Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Our featured farmer for this issue is Dennis McLaughlin! Dennis is a longtime PFI member who farms in central Iowa near Cumming. Considering his farmland has been in the family since the 1850s, he understands the importance of taking care of the land for future generations. Dennis uses cover crops to work toward his goal of improving the soil, while also using them as a tool in his weed control strategy.

Dennis is featured in a recent blog post about controlling waterhemp and other weeds using cover crops.
We have a series of spring field days planned that will focus on cover crops and how they can be used in crop and livestock systems.  The series starts on March 26 in Fort Dodge and runs through June, with events planned for locations across Iowa.

Farmers and community members are invited to learn about a variety of cover crop issues, from varieties and planting strategies to equipment, grazing and harvest options, as well as various practices farmers use to maximize the financial return from cover crops.

All field days in the series run from 4 to 7 p.m., and are free and open to everyone.

March 26 – Fort Dodge

March 27 – Prairie City

April 2 – Osage

April 3 – Orange City

April 4 – Epworth

June 4 – La Porte City
Practical Farmers of Iowa is seeking a diligent, respectful and passionate person to join our strategic initiatives team. Duties include collecting and entering farm production information into sustainability tools for innovative supply chain programs and coordinating on-farm monitoring and data collection for the strategic initiatives team. Read more about the position by clicking the button below!
Want to get paid to plant cover crops? Enrollment is open for the 2019 cover crop cost share program.  To determine if you are eligible, you can fill out an online application here in less than five minutes. Contracts will start going out soon so apply today!
Dr. Anita Dille is a professor of weed ecology at Kansas State University who spoke at PFI's 2019 annual conference. Her research explores the biology of key weed species in Kansas and their interaction with crops and management practices in agricultural fields. This knowledge can help develop improved weed management practices. Watch her presentation by clicking the video thumbnail!
The quickest way to make cover crops pay when you don’t raise ruminant livestock is through more economical weed control. As our featured farmer Dennis McLaughlin has seen he’s better able to control herbicide resistant weeds using another mode of action: winter cover crops. Dr. Andrea Basche from University of Nebraska saw that weeds were smaller in a cover crop system and therefore easier to kill.
The “cash in cover crops,” so to speak is swapping chemical weed control (herbicides) for biological, physical weed control (cover crop). This article was written last summer by PFI's research and field crops director, Dr. Stefan Gailans and covers all that and more. Read it here!
Which weed group gives you the most trouble on your farm?
Winter annuals: marestail and pennycress
Summer annuals: waterhemp, palmer amaranth
Field Day   -   Cover Crops
March 26 | 4 - 7 p.m. | Fort Dodge

Field Day -   Cover Crops
March 27 | 4 - 7 p.m.  Prairie City

Field Day -  Cover Crops
April 2 | 4 - 7 p.m.  Osage

Field Day -  Cover Crops
April 3 | 4 - 7 p.m.  Orange City

Field Day -   Cover Crops
April 4 | 4 - 7 p.m. | Epworth

Field Day - Cover Crop and Water Quality Field Day
April 9 | 5 - 7 p.m. | Washington

Practical Farmers events are in blue. Non-PFI events are in red.
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Shannon Kooima
Strategic Initiatives Assistant
(515) 232-5661
Sierra Becker
Sustainable Agriculture Assistant
(515) 232-5661