Equipping farmers to build resilient farms and communities.
Matt Schuiteman began experimenting with cover crops on his Sioux Center farm over ten years ago. Nowadays he grows cereal rye for grazing, baling and seed. He estimates grazing a cereal rye cover provides a forage value of about $281 per acre!

The events listed in the last newsletter are postponed indefinitely. Given the current advisory to avoid congregating in groups, Practical Farmers is pivoting to hosting some field days online. Please watch for updates on our website; in Practical News, our weekly email newsletter; on our Facebook page; and if you are a member, on our email discussion lists.
TOMORROW: Thursday, March 26 | 1 - 2 p.m.

We can all keep learning from each other while we practice social distancing. Take a virtual farm tour via Facebook Live with southeast Iowa cover cropper Mike Jackson. Learn how and why he uses cover crops, see some of the machinery he uses to get it done, and ask him questions!

Cover crop events
Hosted by: Pasture Project at the Wallace Center
March 31 | 2 - 3 p.m. | Online
Hosted by: Tama Soil & Water Conservation Distract
June 23 | 3:00 - 6:00 p.m. | Grinnell, Iowa
Are you planning, hosting or know of a cover crop event? Send the details to rebecca@practicalfarmers.org, and we’ll include it in our next newsletter.
Soil compaction and lack of fence are often identified by farmers as the two major barriers to grazing cover crops. Soil compaction issues can be avoided with proper management.

Read our research report on this subject or watch Wade Dooley present this research at the 2018 Cooperators' meeting.
Are you grazing cover crops this spring, or plan to in the fall? If so, it’s important to check and see if your corn or bean herbicides have grazing restrictions. Some common herbicides do not allow for grazing of cover crops or crop residue.

More resources on grazing cover crops
Will you be letting livestock out to graze cover crops this spring?
They're already out
We'll let them out soon
We only fall graze cover crops
We don't graze cover crops
Previous poll results:
Have you ever tried spring-seeding cover crops?
  • Yes and I love it! - 31.6%
  • Yes I've tried it, but don't currently do it - 0.0%
  • No but I'd like to try - 57.9%
  • No and I don't wish to try - 10.5%
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.
Sarah Carlson
Strategic Initiatives Director
(515) 232-5661
Chris Wilbeck
Independent Contractor
(515) 232-5661
Rebecca Clay
Strategic Initiatives Assistant
(515) 232-5661