Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
“The health benefits of fresh pasture to calves is worth more than the value of the forage. Rye fields keep calves clean and dry in the spring.” - Bill Frederick

Cover crops, specifically cereal rye, provides livestock producers with a fresh and clean lambing area for calving, lambing and kidding. Calving on pasture can benefit your herd by keeping cows and calves cleaner and healthier, leading to reduced vet bills.
We are recruiting 18 graziers to receive $5,000 each to help pay for mobile fence and water for grazing.

The goal of this pilot project is to increase the adoption of regenerative grazing in Iowa.

To see if you are eligible and to apply, click here!
Grazing cover crops? Check out our one stop shop! Our Grazing Cover Crops Toolkit curates resources from PFI and our partners covering all things grazing cover crops. You’ll find videos, calculator tools, factsheets, how-to guides, on-farm research and more!
The Find Cover Crops app lets users:
  • Search by location for cover crop seed dealers, seed cleaning and custom spraying services located across Iowa and locations in surrounding states
  • Request aerial application, custom drilling and high-clearance seeding services
  • Access advice and management recommendations – including embedded how-to videos – for seeding, grazing and terminating cover crops
  • Identify the boundaries of fields to be cover cropped using the app’s “Find My Field” feature, which lets users search for, mark and send images of a field to businesses or to PFI for cost-share purposes

The free app, Find Cover Crops, is available for download on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and a desktop version is also available.
Make sure your cows work for you (not the other way around)!

Need livestock or more crop ground? Meghan talks about an exciting new “matchmaking” option for grazing cover crops.
Three PFI research reports - summarized in this blog - show cover crop grazing to be advantageous in multiple beef systems.

Cow-calf, feedlot and diverse cover crop mixes can all work together to increase profit per acre.
“We can grow cow feed [cover crops] a heck of a lot cheaper than we can chop silage or buy hay. Now our winter feed is the cheapest point of feed in the year.” - Seth Smith 

Neal and Lucie Sawyer raise grass-fed beef in Princeton, IA on their fifth-generation family farm.

Neal learned of PFI in 2006 and began rotationally grazing cattle in 2008. Neals says this grazing system promotes “healthy soils, grasses and cows that go on to produce delicious, nutrient-rich beef.”

More cover crop grazing resources:
Hosted by: Practical Farmers
7 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Practical Farmers
7 p.m. | Online

Mar. 30: Webinar - Animal Feed as Medicine
Hosted by: FACT & Dr. Fred Provenza
In Person, Chariton, Iowa 

April 6: Webinar - Plant Diversity & Health
Hosted by: FACT & Dr. Fred Provenza

Hosted by: FACT & Dr. Fred Provenza

May 18-20: Conference - The Grassfed Exchange
Fort Worth, Texas
How do you graze cover crops?
Let animals out in one big paddock
Rotationally graze with daily moves
Rotationally graze with moves every 2-6 days
Rotationally graze with weekly moves
Cows and calves graze cereal rye on Alan Zellmer’s farm.
Previous poll results:
Who do you sell your animal products to?
  • Individual Consumers - 66.7%
  • Grocery stores - 16.7%
  • Restaurants - 16.7%
  • Other - 0%
Are you planning or hosting a livestock event? Do you want to host a livestock field day? Send the details to meghan@practicalfarmers.org
Looking for more? Contact us today!
Meghan Filbert
Livestock Program Manager