Person: Dave Schmidt

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Cover crops may not be just for corn and soybeans. Cover crops and summer annual forage mixes can provide a host of benefits to annual cropping systems: add biodiversity, reduce soil erosion, reduce nutrient loss, increase soil organic matter and reduce weed pressure. Dave and Meg Schmidt, who raise cattle and crops near Exira in Audubon […]

October 26, 2016 


Practical Farmers of Iowa’s mission is to strengthen farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information sharing. One of the primary ways we accomplish this mission is through on-farm research as part of our Cooperators’ Program. Over the past few years, the investigation of cover crops by farmer-cooperators has dominated the program. Below I offer a review […]

July 19, 2016 


Ever wondered about terminating a cover crop without using herbicides or tillage? Rolling a cover crop (or roll-crimping) may be something for you to think about. Three PFI members share their experience with using this technique in the article “Rolling Cover Crops” in the March issue of Wallaces Farmer. When done correctly (more on this in […]

March 17, 2016 


At the Practical Farmers of Iowa annual conference last month, we held a session on terminating cover crops with rolling equipment. This session featured three farmers (Doug Alert, Dave Schmidt & Francis Thicke) sharing their experiences with rolling a cover crop from the 2015 growing season. Rolling a cover crop is not a common technique for terminating cover […]

February 10, 2016 


Since 1987, the Cooperators’ Program has been Practical Farmers of Iowa’s vehicle for conducting on-farm research on the issues and concerns deemed most important by our members. The Cooperators’ Program is the epitome of what PFI is all about: Farmer-led investigation and information sharing. In 2015, 63 farmers took part in 35 research projects on […]

December 17, 2015 


Cover Crops Offer Graziers a Low-Cost, High-Quality Winter Feed, Research ShowsFor Release: October 7, 2015 Download PDF (97 KB) AMES, Iowa — For forage- and grass-based livestock farmers, the cost of stored feeds, like hay, is often the single greatest cost of maintaining their animals over the winter. Thus, extending the grazing season as long [...]

October 7, 2015 


Dave Schmidt, who runs Troublesome Creek Cattle Co. with his wife Meg near Exira in Audubon County, shared with me over email a small project they were trying on their farm involving rolling a cereal rye cover crop ahead of a summer grazing mix. I asked Dave to write a couple guest pieces for our […]

September 10, 2015 


The latest iteration of PFI’s cover crop variety trial has been released: “Cover Crop Variety Trial, 2014-2015.” Cooperators evaluated 21 cover crop entries (pure stands and mixes) in small, hand-seeded plots across the state. See all the entries in the table below.

July 21, 2015 


Explore legal issues pertinent to beginning farmers, including farm succession, the transition of land and assets to the next generation, custom grazing legal questions and writing farm leases.

March 11, 2014 


Fly Monitoring for Grazing Cattle – Preliminary StudyPublished: January 5, 2013 Download PDF (639 KB) View Fullscreen

January 5, 2013