Small Grains News & Updates
February Call Notes and Blog Available Now
In February we welcomed Tim Sieren of Keota and Keith Kohler of Ames to talk about their fool proof plan for frost seeding legumes into an established winter small grain or before spring small grain planting. The blog of the Feb call is now available on the PFI website or click here for the full notes from the call.

If you'd like more information don't miss this blog about frost seeding and this farminar about clover cover crops.

For cost share participants: 
If you are participating in the 2018 cost share and were on the call on February 2 - please send Richard ( ) the phone number you called in from that day so she can record your participation.
March 2 Call On Marketing to Breweries and Distilleries

In March we will focus on producing and marketing grain to breweries and distilleries. Adam Wagner of Vertical Malt and Lloyd Wagner and Sons Farm in Fisher, MN will speak about small grains for malting and making beer and Ryan Burchett of Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire, IA will address marketing small grains to distilleries.

The call will take place on Friday, March 2 at 12:00 - 1:00 PM Central. To call in dial 641-715-3620 and enter the passcode 357330#. Feel free to invite others and share these call in details.
Fertilizer Plan for Corn Following Small Grain/Legume
If you grew small grains with a legume cover crop last year and are getting ready to plant corn into that field make sure you're accounting for the N produced by the cover crop and taking that off of your applied N amount. Depending on what variety of legume and how long it was in the field before termination you're looking at anywhere from 40-100 lbs of N provided by the cover crop . For example, a one year stand of clover creates about 70-80 lbs of N - less if it was summer-seeded or it was baled or grazed. Do the math now to estimate your N value and then perform a late season nitrogen test and side dress more fertilizer if available N is low.

To estimate N production from your cover crop:
Due to incredible demand for small grains cost share we have committed the last acres in our pool to farmers who will be planting small grains in a few short weeks. Thank you to everyone who is participating.

If you're thinking about planting small grains in 2019 , there may be cost share available through your county NRCS office for practices 328 (conservation crop rotation) and 340 (cover crops). Your cut off for priority ranking will likely be in August or September so thinking about it now will set you on the path to complete a successful application.
If you are in the 2018 cost share program, one of the requirements is that you join Practical Farmers of Iowa. You can do so online at: or by calling our office (515) 232-5661 and speaking with Debra.
S mall Grains Shared Learning Call
March 2 Noon - 1 p.m. | Marketing Small Grains to Breweries and Distilleries
Grain Drill Calibration
Getting stir crazy in the house, but still too cold to be out in the field? It's the perfect time to get in the shop and calibrate your grain drill for planting spring small grains. Here are some resources:

  1. The drill calibration and plant population episode of our rotationally raised video series.
Be Ready to Fertilize
The optimal time to apply fertilizer to small grains to avoid lodging is before planting or shortly after. Make sure you're ready to apply fertilizer at the right time.

  1. The growth stages fertilizers and fungicides episode of our rotationally raised video series.
  2. The blog from March 2017's shared learning call with agronomists on optimal fertilizer strategies.
  3. The blog from June 2017's shared learning call on Mark Ditlevson's fertilizer timing and rates.
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Alisha Bower
Midwest Cover Crop Associate
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Midwest Cover Crop Director
(515) 232-5661