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Reservations due for field day near Keota

Jun 03, 2014

KEOTA — Practical Farmers of Iowa will be hosting a field day on from 5-8 p.m. June 10 at the farm of Tim and Ethel Sieren near Keota.

Row-crop farmer Tim Sieren is participating in a Practical Farmers of Iowa on-farm research project to find out if extending his crop rotation will be cost-effective.

The Sierens raise corn and soybeans in a three-year rotation with rye, as well as livestock, at Green Iron Farms. They are in the second year of a multi-year on-farm research project looking at the agronomic benefits as well as economics of adding winter cereal rye. The couple will share the details of their operation and on-farm research during the field day.

Participants will tour the farm, learn about extended crop rotations and cover crops, and hear Tim Sieren speak about how he came to use a three-year crop rotation consisting of corn, soybeans and rye, as well as how he raises his own cover crop seed.

Sieren also will discuss his on-farm research project, which compares corn yield following red clover versus fertilizer nitrogen.

Red clover can provide large amounts of nitrogen in addition to soil health benefits. It can also dramatically reduce fertilizer expenses that farmers pay to grow corn. Sieren will use his rye crop to start the red clover, and then in strips with no red clover, he will use nitrogen fertilizer as a comparison. A research report on the project will be released following harvest of 2014.

“Probably the most important question I have that pretty well sums up the whole project is: How can I reap the agronomic benefits of cereal rye, while making it an economical third crop in a corn-soybean rotation?” Sieren said. “That’s my main goal with this project. I’m hoping Practical Farmers can help me put some profitable numbers on it to make it a viable three-crop rotation.”

The project is being conducted through Practical Farmers of Iowa’s on-farm research Cooperators’ Program. Stefan Gailans, the PFI staff member who coordinates the program, will be on hand to answer questions about the project. Machinery used for this system also will be on display at the field day.

The event, “Winter Cereal Rye for Cover and Cash Grain,” is free to attend and will include supper after the demonstrations. Reservations are requested for the meal by contacting Lauren Zastrow at 515-232-5661 or lauren@practicalfarmers.org by Friday.

The field day is sponsored by eMerge Genetics and Washington County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2014 field day season features 35 field days around Iowa. All field days are open to the public, and most are free to attend.

A field day guide is available on Practical Farmers’ website at www.practicalfarmers.org and is available in print. Contact the PFI office at 515-232-5661 to request a copy.

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