Broccoli Production Field Day Planned in Iowa

This healthy, hardy vegetable has a lot to offer Iowa growers, if they can beat the pests

May 20, 2019, 1:00 pm | Ajay Nair

AMES, Iowa – Iowans who want to know more about growing broccoli should consider attending the Broccoli Production Field Day, June 4 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station.

rows of broccoli plants in research plots.This healthy, hardy vegetable has a lot of promise in Iowa’s soils and is a popular wholesale crop at farmers markets and within community supported agriculture programs.

The field day will run from 9-11 a.m., and presenters will discuss major production aspects required for successful broccoli production, with an emphasis on variety selection, weed management, fertility and harvest. Participants will get to see ongoing broccoli research test plots, and evaluate row crop cover materials and other integrated pest management strategies.

Broccoli is a popular spring vegetable that is highly nutritious and widely grown by vegetable growers in Iowa, according to Ajay Nair, associate professor and extension vegetable production specialist with Iowa State.

However, broccoli has its own familiar pests, which include cabbage worm, cabbage looper and a variety of others that must be controlled for a successful crop. Nair said producers have conventional and organic options for insect control, and both will be discussed during the field day.

“We don’t have much of an acreage for broccoli, compared to other states, but broccoli is a very stable and promising crop,” Nair said, adding that broccoli is especially popular when grown near an urban center.

The research and the field day is supported by an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship Specialty Crop Block Grant, and partnerships with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

The Iowa State Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th St., Ames, Iowa. Registration is free, but is required and should be done online by June 2 using the following link: www.extension.iastate.edu/vegetablelab/broccoli-production-field-day.

For more information, contact Ajay Nair at 515-294-7080, or nairajay@iastate.edu.

 

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