Producers making the switch to organic crops to meet growing market demand not only fetch premium prices, according to a recent study; they also build healthy soil and sequester carbon, making organic agriculture a useful strategy for dealing with climate change.
Iowans will have a chance to form partnerships and network with other local food enthusiasts at an upcoming conference, “Road Map for Resilience: Empowering Iowa’s Local Food Economy,” at the ISU Scheman Building on March 19-20.
The Local Food and Farm Program is looking for a few good ideas that will help put more Iowa-grown products on dinner plates and more money in the pockets of Iowa farmers. Iowa nonprofit organizations, farm groups and educational institutions are encouraged to submit proposals for potential funding.
The Twelfth Annual Iowa Organic Conference will be held on the University of Iowa campus on Nov. 18 and 19. Farmers, extension staff, industry representatives and students are invited to learn about science-based research in organic agriculture and practical applications for Iowa farms.
“Iowa Food Marketing Regulations: A Guide for Small-Scale Producers” offers an overview of various licenses required for selling food in Iowa and state regulations that govern those sales, which are based on type of food, where it is sold, how it is processed, scale of operation and type of customer.
High tunnels are inexpensive, simple, passive-solar greenhouses that allow growers to extend the season and produce high yields of quality produce earlier and later than field-grown crops. However, soil around a high tunnel can erode or become saturated after rainfall. This potential problem has been turned into an asset, thanks to a one-year research project conducted by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Iowans can make their voices heard about creating a more vibrant food system at the Iowa Local Food Summit April 3. The summit will include conversations and workshops about how to meet the goals outlined in the Iowa Local Food and Farm Plan, developed by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in response to state legislation passed in 2011.
Woodchip bioreactors, installed at the edge of agricultural fields, can remove 15 to 60 percent of the nitrate in tile-drained water annually. This innovative approach for protecting the water quality in Midwest streams and rivers is described in a new fact sheet available from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Small prairie strips growing at key points in corn and soybean fields at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge are yielding more than good crops; they’re improving soil and water quality as well as creating beneficial habitat for insects and birds. Research that incorporates native prairie into working landscapes will be highlighted at a field day on Sept. 6.