Hope everyone has a good rest coming to them after this crazy fall. Good luck to those still working on getting the crop in. Here at PFI we have not been slacking off either! Here are some of our big announcements:

  • Small Grains Conference 2020 will be held March 4-5 in Springfield, IL. Save the date!
  • Oatly is expanding their grower program for 2020 oats and seeking more growers to contract with Grain Millers in St. Ansgar, IA and plant cover crops following oats with PFI cost share.
  • In 2019, PFI conducted its first ever rye variety trial which is now published on our website.

There are still cost share acres available for general applications, but they're dwindling fast. Get your cost share applications in quickly to secure your acres for 2020.

Many Thanks,

December 6 Learning Call on Oat Variety Selection (with Rye Trial Bonus!)
In December we will gather for what is becoming an annual winter tradition -- a call on variety selection! PFI just wrapped up our fifth year of oat variety trials in Iowa and Wayne Koehler, who farms near Charles City, IA, has hosted a location for PFI's oat variety trails on his farm for two of those five years, including last year, 2019. Wayne will join us on Dec 6 from Noon - 1 p.m. to share how the variety trails are conducted on his farm and how he selects oat varieties for his own production. PFI's Strategic Initiatives Assistant Rebecca Clay will share highlights from PFI's 2019 trial results -- including PFI's first year of rye trial results -- and future opportunities to get involved with variety trialing on your farm.

The call will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday December 6. To join dial 605-313-5784 and enter passcode 239000# when prompted.
Oatly Program Seeks More Oat Growers in N. Iowa and S. Minnesota
Oatly is increasing growers/acres in their program to source US grown oats in 2020 from farmers using cover crops and extended rotation best practices.  Participating farmers would receive forward contracts on their oats and cost share through PFI at $25/acre. Farmers are required to frost seed a clover or other legume cover crop into their oats or apply for a livestock exception to plant a diverse summer mix if livestock will graze the field. Program participation also includes guaranteed contract offers for three years (2020-2022) and assistance from Grain Millers in marketing oats that don't make grade.

If you're interested in participating contact Alisha Bower at or 515-232-5661 to talk through program requirements and eligibility.
Smithfield Pilot to Buy Wheat and Oats in Southern Iowa
Farmers in Southern Iowa will now have a new market option for wheat and oats. In partnership with Practical Farmers, Smithfield grain elevators in Allerton and Davis City, Iowa will be offering contracting options for wheat and oats. These contracts can be paired with PFI's 2020 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.

For questions regarding grain contracts and prices, contact Erin Holt at (660) 748-7270 or For questions about small grain production, cover crops or cost share contact Alisha Bower at (515) 232-5661 or
Apply Now for 2020 Small Grain Cost Share
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 .
November 23, 2019 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Woodstock, IL

PFI Shared Learning Call: Oat Variety Selection
December 6, 2019 Noon - 1 pm

December 12-13, 2019 | Grand Forks, ND

January 16-18, 2020 | Ames, IA

January 24-25, 2020 | Madison, WI

January 30, 2020 | Mt. Vernon, IL

March 4-5, 2019 | Springfield, IL
Spring Small Grain Variety Selection
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