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Managing Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes and Peppers

Many commercial growers and home gardeners often confront the issue of Blossom End Rot (BER) in their tomato, pepper, and eggplant. The BER is a physiological disorder caused by a localized calcium deficiency in the blossom-end of the fruit. It is a physiological disorder and is not caused by fungi, bacteria, or any other living disease microorganisms. Also, BER could also be seen on non-solanaceous crops such as pumpkins, squash, and watermelons.

Storm Damage to Vegetable Crops: Now What?

On Monday 10 August, 2020 a devastating storm ripped past Iowa. It was unexpected and was a mighty one.Given that we are getting close to the end of the growing season does not mean that we pay less attention to plants that survived the storm. These plants are still actively growing and if properly managed could produce meaningful marketable produce.

Farmers Market U-pick Guidance

As COVID-19 changes so many things about our society, many produce farmers are currently seeing a surge in demand for their produce from local customers. Direct marketing techniques are rapidly shifting to low- and no-contact methods. It is critical that farmers markets institute immediate changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among their staff, sellers and buyers.

Flooding in Vegetable Fields

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. 

Hollow Stem in Broccoli

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’.

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