Member Priority: Horticulture

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• This project compares yields of
fall brassica crops following a
spring cover crop of oats and
peas. In treatment plots spring
cover was grazed by sheep; control
plots were un-grazed.
Key Findings
• There were no statistical differences
in brassica yield by treatment (grazed vs. un-grazed
cover crop).
• Though Black had more than 3
tons DM/ac of aboveground biomass,
the sheep trampled more
than they foraged because the
oats were too fibrous.
• Black is interested in grazing
more spring-seeded cover crops
based on trial results; Quee plans
to stay with his current system of
grazing in fallow years and in the
early spring and late fall.

December 5, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT

Two farmers provided enterprise
budgets for cherry tomato production
in 2017.
• Cherry tomatoes were grown in a
heated greenhouse (Ann Franzenburg),
and an unheated high tunnel (Emma
Johnson).
• Revenue and expenses, including a
breakdown of labor, was reported by
each farmer.
Key Findings
• Labor was the largest expense for both
Franzenburg and Johnson, accounting
for 62% and 68% of their total
expenses, respectively.
• Harvesting and packing was the most
time-consuming task on both farms,
accounting for 74% of labor-hours at
Franzenburg and 62% of labor-hours
at Johnson.
• Both farms had profitable cherry
tomato crops, netting $1.31/lb at Franzenburg
and $1.54/lb at Johnson.

 

RESEARCH REPORT

After participating in the 2016 Summer
Broccoli Variety Trial, Rob Faux wanted
to do a 4-year comparison of his yields
for Gypsy and Belstar. He collected
data in 2017 to match his informal
data collection from past years.
Key Findings
• No statistical analysis was performed
on the data because the trial did not
have replications. However, Gypsy had
higher yields for both successions
every year.
• 2015 was a good year for summer
broccoli, with Gypsy having larger
crowns and more crown harvest than
other years for Gypsy and all years for
Belstar. Gypsy crowns also produced
well in 2017.
• Faux’s 2016 crop had lower survival
rates than previous years and were not
healthy long enough for productive
side shoots.
• Faux plans to continue using and collecting
yield data on both varieties of
broccoli.

November 22, 2017 

RESEARCH REPORT

An important step in building a successful farm business is to take time and analyze the profitability of each of your marketing channels. The end of the growing season is a good time to calculate the net return for each sales outlet, and make decisions for the following year. Experienced farmer and educator Ryan Pesch will share some tips for evaluating your farm’s market channels, and he’ll help beginning farmer Natasha Hegmann think about her sales outlets after her first two growing seasons.

November 21, 2017 

FARMINAR

Following a 2016 tomato trial on Rebelski and Mountain Fresh Plus, three farms conducted replicated variety trials in their high tunnels on Big Beef, Rebelski, and Big Dena. Key findings are in the post below, and the full report is available here: Tomato in High Tunnel, Variety Trial. How was the trial conducted? Each farmer planted […]

November 20, 2017 

BLOG POST

Three farms conducted replicated
variety trials in high tunnels of
tomato varieties: Big Beef, Rebelski,
Big Dena.
Key Findings
• No farm showed statistical differences
in overall yield (lb/ft2) among
varieties.
• Landgraf and Quee had statistical
differences in size and number
of tomatoes, with Rebelski having
more and smaller fruits than Big
Beef.
• All farms will continue to use Big
Beef as a high tunnel variety, and
Matteson/Schick will also continue
to use Big Dena, which held its size
later into the season.

 

RESEARCH REPORT

Field day will explore hand tools, implements for small vegetable farms – Nov. 5, in Iowa CityFor Release: October 24, 2017Contacts: Jason Grimm | (319) 622-3264 | jason@ivrcd.org | growjohnsoncounty.org Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | tamsyn@practicalfarmers.org IOWA CITY, Iowa – For vegetable farmers, using [...]

October 24, 2017 

NEWS RELEASE

Color and fashion were the first topics of the day at Fred Howell’s field day. Surprising? Not if you want flowers to be a successful part of your business. “New color trends starts in home fashion magazines… it the color is accepted there, then it goes into women’s fashion, which is fairly disposable. Then it […]

October 5, 2017 

BLOG POST

Field day will explore lessons learned on a beginning vegetable farm, draft-horse power – Oct. 21, in HancockFor Release: October 4, 2017Contacts: Jayme Fowler | Wild Furrow Farm | (402) 290-5856 | jayme.fowler@gmail.com Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | tamsyn@practicalfarmers.org HANCOCK, Iowa – For beginning [...]

October 4, 2017 

NEWS RELEASE

Applications are now open for the beginning farmer Savings Incentive ProgramFor Release: September 28, 2017Contact: Greg Van Den Berghe | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | greg@practicalfarmers.org Steve Carlson | Practical Farmers of Iowa | (515) 232-5661 | steve@practicalfarmers.org   AMES, Iowa — Practical Farmers of Iowa is now accepting applications for the [...]

September 28, 2017 

NEWS RELEASE