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3rd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Monday, November 4, 2019 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
Date: Monday, 4th November, 2019; 8:30am-3:00pm
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to 3rd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course. This short course is designed to highlight production and management of several high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production. The course will also provide an update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Matt Kleinhenz, Professor at Ohio State University and has many years of experience working on vegetable production in high tunnel systems. His work focuses on cultivar selection, crop and soil management and fertility, season extension, and improving profitability in high tunnels.

The short course will also host Mike and Melanie Seals from Country Roads Produce, Moravia, IA. Their farm grows tomato and other leafy green crops in seven high tunnels and sell at local farmers market. The short course will also host T.D. Holub from Garden Oasis Farm, Independence, IA. He and his wife raise vegetables, free-range eggs and pasture-raised chickens on about 8 acres. Products are marketed through a CSA; at farmers markets in Independence and Iowa City; and to local schools, grocery stores and businesses. Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist will share information about how climate and its impact on specialty crop industry in Iowa. This event is supported by USDA North Central SARE Professional Development Program. Core objectives of this short course are to:

  • Highlight the importance of crop, environment, and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels
  • Provide a platform to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in the area of high tunnel vegetable production
  • Connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff, and industry personnel working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods. 

Tentative schedule:

8:30 am

Registration and coffee

9:00-10:00 am

Keynote speaker Dr. Matt Kleinhenz, Ohio State University (Longtime Benefits and Challenges, Emerging Opportunities in high tunnel crop production)

10:00-11:00 am

Mike and Melanie Seals (Growing a Business while Learning to Manage a High Tunnel Growing Operation)

11:00-11:45 am

Moriah Bilenky, Iowa State University (Specialty melon production in high tunnels)

11:45-12:30 pm

Lunch and networking

12:30-1:15 pm

Dr. Justin Glisan, State Climatologist, State of Iowa

1:15-2:00 pm

Matt Kleinhenz [Is Growing (Only) Tomatoes in High Tunnels Mandatory?]

2:00-2:45 pm

T.D. Holub, Garden Oasis Farm, Independence, IA

2:45-3:00pm

Evaluation and wrap-up

Registration is required. Please provide information below to register. Please register by October 31, 2019.

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Broccoli production Field Day

Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 9:00am to 11:00am
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Department of Horticulture is hosting a 'Broccoli production' Field Day on Tuesday, June. 4, 2019 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA. The field day will discuss major production aspects required for successful broccoli production with emphasis on variety selection, weed management, fertility, and harvest. The field day will provide an opportunity to evaluate an ongoing broccoli research test plot evaluating row cover materials and other IPM strategies. The research and the field day is supported by an IDALS Specialty Crop Block grant. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th Street, Ames, IA. The field day will run from 9:00-11:00 am. Refreshments will be served. Registration is free but required. Please register below.

For more information contact:

Dr. Ajay Nair, Vegetable Specialist,                                                     
515-294-7080; nairajay@iastate.edu

Category: 
 
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2019 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

Monday, August 5, 2019 - 2:00pm to 6:30pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the 2019 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station near Ames. The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, non-profit organizations, and Master Gardeners. The field day will provide an opportunity to observe results and evaluate research projects focusing on high tunnels, organic vegetable production, peppers, sweet potato, pest management in cucurbit crops, hops, peaches, and beneficial insects (bees, wasps, pollinators, etc.). Funding for the event is provided by USDA SARE and IDALS Specialty Crop Block grants. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th Street, Ames, IA. The field day will run from 2:00-6:30 p.m. Registration is free but required to get a count for supper. Please register below.

For more information contact:

Dr. Diana Cochran, Fruit Specialist,        
515-294-0035; dianac@iastate.edu

Dr. Ajay Nair, Vegetable Specialist,                                                     
515-294-7080; nairajay@iastate.edu

Category: 
 
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Vegetable IPM workshop

Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 9:00am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – A vegetable IPM workshop will be held to help growers, local foods coordinators, extension staff, county horticulturists and industry representatives learn about managing common insects, diseases, weeds in vegetable production systems.

Topics to be covered include insect, disease, and weed management, and crop rotation in vegetable crops. Workshop presenters include Ajay Nair (Vegetable Extension Specialist), Donald Lewis (Entomologist, ISU Extension and Outreach), Patrick O’Malley (Commercial Horticulture Field Specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach), and Ray Kruse (Food Systems Program Coordinator, Dubuque County Extension).The workshops are supported by a professional development grant by USDA North Central Sustainable Research and Education. The workshop will be held on April 9, 2019 at the Dubuque County Extension office in Dubuque, IA

Online registration is required as space is limited. Provide information below to register. Registration must be completed by March 31, 2019. There is no cost for the workshop and lunch will be provided. Sign-in begins at 8:30am and workshop starts at 9am.

Category: 
 
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MarketReady Workshops

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 10:00am to Tuesday, February 26, 2019 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 3, 2019
Contact:
Emily Coll, Program Coordinator
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
515-296-0586
ecoll@iastate.edu 

MarketReady Workshops Presented to Help Growers Scale Up
Provides information on scaling up to sell to wholesale markets; includes panel of area buyers

AMES, Iowa ― Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host three MarketReady workshops in January and February. The training is designed to provide producers with the skills and knowledge needed to make sound decisions about diversifying operations into wholesale, retail, and institutional market outlets. 

The workshops will be held on the following dates:
•    January 29 – Wapello County Extension Office, 13011 120th Avenue, Ottumwa. To register, call Jessica at Wapello County Extension and Outreach at 641-682-5491 by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25.
•    February 19 – Citizens State Bank Youth Development Center, 800 N. Maple St., Monticello. To register, call Nanci at Jones County Extension and Outreach at 319-465-3224 by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.
•    February 26 – Cass County Community Center, 805 West 10th Street, Atlantic. To register, call Kate at Cass County Extension and Outreach at 712-243-1132 by 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22.

This training will focus on best marketing practices when dealing with these market outlets, including communications and relationship building, regulations, packaging and labeling, grading, pricing, logistics, and more.

The workshop will also include a buyer panel. The intent of this part of the program is for buyers to meet farmers and producers, and for both sides of the sales transaction to understand what the other needs in order to supply and buy local food. Panelists will include chefs, grocers, and institutional buyers such as those working for school districts and hospitals.

“We decided to bring this program back to Iowa because many farmers expressed interest in diversifying their operations to include wholesale markets,” said Emily Coll, program assistant for the ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods Program. “We offer them help understanding these markets and deciding whether the return on investment would be acceptable.”

A past attendee from northeast Iowa said, “By attending the MarketReady training, I was able to decide whether or not I should start selling my vegetables to wholesale markets.” 
-more-
Cost for the workshop is $20 per person or $35 per couple (or two employees from the same farm). The fee includes training materials, a light lunch, and refreshments. 

For more information about the workshop, contact Emily Coll, program assistant with ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods and Value Added Agriculture Programs, at ecoll@iastate.edu or 515-296-0586. More details are available at www.extension.iastate.edu/localfoods/marketready-workshops
 

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2019 Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - 12:00pm to Saturday, January 19, 2019 - 5:15pm
Event Type: 

Registration is now open for Practical Farmers of Iowa’s 2019 annual conference, “Cultivating Connections,” which will take place Jan. 17-19 at the Iowa State Center Scheman Building, on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. All are welcome. Full details are at our annual conference webpage.


Attendees will hear practical insights from their farming peers and other experts about everything from using cover crops to control weeds in field crops to niche pork production, biodynamic farming to profitably marketing meat, growing winter small grains to farm transition, eggplant production to adding prairie habitat, cultivating civility to organic dairying, rural mental health to regenerative grazing – and much more.

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2020 Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Annual Conference

Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 7:30am to Friday, January 24, 2020 - 3:30pm
Event Type: 

Join us at the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association annual conference, January 23-24, 2020 in Ankeny, IA. The conference will be held at the FFA Enrichment Center on the DMACC Campus, 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway, Ankeny, IA 50023. The conference includes presentations by academic experts, industry professionals and expert growers and a tradeshow featuring exhibitors with the latest seeds, supplies, equipment, and grower information. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship – Pesticide Bureau has granted approval for recertification credits for fruit and vegetable commercial and private pesticide applicators at the conference.

Conference agenda and registration can be found on www.ifvga.org

 

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2019 Great Plains Growers Conference

Friday, January 11, 2019 - 8:00am to Saturday, January 12, 2019 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Join us for the 2019 Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph, MO from 10-12 January, 2019. This three-day conference features presentations by expert speakers from throughout the nation on topics ranging from fruit and vegetable production, high tunnel production, honey bees, pest management, organic production, IPM, food safety, soil management, marketing, etc. The conference showcases educational information from all five states:  Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota, along with a trade show highlighting tools, supplies, and products employed in vegetable and fruit production.  

Registration for the event at https://www.greatplainsgrowersconference.org/

Category: 

2nd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course (2018)

Monday, November 5, 2018 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
Date: Monday, 5 November, 2018; 8:30 am
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to 2nd Iowa High Tunnel Short Course. This short course is designed to highlight production and management of several high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production. The course will also provide an update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest. This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Lewis Jett. Dr. Jett is an Associate Professor and Vegetable Extension Specialist at West Virginia University and has many years of experience working on fruit and vegetable production in high tunnel systems. His work focuses on cultivar selection, crop and soil management, soil fertility, season extension, and improving profitability in high tunnel production. The short will also host Mike Bollinger from River Root Farm, Decorah, IA as a speaker. Mike and Katie operate River Root Farm, which is a small-certified organic family farm and greenhouse operation in Decorah, Iowa. Mike has extensive experience working with high tunnel crops.

This event is supported by USDA North Central SARE Professional Development Program. Core objectives of this short course are to:

  • Highlight the importance of crop, environment, and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels
  • Provide a platform to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in the area of high tunnel vegetable production
  • Connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff, and industry personnel working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods. 

Tentative schedule:

8:30 am: Registration and coffee
9-10 am: Keynote speaker Lewis Jett, West Virginia University (Title: A Snapshot of Successful High Tunnel Production Systems)
10-10:45 am: Ajay Nair, Department of Horticulture, ISU (Title: High tunnel pepper production: Effect of cultivar and light)
10:45-11:45 am: Mike Bollinger, River Root Farm
11:45-12:30 pm: Lunch and networking
12:30-1:30 pm: Lewis Jett, West Virginia University (Profitable Winter Lettuce Production)
1:30-2:15 pm: Joe Hannan, ISU Extension and Outreach (Title: Season Extension Head Scratchers)
2:15-3:00 pm: Open forum (Lewis Jett, Mike Bollinger, Ajay Nair, and Joe Hannan)

Registration is required. Please provide information below to register. Please register by October 31, 2018.

Category: 

Olivia Allen

Photo of Olivia Allen
Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Area of Expertise: 
Data Collection

Ellena Wolff

Photo of Ellena Wolff
Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Area of Expertise: 
Data Collection

2018 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

Monday, August 6, 2018 - 2:00pm to 6:30pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the 2018 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station near Ames. The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, non-profit organizations, and Master Gardeners. The field day will provide an opportunity to observe results and evaluate research projects focusing on high tunnel vegetable crops, herbicide drift, organic vegetable production, potatoes, asparagus, sweet potato, pest management in cucurbit crops, hops, peaches, and honey bee health and behavior studies. The field day will also demonstrate equipment and tools needed in small scale fruit and vegetable production systems. Funding for the event is provided by USDA SARE and IDALS Specialty Crop Block grants. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th Street, Ames, IA. The field day will run from 2:00-6:30 p.m. Registration is free but required to get a count for supper. Please register below.

For more information contact:

Dr. Diana Cochran, Fruit Specialist,        
515-294-0035; dianac@iastate.edu

Dr. Ajay Nair, Vegetable Specialist,                                                     
515-294-7080; nairajay@iastate.edu

 

Category: 

Vegetable pest management workshops

Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 8:00am to Friday, April 27, 2018 - 2:00pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Two workshops will be held to help growers, local foods coordinators, extension staff, county horticulturists and industry representatives learn to manage common insect and disease challenges in vegetable production in Iowa.

Topics to be covered include pest and disease management in vegetable production, weed management and how to correct nutrient deficiencies in vegetable crops. To make things interesting, there will be live plant samples with disease symptoms and disorders. Participants would be encouraged to take a small quiz to identify those diseases and disorders. The workshops are supported by a professional development grant by USDA North Central Sustainable Research and Education. Participants will have an opportunity to learn how to better protect their vegetable crops from both harmful diseases and insect pests, allowing them to have the best chance to remain profitable and sustainable.

Following are the workshop dates and venues:
1. April 26 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Johnson County office in Iowa City,
2. April 27 at the NICC Dairy Center in Calmar, IA.

Workshop will be led by Drs. Nair; Laura Iles, director of the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic; Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, plant pathology diagnostician with the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic; and Patrick O’Malley, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.Online registration is required as space is limited. Use the section below to register. Registration must be completed by April 20, 2018. There is no cost for the workshop and lunch will be provided. Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop, with training beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Category: 

High tunnel workshops to address common challenges

Friday, April 13, 2018 - 8:30am to 3:30pm
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Three workshops will be held to help extension staff, county horticulturists, local food coordinators, industry representatives and growers learn to manage common challenges in high tunnels while also discussing new advances in high tunnel production. These workshops are supported by the USDA North Central Sustainable Agriculture and Research.

Topics to be covered include soil management, tomato grafting, insect and disease management and environmental control. A visit to a local farm operating a high tunnel is also part of the workshop. “Participants will learn how to protect the health of soil in a high tunnel so that it stays productive over the long term,” said Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

The all-day classes will be held April 6 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Henry County office in Mt. Pleasant, April 10 at the North Iowa Fairgrounds’ 4-H Learning Center in Mason City and April 13 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Cass County office in Atlantic.

Ajay Nair, associate professor of horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist, will lead the workshops along with Donald Lewis, Joe Hannan, Laura Iles, and Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, pathologist with the Iowa State University Plant and Insect Diagnostic clinic. Register by March 30 by filling the form below. Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop with workshop running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop, but registration is required as space is limited. 

Category: 

2020 Great Plains Growers Conference

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 8:00am to Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 3:00pm
Event Type: 

Join us for the 2020 Great Plains Growers Conference in St. Joseph, MO from 9-11 January, 2020. This three-day conference features presentations by knowledgeable speakers from throughout the nation on topics ranging from High Tunnel Production, Fruit and Vegetable production, Honey Bees, Pest Management, Organic Production, etc. The conference showcases educational information from all five states:  Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota, along with vegetable and fruit specialists and growers from those states.  

Registration information can be found at https://www.greatplainsgrowersconference.org/

Category: 

Iowa High Tunnel Short Course

Monday, November 6, 2017 - 8:30am to 3:00pm
Event Type: 

IOWA HIGH TUNNEL SHORT COURSE
Date: Monday, 6th November, 2017; 8:30am
Venue: Garden Room, Reiman Gardens, 1407 S University Blvd, Ames, IA 50011

Welcome to first Iowa High Tunnel Short Course. This short course is designed to highlight production and management of several high tunnel crops along with information on economics and marketing aspects of high tunnel crop production. The course will also provide an update on the status of high tunnel research across the Midwest. Keynote speaker is Adam Montri from Michigan State University. Adam, along with his wife Dru, is the co-owner of Ten Hens Farm, LLC in Bath, Michigan. Adam and Dru started Ten Hens in 2008 and now farm three acres of outdoor production during the traditional Midwest growing season and year-round in over 17,000 sqft of high tunnel space. They market their produce through one farmers market, an on-farm stand, multiple restaurants, other farms, a grocery store, two multi-farm CSAs, and two senior center/assisted living facilities. Adam is also a hoophouse outreach specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University (MSU) and with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems where he works with farmers throughout Michigan on the Hoophouses for Health program.

Core objectives of this short course are to:

  • Highlight the importance of crop, environment, and soil management for vegetable production in high tunnels
  • Provide a platform to share resources, knowledge, and expertise in the area of high tunnel vegetable production
  • Connect growers, agricultural educators, extension staff, and industry personnel  working in high tunnels and in the area of local foods. 

Tentative schedule:

8:30am: Registration and coffee
9-10am: Keynote speaker Adam Montri, Michigan State University (Title: Two Acres and a High Tunnel: How Season Extension has gone from Niche to Necessity and Where It Fits in the Future)
10-10:45am: Ajay Nair (Title: Cucurbit crops for high tunnel production)
10:45-11:45am: Cary Rivard, Kansas State University (Title: Breaking Bad Habits: Integrating Crop Diversity into High Tunnel Production Systems)
11:45-12:30pm: Lunch and networking
12:30-1:15pm: Laura Iles and Lina Rodriguez (Title: Disease and insect management in high tunnels)
1:15-2:15: Adam Montri (Title: Crop Selection, Pricing and Economics for Successful Year-Round High Tunnel Production)
2:15-3pm: Joe Hannan (Title: Valuable lessons from production to marketing of high tunnel tomatoes)

Registration is required. Please provide information below to register. Please register by November 2, 2017.

Category: 

Neel Solanki

Neel in greenhouse
Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Area of Expertise: 
Data Collection

High Tunnel Field Day - Rinehart Farms

Wednesday, August 30, 2017 - 10:00am to 2:00pm
Event Type: 

Dear growers, extension personnel, and specialty crop stakeholders


We are organizing a high tunnel field day and a farm tour at Greg Rinehart's farm on Wednesday August 30th from 10 to noon followed by lunch and discussion. Greg is a collaborator on a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant and is experimenting with high tunnel shade cloth treatments at his farm. We will be meeting at Greg’s farm at 10:00am (703 Kale Rd., Boone, Iowa, IA 50036. After the farm visit the group will head to lunch at the Boone County Extension office for a short gathering and further discussion. Please email or call me (nairajay@iastate.edu; 515-294-7080) or Joe Hannan (jmhannan@iastate.edu; 515-971-9503) if you plan to attend. We hope many of you could attend.


Sincerely,

Ajay Nair

Joe Hannan

Category: 

Muscatine Island Research Farm Field Day

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 1:00pm
Event Type: 

FRUITLAND, Iowa – The annual Field Day of the Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm will be held on Tuesday, August 15, 2017, from 1-4pm. This farm serves as an ISU Extension and Outreach education center for commercial produce growers and agricultural crops. The field day provides an opportunity for producers and industry professionals to interact with Iowa State crop production specialists and learn from their research projects and demonstrations. Fruitland is unique due to its coarse, sandy glacial soil, groundwater that is close to the surface and a warmer, longer growing season than most of the rest of Iowa. A wagon tour of the farm will feature current research in corn, soybeans, and vegetables. Below is the tentative agenda:

Introductions and brief overview of research trials currently taking place on the farm - Josh Michel and Dominic Snyder
Biochar potato/sweet corn study – Ajay Nair
Soybean variety trials/ studies - Kevin Falk
SCN trials/ studies; Resistance to SCN-current status and future prospects - Greg Tylka
Local agronomic issues/ topics - Virgil Schmitt

To learn more about the event contact Joshua Michel at 563-262-8787 or jjmichel@iastate.edu; or visit the research farm’s website. The Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm is located at 111 North Street in Fruitland, Iowa. From Highway 61, turn east on Fruitland Road, which becomes North Street at the Fruitland city limits. The farm is on the south side of North Street.

For questions or if interested in other demonstration field days, contact your Iowa State University Extension Office. This event is sponsored by ISU Extension and Outreach, Muscatine Island Research Farm Association and the Muscatine Island Truck Growers Association.

Related links:

ISU Research Farms – http://farms.ag.iastate.edu/
Muscatine Island Research and Demonstration Farm – http://farms.ag.iastate.edu/content/muscatine-island-research-and-demons...
Field Day Schedule – http://farms.ag.iastate.edu/research-farms-field-days

Category: 

Sarah Steffen

Sarah Steffen Photo
Undergraduate Students
Undergraduate Research Assistant
Area of Expertise: 
Data Collection

Cover crop and roller crimper field day

Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Event Type: 

As the number of growers incorporating cover crops into their production systems has steadily grown, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will host a field day on 1 June, 2017 from 4-6pm to showcase results from experiments using cereal rye cultivars. The field day will also highlight the operation of a roller crimper.

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SARE Cover crop survey

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 10:45am
Event Type: 

Cover crops can improve soil health, conserve resources and improve farm profitability. Now, your experience with what works and doesn't work can help shape the future of cover crop initiatives nationwide. Farmers who plant cover crops, used to plant cover crops, or have never tried cover crops are all encouraged to take this short survey, now in its fifth year.

Please take the cover crop survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2017CoverCropSurvey

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High Tunnel Vegetable Production Workshop

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 8:00am
Event Type: 

AMES, Iowa – Three workshops will be held to help extension staff, county horticulturists, local food coordinators, industry representatives, and growers learn to manage common challenges in high tunnels while also discussing new advances in high tunnel production. Topics to be covered include soil management, tomato grafting, insect management and environmental control. A visit to a working high tunnel is also part of the workshop.

The workshops will be offered in three locations:
1. April 25 at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Webster County office in Fort Dodge
2. April 26 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Wappelo County office in Ottumwa
3. May 2 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dubuque County office in Dubuque.

Ajay Nair, assistant professor of horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist will lead the workshops along with Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Donald Lewis, professor and extension entomologist; and Kristine Neu, graduate assistant in horticulture. Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop with classes running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for the workshops , but registration is required as space is limited. Register by April 18 at https://www.extension.iastate.edu/vegetablelab/high-tunnel-vegetable-production-workshop or by calling Kathy Beni at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dallas County office at 515-993-4281.


 

Category: 

High Tunnel Vegetable Production Workshop

AMES, IA. Three workshops will be held to help extension staff, county horticulturists, local food coordinators, industry representatives, and growers learn to manage common challenges in high tunnels while also discussing new advances in high tunnel production. Topics to be covered include soil management, tomato grafting, insect management and environmental control. A visit to a working high tunnel is also part of the workshop.

The workshops will be offered in three locations:
1. April 25 at the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Webster County office in Fort Dodge
2. April 26 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Wappelo County office in Ottumwa
3. May 2 at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dubuque County office in Dubuque.

Ajay Nair, assistant professor of horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist will lead the workshops along with Joe Hannan, commercial horticulture specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach; Donald Lewis, professor and extension entomologist; and Kristine Neu, graduate assistant in horticulture.

Sign-in begins at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop with classes running from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is no cost for the workshop but registration is required as space is limited. Register by April 18 by filling the form below or by calling Kathy Beni at the ISU Extension and Outreach Dallas County office at 515-993-4281.

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Grower listening session

Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 10:00am
Event Type: 

Two Eastern Iowa Farmers to Host Fruit and Vegetable Producer Meet-Ups

Ames, Iowa —Two fruit and vegetable farmers in eastern Iowa will host producer meet-ups to discuss the upcoming season, challenges and opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers, and to meet and network with other farmers over a cup of coffee. These meet-ups are free and open to all fruit and vegetable growers.

 

The first meet-up will take place on Tuesday, March 14, at Salt Fork Kitchen in Solon. Laura Krouse, who operates Abbe Hills Farms near Mount Vernon, will host the event. Laura grows vegetables for 200 families in the Mount Vernon area, and raises open-pollinated corn. Salt Fork Kitchen is located at 112 E. Main St., in the heart of downtown Solon across from the Main Street Market.

On Tuesday, April 4, Adam Hohl, of Harvestville Farm, will host the second meet-up on his farm near Donnellson. Harvestville Farm is a fifth generation family farm that raises pumpkins, vegetables, corn, and invites guests for “agri-tainment” on the farm. The farm is located at 1977 Highway 2, 1.2 miles east of town. From Hwy 27 (Avenue of the Saints). Harvestville Farm is located 1 mile from the exit on the left (north) side of the road.

Each meeting runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with refreshments provided. Registration is not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. To RSVP, contact Liz Kolbe at (515) 232-5661 or liz@practicalfarmers.org.

Staff from Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and Iowa State University horticulture faculty and extension specialists will attend each meet-up to contribute to the conversation, meet new farmers and gather farmers’ ideas for research and extension activities.

Category: 

Grower listening session

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 10:00am
Event Type: 

Two Eastern Iowa Farmers to Host Fruit and Vegetable Producer Meet-Ups

Ames, Iowa —Two fruit and vegetable farmers in eastern Iowa will host producer meet-ups to discuss the upcoming season, challenges and opportunities for fruit and vegetable growers, and to meet and network with other farmers over a cup of coffee. These meet-ups are free and open to all fruit and vegetable growers.

The first meet-up will take place on Tuesday, March 14, at Salt Fork Kitchen in Solon. Laura Krouse, who operates Abbe Hills Farms near Mount Vernon, will host the event. Laura grows vegetables for 200 families in the Mount Vernon area, and raises open-pollinated corn. Salt Fork Kitchen is located at 112 E. Main St., in the heart of downtown Solon across from the Main Street Market.

On Tuesday, April 4, Adam Hohl, of Harvestville Farm, will host the second meet-up on his farm near Donnellson. Harvestville Farm is a fifth generation family farm that raises pumpkins, vegetables, corn, and invites guests for “agri-tainment” on the farm. The farm is located at 1977 Highway 2, 1.2 miles east of town. From Hwy 27 (Avenue of the Saints). Harvestville Farm is located 1 mile from the exit on the left (north) side of the road.

Each meeting runs from 10 a.m. to noon, with refreshments provided. Registration is not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. To RSVP, contact Liz Kolbe at (515) 232-5661 or liz@practicalfarmers.org.

Staff from Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and Iowa State University horticulture faculty and extension specialists will attend each meet-up to contribute to the conversation, meet new farmers and gather farmers’ ideas for research and extension activities.

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2017 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

Monday, August 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
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AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the 2017 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day on Monday, Aug. 7 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station near Ames. The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, non-profit organizations, and Master Gardeners. The field day will provide a face to face opportunity to interact with ISU researchers and evaluate research projects focusing on high tunnel pepper production, organic vegetable production, asparagus production, pest management in cucurbit crops, viticulture, high tunnel tomato grafting, and honey bee health and behavior studies. The field day will also provide opportunity to view equipment and tools needed in small scale fruit and vegetable production systems. Funding for the event is provided by USDA SARE and IDALS Specialty Crop Block grants. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th Street, Ames, IA. The field day will run from 2:00-6:30 p.m. Registration is free but required to get a count for supper. Please register below.

For more information contact:

Dr. Ajay Nair, Vegetable Specialist,                                                     
515-294-7080; nairajay@iastate.edu

Dr. Diana Cochran, Fruit Specialist,        
515-294-0035; dianac@iastate.edu

 

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Horticulture In-Service

Friday, February 17, 2017 - 8:00am
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The Horticulture In-Service is scheduled for February 17th at Reiman Gardens. Iowa State Extension and Outreach Horticulture field and campus specialists, county horticulturists, regional food systems working group members and extension staff interested in learning about horticulture programs are welcome. Please contact Dr. Cynthia Haynes (chaynes@iastate.edu) for registration and schedule.

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Cereal rye cultivar trial/planting date and roller-crimper field day

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
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24 May, 2016 (Tuesday), 4-6pm; Horticulture Research Station, Ames, IA

There has been a steady increase in the number of growers adopting cover crops in their production systems. This field day will showcase results from an experiment seeded last fall investigating performance (establishment, percent cover, biomass, etc.) of five cereal rye cultivars (Aroostook, Elbon, Prima, Wheeler, and Wrens Abruzzi) and two planting dates (16 Sept., 2015 and 13 Oct. 2015).

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2016 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day

Monday, August 15, 2016 - 2:00pm to 6:30pm
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2016 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day (15 August, 2016)

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is hosting the 2016 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day on Monday, Aug. 15 at the Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station near Ames. The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on commercial fruit and vegetable production for farmers, extension personnel and Master Gardeners. It is free and supper is included.The ISU Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th Street, Ames, IA. The field day will run from 2:00-6:30 p.m.

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Please provide the name of your farm or the organization you belong to

Vegetable Transplant Production Workshop

Thursday, February 18, 2016 - 9:00am to 4:00pm
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Webster County Extension Office • 217 South 25th St. Suite C12 • Fort Dodge, IA

Topics for the day include:

  • Transplant growing medium
  • Insect management
  • Disease management
  • Watering and fertilization
  • Quality and quantity of light in vegetable transplant production
  • Hardening off transplants

The class will conclude with a visit to Mike Buske's farm to see his greenhouse where he grows transplants for his farm.

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High Tunnel Tomato Production Workshop

Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 9:00am to 3:15pm
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Cedar Valley Produce Auction • 18072 Addison Ave • Elma, IA

Topics for the day include: 

  • Environmental control
  • How to tell if it is a disease
  • Common insect, disease and fertility issues
  • Insurance: whole farm revenue protection
  • Grafting
  • Maintaining productivity in a monoculture

This free event is sponsored by the Cedar Valley Produce Auction.

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Fall Cover Crop Influence on Spring Potato Production

Use of cover crops is becoming a common practice among vegetable producers. Cover crops provide multiple benefits such as building of organic matter, erosion and weed suppression, nitrogen fixation, and improvement of soil health. Cereal rye is the most widely planted cover crop in Iowa, however, cover crops such as oats, oilseed radish, and clovers are gaining popularity. The goal of this project was to evaluate and study three fall-planted cover crops and their effect on spring-planted potato. The three cover crops studied were Cereal Rye, Oilseed Radish, and Crimson Clover.
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Quantifying Nitrogen Scavenging Benefits of Cover Crops in the Mississippi River Basin

The sandy soils of Muscatine County, Iowa, are prone to erosion and leaching. In the fall, leftover fertilizer applied to the corn and soybean crop is highly susceptible to leaching. Cover crops have been widely acclaimed to mitigate such issues as they prevent erosion and scavenge residual nitrogen. Although these attributes are widely known, adoption of cover crops has been slow. Information on cover crop planting dates, performance, and advantages are available, but few data are available that is applicable to Iowa soils and growing conditions.
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Effects of Reduced Tillage and Split Fertilizer Application in Organic Broccoli and Pepper Production Systems

The use of tillage is widespread in organic vegetable production, due to its importance for cover crop incorporation, seedbed preparation, and weed control. However, its harmful effects on soil health have spurred interest in systems that reduce the need for tillage. Because nitrogen is often limiting under high residue/reduced tillage conditions, fertilizer management is considered key to crop productivity.
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Assessing Nitrogen Credits from Clover Cover Crops and Effects of Seed Inoculation

A wide array of information is available on cover crop selection, planting date, and potential advantages, but very little data is available on cover crop performance under Iowa growing conditions. In order to expand cover crop options for Iowa growers, more precise and region-specific information is needed.
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Bok Choy Cultivar Trial for Spring High Tunnel Production

Bok choy, also known as pak choy or pac choi, is a leafy vegetable that belongs to the mustard family. It is commonly referred to as ‘chinese cabbage.’ Bok choy is a non-heading form of Chinese cabbage and has thick white or pale green leafstalks (petioles). Leaves are dark green in color but there are cultivars with red leaves as well. Chinese cabbage is a cool-season annual vegetable and is grown by a number of vegetable growers in the state. The crop grows best with short days and moderate to cool temperatures (60 to 70 degrees F mean temperature).
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Strip-tillage and Row Cover Use in Organically and Conventionally Grown Muskmelon

Growing muskmelon in a more sustainable way involves multiple management practices. Cover crops often are incorporated into the soil before planting the cash crop. However, they also can be “rolled” and used as a ground cover throughout the growing season. The cash crop is planted in small, tilled strips within the residue. This “strip-tillage” technique provides a weed-controlling, moisture-retaining mat that does not need to be removed at the season’s end, as plastic mulch does. The reduction in tillage can improve soil structure and health.
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Strip-tillage and Row Cover Use in Organically and Conventionally Grown Summer Squash

Sustainable production of summer squash involves multiple management practices. Some cover crops can be “rolled” when mature to produce a ground-covering mat. The cash crop is then planted in tilled strips made in the residue. This “strip-tillage” technique provides a weed-controlling, moisture-retaining mat that is biodegradable, unlike plastic mulches. The reduction in tillage can improve soil health. Row covers provide a favorable microclimate and act as a physical barrier to pests when placed over young transplants.
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Biochar Application in Potato Production

Biochar is an organic amendment produced by the process called pyrolysis, which is the burning of biomass in a limited oxygen environment. It can be produced using different biomass types, for example, switch grass, corn residue, or hardwoods. Potential benefits of biochar in cropping systems could include nutrient recycling, soil conditioning, and long-term carbon sequestration. Research in corn and soybean production systems has shown promising results with biochar application, however, research in vegetable cropping systems is lacking.
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Integrating Cover Crops in High Tunnel Crop Production

High tunnels are plastic-covered, passively ventilated and heated structures where crops are grown directly in soil. They have become important tools for Iowa specialty crop producers to increase production of quality crops, extend the season, and increase profitability. The environment in a high tunnel, without rainfall, limited space, and potential climate control requires a unique set of crop management skills. High tunnel production is primarily dominated by tomatoes. Interest among growers focuses on year-round production in high tunnels.
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Summer Cover Crop Influence on Fall Vegetable Production

At the 2012 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day held at the Iowa State University Horticulture Farm, Ames, Iowa, one of the major challenges highlighted by commercial vegetable growers was “weed management.” Growers called for research on sustainable and environmentally conscious (less herbicide) ways of weed management. Use of cover crops to suppress weeds was one of the outcomes of the discussion. The goal of this project was to evaluate and study what advantages exist under Iowa growing conditions for four cover crops to satisfy farmer’s goals.
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Effect of Plastic Mulch Color on Tomato Production in High Tunnels

High tunnel production is increasing in Iowa as they provide protection from wind and frost and help extend the growing season. Although production aspects inside high tunnels are similar to field production, high tunnel environment is challenging especially when it comes to temperature management. During summer, temperatures rise fairly quickly in high tunnels and can detrimentally affect crop growth and development. It is not uncommon to see temperatures above 100 degrees F inside high tunnels.
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Mulch and Row Cover affect Lettuce Production in High Tunnels

With growing demand for fresh and locally grown vegetables, growers are capitalizing on techniques such as the use of high tunnels for season extension. After a long duration crop such as tomato, planting a quick turnaround crop in high tunnels is a viable option to continue production and increase profitability. High tunnels are an excellent resource for early spring and late fall production of leafy vegetables such as lettuce. Use of plastic mulch as a weed management tool is common in field vegetable production.
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Biochar as a Soil Amendment for Vegetable Production

Environmental concerns and the price of fossil fuels have encouraged research on technologies to utilize biomass in energy production. Some technologies being investigated for their potential to provide energy involve a process known as pyrolysis. One of the byproducts of pyrolysis is called biochar. Biochar has shown potential to improve plant and soil health on several unproductive soils around the world. Much of the research on the use of biochar in Iowa soils has been focused around agronomic crops with little research into how it may affect vegetable production systems.
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Effect of Lettuce Seed Treatment with Seed Power® on Germination, Crop Growth, and Fungicide Interaction

Lettuce emergence rate, seedling growth, and head size has been shown to positively correlate with seed vigor. Seed treatment practices in lettuce that increase seedling shoot mass can significantly influence lettuce growth, development, and final yield. This study investigated effects of lettuce seed treatment with Seed Power® (a nutrient solution containing cobalt and other proprietary compounds; Stoller USA) on lettuce seed germination, crop growth, yield, and potential interaction of Seed Power® with commonly used conventional fungicides.
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Effect of Plastic Mulch and Trellises on Cucumber Production in High Tunnels

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) are high yielding summer vegetables but are extremely frost-sensitive. Most vegetable growers in Iowa grow cucumbers and constantly explore ways to start the crop early in the spring. One method to extend the production season and start early production of cucumbers is using a high tunnel. A high tunnel helps protect plants from early season frost, warms the soil, increases ambient temperature, and enhances crop growth. High tunnel production is gaining popularity in the Midwest.
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Sweet Potato Cultivar Trial

Sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, is a warm-season vegetable crop that is widely grown throughout the world. In the United States, commercial production is mainly in the southern states. Many parts of the plant are edible, including leaves, roots, and vines. Tender leaves are a delicacy in a number of Asian and Southeast Asian countries. To grow successfully, sweet potatoes prefer both warm days and nights. Sweet potato plants require a long frost-free growing season to mature large, useful roots.
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Season Extension Strategies for Fall Lettuce Production

One of the biggest challenges which Midwest vegetable growers face is the unpredictable weather and narrow seasonal window for crop production. The risk of frost damage and low soil and air temperatures during the growing season are major constraints. Strategies that help extend growing seasons are thus imperative for successful production of fresh and quality produce. With growing demand for fresh and locally grown vegetables, growers could capitalize on techniques such as the use of high tunnels, low tunnels, or a combination of both to extend the growing season.
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Cover Cropping and Strip Tillage to Improve Crop Performance and Food Safety in Muskmelon Production

There is a growing interest among growers to utilize production techniques that reduce soil erosion, minimize nutrient leaching, suppress weed emergence, and build soil quality and organic matter. Cover crops are now being widely used by both conventional and organic growers to accomplish these tasks and also to maintain high soil fertility.
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Effect of Biochar on Sweet Corn Production

Biochar is an organic amendment produced by a process called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is the burning of biomass in a limited oxygen environment. In the recent past, agricultural use of biochar has been steadily increasing and attracting research interest. Biochar has been shown to reduce leaching of critical nutrients thereby providing greater soil availability and crop uptake. Potential use of biochar in cropping systems could include nutrient recycling, soil conditioning, and long-term carbon sequestration.
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Effect of Plastic Mulch on Sweet Potato Yield and Quality

Sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, is a warm-season vegetable predominantly grown in the southern part of the United States. In recent years, its production region has expanded quite rapidly to various Midwestern and Eastern states. Growing sweet potatoes in Iowa could be challenging especially due to the short growing season. The crop requires a long frost-free period and high soil and air temperatures to produce quality roots. Growing this crop on raised beds with plastic mulch could be an alternative technique as plastic mulch warms the soil and accelerates crop growth.
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Kristine Lang

Kristine Neu
Lab
Graduate Student
Area of Expertise: 
Tomato Grafting, High Tunnel Production, Cereal Rye Cover Crop

Field Production of Horticultural Crops (HORT 376)

Course Description:

Prereq: HORT 221 or AGRON 114
Principles and practices of field production of commercial horticultural crops, with emphasis on fruit and vegetable systems. Topics include site selection, soil fertility, irrigation setup and management, equipment and tools, integrated pest management, season extension strategies, postharvest technologies and handling, food safety, marketing, and basic business planning for fruit and vegetable enterprises.

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