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.
A personal weather station is simply integrated “tools” that measure weather variables such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind speed and direction, soil moisture, and leaf wetness. Some are affordable enough to install at your own farm which will give the most accurate representation for the weather in your farm.
Iowans can expect next year to be bright and colorful – at least according to the images found within the 2021 Garden Calendar produced by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
The annual Iowa Organic Conference will be held virtually this year on Monday, Nov. 23, in keeping with COVID-19 regulations. A half-day of presentations and interactions with industry experts will take the place of the normal meeting.
A recurring challenge every winter in Iowa is keeping the water you use from freezing. Keeping water thawed requires adequate heat to keep the temperature of the water above freezing. The three most common approaches are adding heat with a heating device, insulating to conserve heat, and adding heat by bringing in warmer water.
For audio versions of this article, see the Small Farm Sustainability Podcast where we discuss return bloom, soil sampling, and interpreting soil reports over three separate podcast. The following discussion represents a snapshot in time as a lot can happen between now and next spring.
Many gardeners like to get a head start on the gardening season by starting flower and vegetable seedlings indoors. Successfully growing seedlings indoors requires high quality seeds, a germination medium, containers, lights and other supplies, note horticulture specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. To have additional questions answered, contact the Hortline at 515-294-3108 or hortline @iastate.edu.
Three new video resources were added to the Pork Information Gateway (PIG) to aid producers who focus on raising pigs using alternative methods of production. Two videos focus on biosecurity and one on sourcing feed.
Fat provides various fatty acids for the horse. Essential fatty acid requirements have not been established for horses, however, most equine diets will likely meet essential fatty acid needs. Linoleic acid and α-linolenic acid are essential fatty acids that cannot be made by the horse and must be supplied by the diet.
Produce growers may not grow the same quantity of product as row crop producers, but tracking the numbers is just as important, if not more so. This Ag Decision Maker article and its corresponding publication outline the importance of good record keeping and offer links to budget worksheets and decision tools.