays,
The Strategic Initiatives Team
In the Corn Belt, markets for small grains are limited, but as cover crops gain momentum, the demand for cover crop seed is on the rise.

Enter selling small grains as cover crop seed. Seed should meet purity standards, and therefore should be cleaned.

For Bill Frederick (left) of Jefferson, Iowa, seed cleaning for small grains is a crucial part of his business, Iowa Cover Crop.

On January 8 at 12:15 p.m. call in to hear from Bill as he shares his experience with cleaning seed: from purchasing a cleaner, to settings and maintenance, to marketing.
 
To join dial 605-313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.
Last Friday Darren Fehr of Mallard, Iowa divulged that growing high test weight oats in Iowa is not all that hard if you are intentional in setting yourself up for success.

In this re-cap blog of the shared learning call, learn about the basics of growing high test weight oats.

The 2021 Practical Farmers annual conference is "Coming Home," meaning that in the depths of winter you need not make the treacherous journey to Ames this year. From January 21-23, you can participate in sessions from your home.

Sessions of interest include:
Farmers in southern Iowa will continue to have a new market option for wheat and oats. In partnership with Practical Farmers, Smithfield grain elevators in Davis City, Iowa will again be offer contracting options for wheat and oats in 2021.

These contracts can be paired with PFI's 2021 cost share program as long as the small grain crop is followed by a cover crop that contains at least one legume species. Learn more about the program here.
EVENTS
January
January 8 | 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. CST | dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000#

January 21 | 10 a.m. CST/11 a.m. EST | Online, pre-registration required

January 21-23 | Online

February
February 5 | 12:15 - 1:15 p.m. CST | dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000#

February 12 | 11:20 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. CST | Online

February 19 | Noon - 1:30 p.m. | Online
IN THE FIELD
Spring small grain variety selection
Here are some resources to help you select a small grain variety:
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Lydia English
Strategic Initiatives Coordinator
(515) 232-5661