Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Terry Ward, of La Porte City, plants a four-year rotation of corn, soybeans, oats and hay – and double crops with cereal rye followed by soybeans while maintaining 51 to 60 bushel per acre harvests. Terry, with his wife Rachel, hosted a PFI field day on June 4 to discuss ryelage harvest. Terry’s 37 acres of rye will be chopped as soon as the field dries out and packed into a silo.

Whatever doesn’t fit will then be baled dry. The neighboring dairy cows benefit – it’s chopped and mixed into the dairy rations and the dry bales are fed to heifers, dry cows or turned into bedding. Dick Blough, Terry’s dairy farming neighbor commented, “It’s a high-quality forage when taken off just before boot stage; the cows milk just as well as when they’re eating alfalfa.”
Do you graze or harvest cover crops for forage?
Yes - all grazing livestock
Yes - all silage or hay harvest
Yes - some grazed/some silage and/or hay
No - but interested in adding grazing livestock
No - but interested in harvesting for forage
Previous poll results:
On fields with cover crops have you been able to plant:

  • Sooner than fields with no cover crops - 80 %
  • Later than fields with no cover crops - 5%
  • Same as fields with no cover crops - 15%
Ready to invest in cover crops on your farm?  You could earn $1,600 or more to help offset the cost – fill out the application now to see if you’re eligible. Farmers who enroll before July 1 may also be eligible for a discount on seed and application through Iowa Cover Crop.
Even if you can't plant corn or soybeans, you can keep weeds suppressed, hold onto nutrients and even fix some nitrogen by making sure you have cover crops on those acres. Check out this blog to learn more!
Fred Abels of Holland shows what a difference a good stand of rye can make. On part of the field, he got a good stand established in fall 2017, took silage off for his cattle in the spring of 2018, planted beans into the stubble, and they've stayed weed-free throughout the year.
Farminars on grazing and baling cover crops
More on grazing cover crops:
Cover crop discussion in Chariton on Thursday
Five Lucas County producers will share their experiences with their cover crop demonstrations, which is part of a soil health study through the Rathbun Land and Water Alliance. Sarah Carlson, PFI's strategic initiatives director, will provide cover crops funding information in her presentation: The Economics of Cover Crops: Finding the positive ROI.
Host a cover crop meet up!
PFI brings the food and you bring 15 neighbors to talk cover crops and learn more about the cost share programs either over an early morning breakfast or an evening get-together. Respond to this email if you're interested!
Come learn more about cover crops during these specific field days!
Head to our website for more details and directions for these events and more.
Hosts: David & Ann Cramer
June 26 | 6 - 8:30 p.m. | Fostoria, OH

Host: Sam & Danielle Bennett & Family
July 2 | 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Galva

Grundy County Fairgrounds
July 17 | 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Grundy Center

Host: Adam Nechanicky
August 6 | 2 - 7 p.m. | Buckingham

Host: Greg Rebman
August 22 | 1 - 4 p.m. | Frederick, IL
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Shannon Kooima
Strategic Initiatives Assistant
(515) 232-5661