Person: Margaret Smith

23 posts

Refine search

Last fall was wonky. Harvest was late and many people didn’t make it into the fields until November to establish their winter small grains – a month or more after optimal planting dates for yield. On top of it we’ve had some bitterly cold stretches this winter with little snow cover, so some folks are […]

March 10, 2018 


Are you growing rye or winter wheat for grain or seed this year? What’s the plan after your harvest? If you’re looking to add nitrogen for a 2019 corn crop, now might be the time to think about frost seeding red clover into that rye or wheat in late February. The research is clear: if […]

January 17, 2018 


fit into extended and diversified
crop rotations between the
small grain and corn phases of
the rotation. They can either be
underseeded with a small grain
crops in early spring or planted
in the summer following small
grain harvest.
• Farmer-cooperators Doug
Alert & Margaret Smith and
Vic Madsen compared corn
following two green manure
strategies: red clover or alfalfa
underseeded with oats (US) vs. a
mix of sunn hemp, sweet clover,
red clover and radish planted in
mid-summer after oat harvest
Key Findings
• Weed biomass in oats in mid-July
was no different with or without
the underseeding at both farms.
• By mid-October 2016, the US
(red clover) produced more
aboverground biomass than
the MSS by almost 1,000 lb/ac
at Alert/Smith’s. The opposite
was true at Madsen’s: the MSS
produced more biomass than the
US (alfalfa) by approx. 800 lb/ac.
• Corn yields were no different
between the two green manure
treatments at both farms.



Long-time PFI farmers Doug Alert and Margaret Smith welcomed close to 60 people to their organic farm, Ash Grove Farm near Hampton, on July 7 to learn about beginning and advanced organic farming tactics. Chief among the topics discussed was terminating a cover crop with the roller-crimper method. It had been several years since Doug […]

July 14, 2015 


Renowned grazier Neil Dennis will share his high stock-density grazing strategies at Practical Farmers’ annual conference – Jan. 24-25, in AmesFor Release: December 9, 2013 Download PDF (165 KB) View Fullscreen

December 9, 2013 


Master Researchers to Receive Award at Practical Farmers of Iowa Cooperators’ Meeting DinnerFor Release: January 29, 2013 Download PDF (275 KB) View Fullscreen

January 29, 2013 


Labor4Learning Program helps beginning farmers get paid on-the-job training from ten established farms around IowaFor Release: January 29, 2013 Download PDF (231 KB) View Fullscreen



One Step at a Time Gardens Hosts Food Handling Field Day, July 10For Release: June 28, 2011 Download PDF (349 KB) View Fullscreen

June 28, 2011 


Learn How to Get Started Grass-Feeding Beef at Practical Farmers of Iowa Field DayFor Release: May 20, 2009 Download PDF (244 KB) View Fullscreen

May 20, 2009 


Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day Focuses on Oat Crown Rust and Transitioning to OrganicFor Release: June 11, 2008 Download PDF (242 KB) View Fullscreen

June 11, 2008