Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Keith Reynolds of Onarga, Illinois (pictured with his 'mustached' sons) grows non-GMO soybeans for the
premium—around $1.45/bushel—and the lower seed prices. However, Keith acknowledges that weed control is not as straightforward without traited seed. This is where cover crops come into play.

Planning for weed control: Keith selects fields with low weed pressure for planting non-GMO soybeans, noting the lack of options for in-season weed control if the weed pressure is high. “The chemistry isn’t really there for non-GMO beans,” he says. For that reason, cover crops also play an important role in weed suppression.

Keith says that on a sandy, hilltop field, yearly cover crops has all but eliminated what had been a problematic marestail population. He adds that he has seen waterhemp populations decreasing with cover crops as well.

Terminating with non-GMO: Keith plants non-GMO soybeans into growing rye, and a few days later sprays Sonic residual, Roundup, 2,4-D and Ledger before the soybeans emerge.
PROGRAM UPDATES
On December 3 and 4 hear from a stellar line-up of regional cover crop farmer experts and academics on the subjects of cover crops and soil health, weed suppression and grazing. Check out the agenda here.

You can come to either or both of the virtual three-hour (with a couple breaks) boot camp days, but be sure to register by November 13 to receive a goodie-bag in advance.
If you've used cover crops before you could receive $10 per acre. New to cover crops? You could receive $40 per acre. Fill out the application now to see if you’re eligible.
IN THE FIELD
Iowa farmers: IDALS is offering a $5 per acre discount on crop insurance for farmers who plant cover crops this fall. The cover crop acres cannot be enrolled in other state or federal cover crop cost share programs, but can be enrolled in private cost share programs, such as the PFI-administered programs. Don’t miss out on this $5 per acre discount!

Illinois farmers: IDOA is offering a similar $5 per acre discount on crop insurance premiums for planting cover crops. This opens in December and will close January 15. Learn more about the program here.
See the PDF slides from Brent Larson, Noah Wendt and Jim Copher’s panel presentation on “Growing and Marketing Non-GMO Grain” from the 2020 Annual Conference.

Brent and Noah provided insight on how growing non-GMO grains works for their farming operations, and Jim shared specs and premiums for marketing non-GMO corn and soybeans.
You’ve decided you want to try out non-GMO corn or soybeans; now what? 

This webpage lists some of the businesses around the Midwest you can purchase non-GMO seed from.
UPCOMING EVENTS
The end of field day season is near, but you can watch recordings from this season’s cover crop field days and beyond on the Practical Farmers of Iowa YouTube page.
Hosted by: James White & Green Cover Seed
November 10 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Abbey Wick & Iowa Learning Farms
November 11 | 12 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Mark Thompson & Iowa Learning Farms 
November 24 | 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Nick Jorgensen & Green Cover Seed
November 24 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Adam Daughterty & Green Cover Seed
December 1 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Albert Lea Seed
December 2 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Albert Lea Seed
December 3 | 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Practical Farmers of Iowa & Partners
December 3 - 4 | 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Tim Hammerich & Abbey Wick
December 8 – 9  | Online

Hosted by: Christine Jones & Green Cover Seed
December 8 | 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Online
Want to host a virtual cover crop happy hour? We’ll help you with the tech, and how to virtually invite your neighbors to the discussion. Contact Sarah if interested sarah@practicalfarmers.org
 
Are you planning or hosting a cover crop field day—virtual or in person? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.
COVER CROP POLL
Do you grow non-GMO corn or soybeans?
Yes
No
I have in the past
I plan to in the next few years
Want to expand further on this poll topic? Reply to this email and we may feature your thoughts in the next issue of "The Practical Cover Cropper."
 
Send us your cover crop poll ideas! We want to know what YOU want to know, reply to this email with your ideas for the next poll.
Previous poll results:
What is your preferred cover crop species for grazing or forage?
  • Cereal plus a brassica (turnip, rape, radish)26.6%
  • Cereal (rye, oats, triticale)26.6%
  • I don’t use cover crop for grazing or forage26.6%
  • Three plus species mix20%
CONTACT OUR COVER CROPS TEAM
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661