Practical Farmers of Iowa begin 2021 farminar season

Topics include interseeding 60-inch corn, high tunnel storm protection, and pasture-finishing pigs

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2021 winter webinar series, referred to as “farminars,”  began Tuesday, Jan. 26, with a presentation on interseeding 60-inch corn for improved return on investment. This event is one of seven farminars offered through March 16 on issues relevant to beginning and experienced row crop, livestock and horticulture farmers, as well as landowners.

All farminars run weekly on Tuesdays from 7-8:30 p.m. CST and are free for anyone with an internet connection to participate. Each presentation focuses on a unique production or business management topic, and is led by a farmer or subject-matter expert. Attendees are able to ask questions in real-time using a chat box while they listen and watch a slideshow. Each farminar is recorded and archived at practicalfarmers.org for later viewing.

First launched in 2009, farminars offer practical knowledge and a way for farmers of all enterprises to continue learning and networking with one another through the winter.

The first farminar of the season, January 26, was led by Eric Miller of Cascade, Iowa. Eric has been farming since 2009, and began using cover crops after price drops prompted him to rethink his bottom line. He is invested in how to use nature to maximize what his soil can deliver and how to do this within his short growing season, using techniques like 60-inch corn rows and interseeding to create grazing areas.

Other topics in PFI’s 2021 farminar series will explore questions about pasture-finished pigs; contracting grazing cover crops for winter feed; storm protection and maintenance of high tunnels; improving wildlife habitat on private lands with EQIP; and the impact of climate change on pollinators.

The 2021 series will also feature a Spanish-language farminar with a Latino farmer showing vegetable production and enterprises.

To participate: Go to practicalfarmers.org/farminars, click the “Join in” button and sign in as “Guest.” A schedule of all upcoming farminars – as well as recordings of archived farminars – is also available at that link.

Practical Farmers’ 2021 winter farminars are made possible with funding from Ceres Trust, Center for Rural Affairs, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardshi, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

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