Practical Farmers has led the way in encouraging more farmers to adopt cover crops in the Midwest. We provide farmers and agency personnel with information, research and farmer feedback on adding cover crops to current conventional, organic or other farming systems.
Through our Livestock Program, we work with farmers to conduct on-farm research, hold pasture walks and field days, and host educational events based on priorities identified by our livestock farmer members.
Through our Local Food Program, we strive to foster strong communities based on diverse ties between farmers and non-farmers by organizing events and connecting non-farmers with farmers near them.
Our policy work is focused on getting practical tools into the hands of farmers. We are proponents for key Farm Bill policies that target conservation, beginning farmers and sustainable agriculture research. At the state level we work closely with Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioners and on Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy issues.
There is a tremendous farmland transition about to take place. Fifty-six percent of Iowa farmland is owned by people over the age of 65, according to Iowa State University. Thirty percent of Iowa farmland is owned by those older than 75 years of age.
Through Practical Landowner Services, staff of Practical Farmers meet with you and your farmer partner to develop a plan of action to implement in-field crop production practices that will better control erosion, retain moisture, promote healthy soil biology, and better cycle nutrients in the soil. That plan may include cover crops, adding a small grain, and multi-tool weed management.