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April 2019

Apr 26
April 26
Use Caution When Morel Mushroom Hunting in Flooded Areas

Flooding throughout Iowa this spring has damaged farm land, public parks and recreational spots, and has caused increased pressures on drainage systems. These conditions can impact this season’s morel mushroom hunting. Regardless of the flood conditions, always proceed scouting and hunting morel mushrooms with caution. 

Apr 17
April 17
Soil Health for Vegetable Crops

The term “soil health” has been generating a lot of buzz as we explore options to develop sust​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ainable vegetable production systems. Based on the definitio​​​​​​​​​​​​​​n by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, soil health is the capacity of soil to function as a living system, with ecosystem and land use boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and promote plant and animal health. It is important to realize that soil is a living system and activities that affect soil have the potential to detrimentally affect its health.

Apr 17
April 17
Frost Protection for High Density Orchards

Fruit crops in Iowa are highly susceptible to spring freezes during bloom.  The primary methods to protect fruit crops from injury are heat, air movement, row covers, and water.  

Apr 17
April 17
Market Outlets for Produce

The local foods industry in Iowa is maturing and as expected, farmers have many new marketing opportunities.  There are now many options in addition to farmers markets for selling produce.  Farmers markets are, and will continue to be, great outlets for locally grown produce.  They create personal connections between farmer and the community. They also allow farmers to extract the greatest price per unit for their produce.  However, farmers markets are not without their challenges or considerations.  They are very sensitive to weather conditions, time of year, holidays, other events in the area, and require a diverse array of vendors to be successful.  They also require significant time spent by the farmer at the markets.

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