Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Wade Dooley is the featured cover cropper for our late-October issue. Wade operates Glenwood Century Farm — an integrated crop-livestock and vegetable farm near Albion. The ‘king of late-seeding rye’ also custom drills cover crops. Last year, Wade found himself drilling rye into snow-covered fields while conducting a proof-of-concept demonstration on 100 acres. He seeded rye from early fall to as late as April to observe how rye reacts to different planting dates.

Worth it to seed late? This year’s late harvest is delaying the seeding of cover crops. Wade says not to fear — you can still reap the benefits of cover crops even when seeded late. But it's best to make a few adjustments in seeding rate.

Seeding rates should reflect the later date: Wade recommends that a farmer or landowner thinks about their goals for their cover crop when selecting a seeding rate. Rye planted in late fall will not tiller much, but increasing seeding rate will make up for the lack of tillering. Wade recommends the following.
*Wade has observed a rye cover crop typically won’t provide enough biomass for ryelage or grazing in the spring if planted after mid-November.

Limiting factor drill availability: Wade has noticed in his area that the number of drills is the limiting factor. He advises to line-up someone to drill sooner rather than later.
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 ones PFI administers. Don’t miss out on this $5 per acre discount! Learn more and apply here by January 15, 2020.
Randy Miller and family of Ankeny sure do love cover crops. Check out their new blackout license plates for their trucks!
Looking for seed or someone to custom drill? Have cover crop seed services to sell? Check out the businesses in our cover crop directory.

To get your business listed in the cover crop business directory, e-mail jason@practicalfarmers.org with your business name, services offered, website or Facebook page, location and phone number.
Are you participating in an NRCS or IDALS cover crop cost share program? Make sure you meet the required seeding rates and dates. Also check with your county office if the seeding dates are extended. 
What is the latest you've planted rye and still had a good stand?
Late October
Early November
Late November
Early December
Frost-seeded following spring
I have never planted rye
Previous poll results:
What is the status of your cover crops this fall? (Oct. 3)
  • Planted and germinated - 47%
  • Planning to plant in the next couple weeks - 43.9%
  • Planted and not yet germinated - 4.5%
  • Not planting cover crops this fall - 3%
  • Planning to frost-seed cover crops in the spring - 1.5%
Reminder for those in ADM/Unilever or Cargill/PepsiCo cost share
Enrolled in both of PFI’s cover crop programs (ADM/Unilever & Cargill/PepsiCo)? Remember you cannot combine private sources of funding on the same acres. Private funding can only be combined with public funding sources on the same acres (i.e. WQI, IDALS, EQIP, Crop Insurance Premium Discount, etc).
Enrolled in cost-share? Don't forget to attend one of the cover crop learning events listed below!
Remember, if you’re enrolled in the PFI-administered cover crop cost share program, you are required to attend a cover crop or soil health learning event this calendar year.
After Thanksgiving we will request a copy of your cover crop receipts for verification. You’ll receive an email survey to submit receipts.
Hosted by: Ben Joshnson and Iowa Learning Farms
November 7 | 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Nashua, Iowa

Speaker is Dr. Benjamin Turner of Texas A&M University-Kingsville
November 18 | 7:00 p.m. | Ames, IA
Hosted by Mike Jackson and Practical Farmers
November 20 | 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. | Rose Hill, Iowa

Hosted by Erika Lundy and Rebecca Vittetoe of Iowa State Extension
November 20 | 12:00 p.m. | Online

Hosted by Jerry Dove and Dry Run Creek Watershed
November 21 | Time TBA | Janesville, Iowa
Hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa and others
December 18-19 | Ames, Iowa
Host a cover crop meet-up!
Want to host a casual gathering to talk cover crops? Sarah Carlson will bring the pizza and drinks. You bring the neighbors to talk cover crops. Contact Sarah if interested sarah@practicalfarmers.org.
Are you planning or hosting a cover crop field day? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter!
Alisha Bower
Strategic Initiatives Manager
(515) 232-5661
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Assistant
(515) 232-5661