Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Wanting more fall grazing days from cover crops, Fred Abels of Holland, IA has experimented with 60-inch row spacing of corn for the past few years as a part of PFI’s Cooperators Program. The wider rows create a ‘solar corridor’— which enables earlier seeding, and therefore more growth, of cover crops. 

This year, Fred interseeded mung bean, buckwheat, annual ryegrass, soybeans and sorghum sudangrass. So far, Fred says, “I’m not too sold on this system on my farm.” He has seen lower corn yields and isn’t getting much additional fall grazing.

However, this experiment has given him ideas for next year. Fred plans to use a modified IH Cyclo planter to interseed buckwheat into 30-inch row corn. He will use a hooded, banding sprayer to keep his burndown and residual herbicide out of the row centers so buckwheat establishment isn’t impaired. 

Fred cites PFI’s farmer network as a source of new ideas and advice; he embodies PFI’s tagline of “Working together, always learning.”
PROGRAM UPDATES
Ready to invest in cover crops on your farm?

You could earn $1,600 or more to help off-set the cost fill out the application now to see if you’re eligible.
IN THE FIELD
Nathan Anderson of Aurelia, IA provides an update on how he is refining the interseeding of cover crops into 60-inch corn to better fit his economic and soil needs.

Cover crops are just one of the practices you can receive funding for.

Each county has cover crop cost share available, and if you farm in certain watersheds, additional cost share may be available.

Funding will close soon, so be sure to check this out!
Jack Boyer of Reinback, IA presented his motivation for trying 60-inch rows and the results of his on-farm research trial at the 2018 Cooperators' Meeting.

Early interseeding cover crops into 60-inch row corn has been a hot topic for awhile now.

Learn how it is working for farmers throughout Iowa in this research report .
Join our email discussion list to get your cover crop questions answered by expert farmers and share your own insights too. Contact Debra to join (515) 232-5661 or debra@practicalfarmers.org.

Plus, chime in on a subject when you have some experience on it on your farm. We value your expertise! (You must be a PFI member to join discussion groups.) 
We’ve created a directory of businesses to help you meet your cover crop goals.  On it, you can find custom applicators, seed suppliers, seed cleaners and more.

If you offer any cover-crop related services or cover crop seed, email  jason@practicalfarmers.org so we can list your business on the directory.
UPCOMING EVENTS
This summer, Practical Farmers is hosting all of our field days online —making it easier for you to “attend” field days over a broader geography. Check out the full field day lineup here.
Hosted by:  Pasture Project and Keith Berns
July 23 | 2 – 3 p.m. | Online
   
Hosted by:  Soil and Water Conservation Society
July 27-29 | Online

Hosted by:  Green Cover Seed
August 5 or 6 | 9 a.m. – onward | Bladen, NE

Hosted by:  Josh Tranel & Practical Farmers
August 7 | 12:15 – 1:25 p.m. | Online
 
Hosted by:  A.J. and Kellie Blair & Practical Farmers
August 11 | 1 – 2 p.m. | Online

Hosted by:  Jim and Kathy Moseley & Practical Farmers
August 13 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 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
What's the soil moisture on your farm?
Too dry
Pretty dry
Just about right
Too wet
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:
When do you typically purchase cover crops?
  • July or before July - 37.5%
  • August - 25%
  • September or later - 12.5%
  • I grow my own seed and don't purchase - 25%
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