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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


PFI Conference

Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 8:00am to Saturday, January 18, 2020 - 6:00pm
Event Type: 

Practical Farmers’ Annual Conference has been the backbone of our organization since our founding, when farmers looking to improve diversity on their farms gathered to share their knowledge openly with others. More information at


Dr. Moriah Bilenky

Picture of Moriah Bilenky
Assistant Professor of Sustainable Horticulture @ Purdue University
Area of Expertise: 
Soil Health

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.

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.


Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers 2022

The Midwest Vegetable Production Guide for Commercial Growers is a collaboration of land-grant universities from seven states. It provides vegetable production information that is valid in the participating states for the current year. This includes fertility, variety, cultural, and pest management recommendations.

Practical Farmers of Iowa

Practical Farmers of Iowa is an inclusive organization representing a diversity of farmers. Farmers in our network raise corn and soybeans, hay, livestock large and small, horticultural crops from fruits and vegetables to cut flowers and herbs, and more. Our members have conventional and organic systems; employ diverse management practices; run operations of all sizes; and come from a range of backgrounds. These farmers come together, however, because they believe in nature as the model for agriculture and they are committed to moving their operations toward sustainability.

Great Plains Growers

Great Plains Growers Conference (GPGC) is a combination of two great conferences: Great Plains Vegetable Conference and Mid-America Fruit Conference. The three-day conference features presentations by knowledgeable speakers from throughout the nation. The conference showcases educational information from all five states: Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and South Dakota, along with vegetable specialists and growers from those states.

Vegetable Crop Production and Management (HORT 471/571)

Course Description

Welcome to HORT 471. This course is designed to provide you with an introduction to vegetable crops and the theoretical knowledge and hands-on experience required for successfully producing them. We will be spending most of our time learning the elements of successful vegetable production including the what, where, when and how of growing specific crops. Topics will include crop classification; planting methods; crop climatic conditions, physiological growth and development; soil, water, and pest management; organic production; cover cropping; crop rotation; season extension strategies; postharvest handling/management and marketing. Course involves visits to vegetable production sites in Iowa to observe/experience and learn from growers and entrepreneurs in the field of vegetable production. Laboratory section of the course will provide an opportunity to grow a variety of vegetables in a heated greenhouse; conduct experiments; observe and/or operate equipment for field production. It is expected that upon completion of the course, students would be able to put into practice what they have learned. For students seriously considering entering a vegetable production career.


Dr. Ajay Nair

Ajay Nair
Principal Investigator
Extension Vegetable Specialist
Area of Expertise: 
Sustainable Vegetable Production