The main focus of our three-state (Iowa, Kentucky, and New York), three-year (2020-2022) project is on finding better ways to manage diseases, insect pests, and weeds in organic systems, and getting that information to growers. Our funding comes from USDA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI).
The Intelligent Sprayer is the creation of a team of USDA-ARS engineers at Wooster, Ohio, led by Dr. Heping Zhu. It has been tested on nursery trees, peaches, grapes, and other large-canopy crops, and is now available commercially for retrofitting standard airblast sprayers. Our study is the first to evaluate the Intelligent Sprayer for control of the full range of pests and diseases on apples during the whole growing season.
With summer in full gear it is a good time to evaluate how your fly control program is working. When horn fly numbers are greater than 200 flies per animal we see significant production losses associated with blood loss and decreased feed consumption. Numbers of face flies and stable flies are harder to assess because they only spend a small amount of time feeding on cattle but are still significant pests.
Multiple days of excessive heat can be hard on vegetable crops, especially ones known to be cool-season. Brassicas, lettuce, carrots and spinach are particularly vulnerable to bitterness, wilting, bolting, deformities and coloring that affect the quality of the produce.
Explore Iowa's natural world through a series of new publications by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
Learn about the options for controlling lawn and garden weeds from horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The growth and development of alfalfa is affected by many factors, including temperature, soil moisture, stand age and even cultivar. Alfalfa growth has been slower than normal due to cool conditions in April. This is a good reminder that using a calendar date to determine when to harvest the first crop of alfalfa may not the best method. In order to accurately predict the optimal time for the first cutting, the University of Wisconsin developed the Predictive Equations for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) method.
Stocking rates provide information on how many horses a pasture can carry in a month. In general the approximate pasture needs per average-sized mature horse, with pasture providing most, if not all, of the nutrition is:
- 1 - 2 acres with an excellent, dense sod, permanent pasture
- 2 - 2.5 acres with an average permanent pasture (spring growth will be OK but summer forage is average)
- 3+ acres with a thin, poor sod that is unmanaged (supplemental forage will likely be needed)
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach offers online training in food safety, food preparation and Iowa regulations designed specifically for cottage food producers – people who prepare foods to be sold out of their home or at a farmers market.
Prepare for a safe pesticide application season by checking the FieldWatch® registry before making pesticide applications. The FieldWatch® registry provides easy-to-use, accurate, and secure online tools to enhance communications and awareness between crop producers, beekeepers, and pesticide applicators.FieldWatch® features a voluntary mapping tool through Google Maps™ that shows pesticide applicators the locations of registered sensitive crops and beehives so they can make informed decisions regarding pesticide applications.