Big news small grains enthusiasts -- enrollment for small grains cost share for 2020 is now open! Read below for more details on how to apply. If you are a participant in the 2019 cost share program, you should have received an email from me with your production survey. This is a required survey that needs to be filled out by September 6 in order to release your payment.

If you're planning to plant a winter small grain like rye, winter wheat or triticale don't forget to start shopping for seed before the cover crop rush drives up prices.

2020 Small Grains Cost Share OPEN!
Farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin are invited to apply for cost share on small grains harvested in 2020 and followed by a legume-containing cover crop. Small grains include barley, oats, rye, triticale or wheat and a legume cover crop could be under- or co-seeded clover or alfalfa or a summer planted cover that includes hairy vetch or field peas.

PFI will pay $25 per acre cost share on up to 100 acres for this combination of main crop and cover crop on conventional or transition to organic acres. Certified organic acres are not eligible. Acres are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reserve your acres on our small grains cost share page .
Call September 6 on Planting Rye that Can Pivot from Cover Crop to Seed Production
The cover crop market has been volatile the last couple of years with frequent shortages, high prices and difficulty taking possession of the seed in a timely manner. Given these conditions it's probably a good policy for farmers to plant rye this fall with the intention that some of it will be harvested for seed. This call will be a run-down of all the things a farmer should think about to pivot a rye cover crop into a rye seed crop from agronomic basics of variety selection, planting date and seeding rate to the legalities of dealing in cover crop seed and projecting your acreage to meet demand. The call will feature a farmer panel with experience growing rye for seed and Practical Farmers's own Alisha Bower.

To Join dial (605) 313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# on Friday, September 6 at noon.
Blog Online from Call on Economic Value of Small Grain in Rotation
On our August shared learning call we had a great discussion on how to properly assess the economic value of a small grain in rotation led by Dr. David Hooker from the University of Guelph. He reviewed his long-term cropping trial results comparing 2- and 3-year rotations and then assigned monetary values to some of the benefits seen in the 3-year rotations beyond the small grain year to achieve a "true accounting" of the value of the small grain in rotaiton.

You can read the blog from the call here and for the insider scoop check out my notes from the call including Q & A.
Use our New Searchable, Sortable Small Grains Directory
The small grains business directory lists location and contact information for seed buyers, grain buyers and seed cleaners, as well as the small grains species they buy. 

If you own a business that cleans or buys small grains for seed or grain and want to be added to the directory, send your business name, town, phone number and small grains bought to

August 15-16, 2019 | Wisconsin Dells, WI

August 16, 2019 | Harlan, IA

August 22, 2019 | Frederick, IL

IL Wheat Growers: Summer Wheat Forum
August 22, 2019 | Okawville, IL
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!
Time to Think about Planting Winter Small Grains
Planting season is fast approaching. It's time to start thinking about selecting and ordering your seed and preparing your equipment. Still unsure which small grain is right for you? 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