In Iowa broccoli is typically planted early to mid-April and harvested mid-to-late June. Given the time of harvest it is often challenging to preserve the quality of broccoli in open fields. One of the major challenges growers face with broccoli is the ‘hollow stem’.
The 2018 season has ended and I wanted to share a few frequently asked questions, problems, concerns, and trends that I am seeing. Rather than waiting until next year to address these issues, it seems easier to do so while the year is still fresh in our minds.
As the season winds down for summer crops (sweet corn, pepper, tomato, etc.) we should not let our guard down on fall crops such as broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprout, kale, etc. These crops are on still actively growing and need attention when it comes to pest management.
The local foods industry in Iowa is maturing and as expected, farmers have many new marketing opportunities. There are now many options in addition to farmers markets for selling produce.
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s annual Fruit and Vegetable Field Day will be held on August 6 will feature research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, non-profit organizations and Master Gardeners.
Tomatoes are found in nearly every high tunnel and for good reason. The demand for fresh market tomatoes is incredibly high nearly all year, creating high prices during off-season production for locally grown fruit.
Soil fertility and nutrient management is one of the important factors that have a direct impact on crop yield and quality. Do you know how you can monitor your soil's fertility?
The right supplies can make all the difference between a successful year and a mediocre year but finding the right supplies to grow fruit and vegetables in the state can be challenging. Unless you are in-the-know, how do you know? There are in fact many companies that are stationed in Iowa, have field representatives for Iowa, or service Iowa from a distance.
Looking for information on the Food Safety Modernization Act and your farm?
Iowa soils are very diverse and so are the chemical characteristics that make up these soils. Soil pH is one property that can vary widely across the state both naturally and due to crop production inputs. It is also one of the most cost effective and easy to manage soil properties that can be modified to improve plant health and crop production.