This year marks the 30th anniversary of Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Cooperators’ Program—our vehicle for conducting on-farm research trials. As such, throughout this year we’ll periodically be taking a look back at work done by farmer-cooperators over the past 30 years in a series of blog posts entitled “Better Know an On-Farm Research Project.” In […]
February 14, 2017
Various green manure cover crop
mixes can successfully be established
following the harvest of a small grain
crop in mid-summer.
• Following cereal rye seed harvest
in July 2015, farmer-cooperator Tim
Sieren seeded a brassica mix into one
field and a legume mix into another
field. He then compared 2016 corn
yields resulting from a Low and High N
fertilizer rate that followed the green
manure mixes in the separate fields.
• Regardless of the green manure mix it
followed, corn yields were significantly
greater with the 145 lb N/ac (High) rate
compared to the 95 lb N/ac (Low) rate.
• Wet summer months likely contributed
to the superiority of the High N rate
in terms of both yield and financial
returns in 2016.
November 18, 2016
Soil conservation; water quality conservation; energy conservation. You name it, we covered it at Lee Tesdell’s field day near Slater on July 13.
July 18, 2016
On January 21-22, around 85 farmers from across the state gathered in Ames to learn about small grains crops (oats, wheat & barley) from industry professionals, researchers and fellow farmers at the “Growing Good Small Grains” course prior to Practical Farmers of Iowa’s annual conference. Most Iowa farmers spend plenty of time thinking about plant populations, plant protection products and fertilizer requirements […]
January 28, 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
Cultivation of cereal rye for cover crop seed offers the possibility of frost-seeding a legume into the standing rye crop in early spring, where the legume can produce biomass and fix N following rye harvest. In 2014, farmer-cooperators Tim Sieren and Dick Sloan grew corn in rotation following cereal rye frost-seeded with red clover and […]
December 16, 2015
Extending and diversifying a crop rotation to include a small grain presents farmers with the opportunity to generate biological soil nitrogen using forage legume(green manure) cover crops seeded in the spring and summer. Farmer-cooperator, Dick Sloan grew corn following red clover that was frost-seeded into a cereal rye seed crop and also after a mix […]
December 9, 2015
July 28, 2015
Specialty corn varieties are bred to express quality profiles that are more suitable for livestock feed than standard, conventional corn varieties. With that in mind, John Gilbert, of Gibralter Farms near Iowa Falls, investigated different fertilizer practices to improve productivity of a specialty corn variety (cv. GEI 101) he has deemed to possess a desirable quality profile […]
April 28, 2015
But we can control what we do on the landscape! Recent findings released by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) has provided evidence to the fact that how we manage the land (our farms) plays a role in how much nutrients leave that land and enter surface waters. At the ISA Research Conference last month in Ames, […]
March 26, 2015