Practical Farmers of Iowa has announced the next round of speakers and topics for its popular farminar series. Since launching the free webinars in 2009, Practical Farmers has produced more than 100 online presentations featuring farmers and experts presenting on a wide range of farm production and business management topics.
The 2016 winter farminar series starts January 12, and runs each Tuesday, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. CST, through March 8. Featured topics span a wide range of farming enterprises, and are geared toward beginning and established farmers alike. The interactive format allows attendees to listen in and ask questions using a chatbox. Each farminar is recorded and archived at practicalfarmers.org for later viewing.
Winter 2016 series begins with focus on small grains
The winter 2016 series kicks off with a string of presentations covering the benefits of growing small grains like rye and oats. Such small grains crops were once grown on millions of acres in Iowa, but are now hard to find across the state. The first presentation "Nuts and Bolts of Small Grain Production" will be led by Klass Martens, a nationally-recognized farmer and advocate for organic and sustainable practices. Klass will describe the many small grains he grows in New York, and discuss ways to add a third crop to Iowa's rotations.
Subsequent small grains-focused farminars will examine specific small grains crops. On January 19, Iowa farmer Mark Peterson will discuss how raising cereal rye allows more time in the fall to plant a diverse cover crop mix for grazing livestock. The following week, Iowa farmer George Schaefer will present on the benefits oats can provide to an organic crop rotation.
Other topics to be covered in winter farminar presentations
Other farminar topics in the 2016 winter season include the pros and cons of moveable high tunnels; herbicide restriction considerations when using cover crops as forage; seed-starting on two different farms; walk-in cooler considerations and construction; important farm financials; and neonicotinoid seed treatments.
The full farminar schedule, including titles, descriptions and speakers, is appended at the bottom of this release, along with a separate list of speakers organized alphabetically by town. To participate go to practicalfarmers.org/farminars and click the "Join in" button and select to sign in as "Guest." All farminars are from 7-8:30 p.m. CST on Tuesday evenings.
PFI's 2016 winter farminars are made possible with funding from Ceres Trust, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's Water Quality Initiative and the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, USDA's National Resources Conservation Service and the Walton Family Foundation.
PFI strengthens farms and communities through farmer-led investigation and information-sharing. PFI's values include welcoming everyone; creativity, collaboration and community; viable farms now and for future generations; and stewardship and ecology. Founded in 1985, farmers in the network raise corn, soybeans, livestock, hay, fruits and vegetables and more. To learn more visit practicalfarmers.org.