The fruit and vegetable research taking place at Iowa State University's Horticulture Research Station will be on full display for the Fruit and Vegetable Field Day Aug. 5. Specific projects include high tunnels, organic vegetable production, pepper and sweet potato production, pest management in cucurbit crops, hops, peaches and beneficial insects such as bees, wasps and pollinators.
The striped cucumber beetle is a common pest of cucurbit crops in the Midwest. The spotted cucumber beetle, also known as the southern corn rootworm, is also a pest of cucurbit crops, but the striped cucumber beetle has more economic impact due to its ability to transmit bacterial wilt.
With respect to vegetable crops, recent flooding in western Iowa has created a tough situation for growers. Given the time of the year of this catastrophic event, there were no vegetable crops standing in the field, however, water/runoff from surface waters such as rivers, lakes, or steams could have overflowed and run into fields. This water most likely could contain chemical and biological contaminants that may be harmful to the health of humans and animals.
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?