Melting snow drifts, chirping birds, budding trees and greening cover crops makes it feel like spring has arrived. Plus, spring small grain planting is already underway in the southern parts of the Midwest – are you prepared? Check out some of the resources on seeding small grain crops and legume cover crops further on in the email, and be sure to apply for cost share if you haven’t already.

This summer we will host a series of small, energizing, in-person gatherings on farms across Iowa. We’re starting the planning, and the line-up will expand on a rolling basis throughout the summer as more pop-up, local events are organized. Fill out this form to let us know about your interests and availability.

Take care,
The Strategic Initiatives Team
Accounting for an N credit from your legume cover crop can reduce corn production expenses while minimizing the risk of an N deficiency to corn. Read the recently-published blog post on estimating nitrogen availability to corn following clover or alfalfa.

We're taking a break from learning calls during planting and will continue the first Friday of June.
Have you attended a Field Crop Virtual Meet-Up yet? Upcoming topics include grazing cover crops in the spring, summer, and fall, and how cover crops fit into organic production systems.
For those with cows that are calving, wear your headset in the barn and dial in to join us – no need to be in front of the computer! These calls will be held each Thursday 6:30-8 p.m. CST from now through April 8.
In 2020 Kellie and A.J. Blair of Dayton, IA researched how increasing N fertilization rates from 0 to 50 lb N/acre impacted oat yield and profitability. After seeding oats in late March, they applied 50 lb N/acre as AMS and urea in mid April to replicated strips.

Yields were significantly higher in the strips where nitrogen was applied. After subtracting the expense of fertilizer and application, the ROI for N application was a net positive $56.72/acre compared to not applying fertilizer. Read the full report here.
The most recent Field Crops Virtual Meet-Up on relay cropping reminded us of the great potential of relay cropping cereal rye and soybeans. In January, Michael Vittetoe and Alec Amundson shared their experiences with relay cropping; watch the recorded annual conference session here
March 25 | 6:30 - 8 p.m. CST | Online

March 26 | 11:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. CST | Online

(No shared learning call in April - happy planting!)

April 1 | 6:30 - 8 p.m. CST | Online

April 2 | 11:00 a.m. - 12 p.m. CST | Online

April 8 | 6:30 - 8 p.m. CST | Online
Time to frost seed!
If you have winter small grains and want to establish an underseeding of clover to provide a cover crop after harvest, now is the time to get in the field to seed. Read up on these great frost seeding resources:
  • Frost seeding call blog.
  • This blog feature on frost seeding master Doug Alert, which contains a great list with links to all of PFI's research reports on green manures after small grains
Achieving Desired Plant Population and Stand
Calibrating your grain drill and getting proper planting depth help control costs and maximize small grain yields. Here are some resources on how to calibrate your grain drill for small grains and how to reach target planting depths:
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