Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Craig Swaby of Unionville, IA grazes about 100 head of cows. He relies on cover crops as an important feedstuff in his grazing rotation.

Simple cereal rye: Craig has tried grazing wheat and no-till radishes in previous years, but switched to using cereal rye exclusively as he has found it to be the hardiest option for spring grazing. His preferred seeding method is to broadcast seed with dry fertilizer after combining.

“Keep it simple and keep your inputs low. It's easy and you don't have to overthink it,” says Craig.

Added flexibility: Craig relies on cover crop grazing to give his pastures more time to rest. "I'll let my spring pastures grow up while the cows are grazing the cereal rye to increase my forage availability," Craig says. Depending on the weather he is able to begin spring grazing on cover crops between mid-April and mid-May. After the cows have grazed the cover crops, soybeans are drilled in. Craig appreciates cover crops because they serve as another source of forage that can prolong his grazing season while benefitting his fields.
Join other row crop and livestock farmers for the Cover Crop Boot Camp, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. in Ankeny, IA. We’ll hear how farmers are working with cover crops to reduce nitrogen and herbicide inputs, growing their own cover crop seed and incorporating their cover crops with livestock.

Register now for the free event to advance your understanding of how cover crops can work for you.
We've expanded the geographies and market outlets that make people eligible for our private cover crop cost share. Even if you haven't been eligible in the past, you might be now! Click on the grain icons at this link to learn more about eligibility.

We still have acres available for most cost share programs; please share with neighbors and friends! We also have cost share for extended rotations.
Nebraska farmers interested in conservation practices can receive technical and financial support from the Conservation Stewardship Program and Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

Visit your local NRCS office to determine if you are eligible, and submit initial paperwork by Nov. 19!
The Iowa Seed Corn Cover Crop Initiative provides cost share for cover crops on seed corn production acres, with $10 to $20 per acre rates.

Growers can enroll up to 100% of their seed corn acres that aren't already in another state or federal cost-share program.

Three recent PFI research reports - summarized in this new 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.
It isn't too late to get cover crop seed and application - including spreading with dry fertilizer - arranged for this fall. Find seed and applicators on our free "Find Cover Crops" app!

Find Cover Crops is available for download on the Apple App StoreGoogle Play Store and a desktop version is also available.
All times are listed in central time.

Hosted by: Beth Baker & Iowa Learning Farms
October 27 | Noon | Online

Hosted by: Maine Organic Farmers & Gardners
Nov. 1-5 | Online

Hosted by: Steven Hall & Iowa Learning Farms
Nov. 3 | Noon | Online

Hosted by: PFI
November 5 | Noon - 1 p.m. | Online

Hosted by: Straub Brothers
Nov. 6 | 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. | Haubstadt, IN

Hosted by: Midwest Organic Center
Nov. 10 | 3 - 5p.m. | Marion, IA

Hosted by: Iowa Learning Farms
Nov. 10 | Noon | Online

Hosted by: Iowa Learning Farms, The Nature Conservancy & Boone River Watershed
Nov. 10 | Noon - 2 p.m. | Lu Verne, IA

Hosted by: Iowa Learning Farms, ISU Extension & Outreach & Iowa Nutrient Research Center
Nov. 11 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Nashua, IA

Hosted by: Iowa Learning Farms
Nov. 16 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. | Kanawha, IA
Want to host a cover crop meet up? Contact Sarah Carlson if interested sarah@practicalfarmers.org
Are you planning or hosting a cover crop event? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.
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.
Has grazing cover crops increased your profitability per acre?
Yes, $100.00+/acre
Yes, $50.00 - $99.99/acre
Yes, $0.01 - $49.99/acre
Not sure, I haven't done the math
No, I haven't tried grazing cover crops
Previous poll results:
How much are you typically charged per acre to apply cover crop seed with dry fertilizer?
  • Not sure, I haven't tried it - 34.6%
  • $3.00 -$6.00/acre - 19.2%
  • Free - 19.2%
  • $0.01 - $3.00/acre - 15.4%
  • More than $6.00/acre - 11.5%
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Agronomy Coordinator
(515) 232-5661