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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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