Season's greetings,
Exciting changes are in store for Small Grains News. Starting in 2022, we will be sending out our monthly newsletters on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Expect us back in your inboxes on January 25th!

This is also the last time we'll be introducing our newsletter with a preamble from Practical Farmers staff. Next month, we'll begin our newsletters with a farmer feature. You might love hearing from us, but hearing from your farmer peers is better. Who knows, maybe we'll feature you in an upcoming issue.

But while we still have your attention, let's talk New Years Resolutions. Thinking you'd like to save money on input costs, build nitrogen in your soils and spread out labor across your 2022 season? You already know what we're going to say - plant a small grain and a legume cover crop! Don't forget that we have two types of cost share to help you along the way.

Wishing you happy holidays,
The Strategic Initiatives Team
Friday, January 7 | Noon - 1 p.m. CT
Small grains bids are higher than average for 2022, but understanding the economic benefits of growing small grains requires looking beyond just one year. Join Jeff Steffen for our January shared learning call as he walks through the ways small grains increase his bottom line across his three- and five-year rotations. From reducing nitrogen fertilizer in corn to saving costs on untreated seed, Jeff will explain how his whole system makes money.
Jeff Steffen farms on 600 acres near Crofton, Nebraska with his wife Jolene. The Steffens raise corn, soybeans, oats, rye and peas and they custom graze cow-calf pairs on their 200 acres of pasture.

New! We'll be convening on Zoom
To join by computer: click
To join by phone: dial +1-312-626-6799 and enter meeting ID 836 3216 7882 followed by #
On December 3 we gathered for a shared learning call on small grain marketing with Mike Schulist, who works for NF Organics.

Curious about how to sell a small grain? Read our updated blog on frequently asked questions about small grain market options and start planning ahead for 2022!
Farmers in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin with conventional or transition-to-organic small grain acres are still eligible for cost share of $15 per acre when they follow their small grain with a legume cover crop. On top of that, we have additional cost share for taking a nitrogen fertilizer credit in corn that follows a small grain in an extended rotation.

Mark you calendars! We'll be convening for our annual Small Grains Conference on Tuesday, March 1st in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Look forward to breakout sessions on marketing straw, building N with red clover, successful wheat production and much more!

Information will be updated on the website soon and registration opens January 3rd. This event is FREE for PFI members.
Marketing resources
It's best to start thinking about marketing before your small grain is in the ground. Here are some more resources to help guide your decision making:
There's plenty of small grains content at Practical Farmers' annual conference this year. Learn about high yielding oats, relay-cropping, transitioning-to-organic and more on January 21 and 22 in Ames, Iowa.

Check out the full lineup of sessions. Pre-registration is required and closes on January 13. We hope to see you there!
All times listed are in central daylight time


Hosted by: No-Till Farmer
January 4 - 7 | Louisville, KY

Hosted by: Jeff Steffen & Practical Farmers
January 7 | Noon - 1 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: OGRAIN
January 27 - 29 | Madison, WI


Hosted by: Practical Farmers
February 4 | Noon - 1 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: The Land Connection
February 9 - 10 | Champaign, IL
How would you characterize your small grain marketing?
Consistent. I know where I'm going to market each year.
Varied. How I market changes year-to-year, but I can get rid of grain
Uncertain. I struggle to get rid of grain.
NA. I don't currently market small grains
Previous poll results:
Do you find the selector tool a helpful resource?
  • Yes - please continue working on this! - 62.5%
  • No - I don't find it useful - 25 %
  • Not really - I'd prefer a tool that summarizes trial data - 12.5% 
Send us your small grain poll ideas! We want to know what YOU want to know. Reply to this email with your ideas for the next poll.
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