Summary: Over the past few years, more and more farmers have been growing small grains again, and even more want to find ways to grow them on their farm. At Practical Farmers of Iowa, we’ve been trying to help with that process. Starting with the first episode “Small Grains: A Revival” – you can learn more about small grains, from the benefits of adding diversity to your crop rotations to growing, harvesting and marketing the crops. Like everything else we do, this series is farmer-led. The podcast is a result of extensive interviews with PFI farmers – young and old, organic and conventional, and from every corner of the state. We also talked with a couple scientists at Iowa State who are avid PFI supporters and focus their careers on diversified rotations and small grains research.
In this week's episode of Rotationally Raised, "Small Grains in the Corn Belt: A Sustainable Supply Chain" we wrap up this season of Rotationally Raised. We shift the focus from production to how small grains and diversified crop rotations could help make the food system and agricultural supply chain in the Corn Belt more sustainable. What needs to be done to build resilience into that system? Farmers, food and beverage companies and consumers all have a role to play.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Livestock II: Grazing Summer-seeded Cover Crop Mixes" PFI farmers talk about the multi-species cover crop mixes they plant after small grains harvest to feed livestock and improve soil.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Livestock I: Feeding Small Grains" PFI farmers share their experiences with feeding small grains to livestock. They talk feed formulations, what to feed at different growth stages and how to buy a grinder-mixer.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Markets: Challenges and Opportunities" PFI farmers talk about the challenges with selling small grains and share some of the markets and uses they've found for the crops.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Post-Harvest: Handling and Storage" PFI farmers talk small grains cleaning, storage and handling.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Harvest: When and How?" PFI farmers talk small grains harvesting - whether to swath or direct combine; when the crops are ready; and how to adjust combine settings to ensure good quality and high test weight.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Crop Protection: Growth Stages, Fertilizers and Fungicides" we learn from PFI farmers about small grains fertility and disease management and from Iowa State University graduate student David Weisberger about small grains growth and development.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Planting II: Seed to Soil" we learn from PFI farmers about the best time for planting small grains, planting depth and seed bed preparation.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "Planting I: Calibrate to Populate" we learn about planting populations for small grains and how to calibrate a grain drill.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, "What to Plant: Where and Why" we hear from PFI members around the state on how small grains fit into their crop rotation and how to choose a variety that works for your farm.
In this episode of Rotationally Raised, learn from PFI farmers and Iowa State University researcher Matt Liebman about the benefits of diversified crop and livestock farms.
In this introduction to "Rotationally Raised," learn from members of Practical Farmers of Iowa about the history of small grains production in the state and about some of the benefits of diversified crop rotation for strengthening farms and communities.