SMALL GRAINS IN THE CORNBELT
Small grains in a cropping system can be a powerful tool for reducing soil runoff and improving water quality. A commercial opportunity exists for producers to market food grade oats and simultaneously gain ecosystem and public relations benefits. This small grains project is working to expand markets for oats as a third crop in the corn and soybean rotation in the cornbelt.
Walton Family Foundation and McKnight Foundation support The Food Lab and Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) in the work with Albert Lea Seedhouse, Grain Millers, and General Mills.
The Food Lab and PFI will pilot at least 500 acres of oats with farmers in Iowa and Minnesota for the 2016 growing season.
PFI will support farmers with on-farm agronomic advice. As part, of the pilot farmers will also monitor greenhouse gas emissions using the Cool Farm Tool. PFI and the Food Lab will support the development of supply chain logistics and publish a report on finding from the pilot.
PFI, Albert Lea Seedhouse, Grain Millers, and General Mills will continue oat variety trials on test plots at Iowa State University. Published results from the 2015 trials are available here.
For more information, contact Elizabeth Reaves at [email protected]