Member Priority: Research and Demonstration
November 22, 2017
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.
• No statistical analysis was performed
on the data because the trial did not
have replications. However, Gypsy had
higher yields for both successions
• 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
• Faux plans to continue using and collecting
yield data on both varieties of
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. Each farmer planted two tomato varieties inside a high tunnel in a randomized, paired trial. Farmer-researchers for this trial were: Tim Landgraf (One Step at a Time Gardens in Kanawha), Lee Matteson and Rose Schick (Lee’s Greens in Nevada), and Mark Quee (Scattergood Farm at Scattergood Friends School in West Branch). Spacing, mulch, trellis style, and planting date were determined by farm, and described in Table 2. Plants for the trial were started indoors and transplanted to the high tunnel (in-ground).
November 20, 2017
Successfully raising corn after a cover crop requires timely cover crop termination and N fertilization. Commonly, farmers terminate a cover crop 2-3 weeks prior to planting corn but generally do not need to apply any more N than if they did not use a cover crop. Last year, PFI farmer-cooperator Dick Sloan attempted “planting green”: planting […]
Successfully raising corn after a
cover crop requires timely cover
crop termination and N fertilization.
Commonly, farmers terminate a cover
crop 2-3 weeks prior to planting corn
but generally do not need to apply any
more N than if they did not use a cover
• Farmer-cooperators Dick Sloan and
Tim Sieren compared terminating their
cover crops approx. 3 weeks prior to
planting corn with terminating their
cover crops within 3 days of planting
corn. They also investigated N fertilizer
timing and rates across the cover crop
• Delaying cover crop termination
until a few days before planting
corn increased cover crop biomass
production in the spring.
• Terminating the cover crop a few
days before planting corn generally
resulted in reduced yields at both farms
regardless of N strategy.
• Fall manure with 35 lb N/ac at corn
planting and 90 lb N/ac at side-dress
resulted in no yield drag at Sloan’s
when the cover crop was terminated 3
days before planting corn.
Three farms conducted replicated
variety trials in high tunnels of
tomato varieties: Big Beef, Rebelski,
• No farm showed statistical differences
in overall yield (lb/ft2) among
• Landgraf and Quee had statistical
differences in size and number
of tomatoes, with Rebelski having
more and smaller fruits than Big
• 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.
Cover crops are gaining new attention for their ability to reduce weed pressure in soybeans. Specifically, when seeding soybeans directly into a thick cover crop. In the past two years, farmer-researchers Jeremy Gustafson and Jack Boyer have documented reduced herbicide use when planting soybeans into a tall, thick cereal rye cover crop that they chemically terminated […]
November 15, 2017
• Cover crops are gaining new attention
for their ability to reduce weed
pressure in soybeans. Specifically,
when seeding soybeans directly into a
thick cover crop.
• Farmer-cooperators Jack Boyer and
Scott Shriver investigated the effect
of row-width on soybean yields when
rolling a cereal rye cover crop. Boyer
rolled select strips after terminating
with an herbicide; Shriver used a
roller-crimper to terminate his cover
• The narrowest soybean row-width at
both farms (10-in. at Boyer’s; 7.5-in. at
Shriver’s) resulted in greatest yields.
• Boyer saw the greatest return on
investment where he drilled soybeans
in 10-in. rows and did not roll the
cover crop after chemical termination.
The drill itself appeared to lay down
much of the cover crop residue.
November 13, 2017
Continuing work from the previous two years, Practical Farmers of Iowa and partners conducted another round of oat variety trials in 2017. Fifteen varieties were screened at two Iowa State University research farms (Kanawha, Nashua) and one PFI farmer-member farm (Wayne Koehler, Charles City) Find the new report here: Oat Variety and Fungicide Trials 2017. […]
October 17, 2017