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PFI Field Day: Trying New Things: Cover Crops, Organic and Livestock

Event Details

September 12, 2015 10:00 AM — September 12, 2015 1:00 PM
Location: Johnson Farm
2038 March Ave.
Charles City, IA 50616
Contact Name: Practical Farmers of Iowa
Email: info@practicalfarmers.org
Phone: 5152325661
Website: practicalfarmers.org

Event Description

Wendy Johnson is a member of Practical Farmers of Iowa’s Savings Incentive Program. Come learn about Wendy’s return to her family farm and the crop-livestock enterprises she is trying. She’ll discuss her use of cover crops, as well as how she is transitioning a portion of the crop acres to organic production. Wendy is also integrating livestock into the system: raising sheep, hogs and chickens on pasture. She’ll also address her Conservation Action Plan (CAP) to qualify for financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). Her farming mentors, as part of her involvement with SIP, will be on hand for discussion as well. In Wendy’s words, “I’d like to share these enterprises: pastured poultry, outdoor raised farrow-to-finish Berkshire/Duroc pigs, grass-fed lambs, transitioning 27 acres to organic (I’m in the second year of transition). Joe Lally an organic TSP will be here to explain CAP plans for EQIP funding through the organic initiative. I will be adding some nut trees in our pasture this spring as a future enterprise, but am still figuring out what species because the soil is mostly poorly drained clay loam soils. I have ordered a half-dozen chestnuts for an area of the pasture that is well drained and suitable for chestnut trees. We hope to have flown-on rye and some other species on 300 acres.”

•Tom/Irene Frantzen (farm mentors)
•Margaret Smith/Doug Alert (SIP mentors)
•Joe Lally (technical service provider) to discuss CAP and EQIP.

The Farm:
Wendy Johnson returned to Iowa to farm with her dad 5 years ago. They grow corn, soybeans, hay and sheep. In September, they will be in their third year of using cover crops on some of their acres. She and her husband, Johnny started their own enterprises on the farm, including 27 acres in transition to organic row crops, natural-raised farrow-to-finish pigs, a sheep flock transitioned to grass, and pastured broilers and -layers.

From Charles City: Head west on Iowa Route 14 to March Avenue (approximately 6 miles). Go north on March Avenue. The farm’s purplish colored barn roofs and a barn quilt with Iowa State University red and gold are visible from the junction of Iowa Route 14 and March Avenue. This is the first farm going north on March Avenue from Route14.

Lunch will be provided (pastured broiler chickens). RSVP Requested. RSVP for meal:
Lauren Zastrow, lauren@practicalfarmers.org, (515) 232-5661 by Wednesday, September 9.

Sponsored by: Floyd County Farm Bureau, Organic Crop Improvement Association and Floyd County Soil and Water Conservation District