Person: Mustard Seed Community Farm

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Well, it certainly has taken me a just little longer than planned (self-directed sarcasm intended!) to write this summary of the Mustard Seed Community Farm field day (held July 25) — but it was such an excellent event, that the knowledge deserves to be shared! The title of the event, “Establishing On-Farm Pollinator Habitat,” is […]

December 2, 2015 


For the past several years, roller-crimping a cereal rye cover crop before a summer vegetable cash crop has been attracting interests as a research topic at the Practical Farmers of Iowa Cooperators’ Meeting. A roller-crimper is a specialized tool designed by the Rodale Institute that, once the cover crop nearly reaches physiological maturity, simultaneously terminates a living cover crop and converts it to a […]

December 1, 2015 


In a Nutshell
• Fruit and Vegetable farmers want to
use cover crops to control weeds,
which reduces labor costs and competition
with cash crops.
• In tilled plots, two-foot wide strips of
rye were incorporated prior to seeding.
In no-till plots, summer squash
was seeded into an overwintered
stand of cereal rye that was scythed at
Key Findings
• Squash yield (lb) and number of
squash produced were greater in tilled
plots than in no-till plots.
• Weeding the tilled plots took significantly
more time during the first
weeding of the season (July 8).
• Survival rate of seedlings was not different
between treatments on July 1,
but plant survival by Sept. 25 was 72%
in the till plots compared to 50% in the
no-till plots.
• Average pounds of squash produced
per plant were not significantly different
between treatments.

November 30, 2015 


Fruit and Vegetable farmers want to
use cover crops to control weeds on
their farms to reduce labor costs and
competition with cash crops.
• Cereal rye cover crops have been
mulch-killed to control weeds in cash
• A late-terminated, no-till cover crop
negatively affected summer squash

December 7, 2014