AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa begins its popular farmer-led webinar series – called “farminars” – on Nov. 13. Just as many farmers wrap up the 2018 growing season, farminar season begins again with practical knowledge led by, and for, row crop, livestock and fruit and vegetable farmers.
Held every Tuesday at 7 p.m. CST, each farminar focuses on a unique production or business management topic. All presentations are led by an experienced farmer or subject-matter expert, and attendees are able to ask questions in real time using a chatbox while they listen and watch a slideshow. The presentations are free for anyone with an internet connection.
Presentations planned for the series vary from advanced topics geared toward experienced growers – such as the Nov. 13 presentation “Understanding and Managing Impacts of Farmed Prairie Potholes” – to introductory topics such as “Where to Begin With Winter Wheat Production.” In the latter, experienced farmer Paul Ackley will advise Kristy and Bob Walker on how to add winter wheat to their diversified farm.
The Walkers hope to add winter wheat to their crop rotation to help improve soil health, provide feed for their livestock and use in baked goods at their winery. As they’ve embarked on the process, the Walkers have encountered some roadblocks that are common to growing what was once a popular crop in Iowa: a lack of knowledge, resources and markets.
Paul Ackley will draw from his decades of experience to offer advice to the Walkers. “I’d like to see more small grains on the landscape,” Paul said. “Getting started with small grains shouldn’t be difficult, but raising an exceptional crop can be.”
Other farminar topics this season include growing and marketing unusual fruits; grazing cover crops with sheep; organic seedling production; and managing disease in vegetable crops. An additional farminar series is set to take place January through February 2019, and will be announced in December.
To participate, visit practicalfarmers.org/farminars. A schedule for all upcoming farminars – as well as the recordings for 153 past farminars – is also available at this link.
Practical Farmers’ 2018 fall farminars are made possible with funding from the Ceres Trust, EPA Region 7 Wetlands Program, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s Water Quality Initiative, and USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
— Practical Farmers of Iowa
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