Person: Mark Quee
Carmen Black and Mark Quee raise sheep on their diversified vegetable farms. They were curious if grazing a cover crop prior to a fall crop, rather than simply terminating the cover crop by mowing and tillage, would have an impact on the yield of the next crop. For this trial each farmer measured the yield […]
December 6, 2017
• 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.
• There were no statistical differences
in brassica yield by treatment (grazed vs. un-grazed
• 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
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
In a Nutshell
• Six farmers compared three broccoli
varieties, Belstar, Gypsy and Imperial,
to determine which produces better
during summer months (harvest July –
Sept.) in Iowa.
• Imperial had the highest yields at four
of six farms, followed by Gypsy and
• At three farms, Imperial had statistically
higher yields than the other
• Plant spacing differed by farm, but
average yield per area was 0.28 lb/ft2
for Imperial, followed by Gypsy (0.27
lb/ ft2), and Belstar (0.22 lb/ft2)
• Following the indications of the data,
most farmers strongly preferred Imperial
as their summer broccoli variety.
December 7, 2016
Growing tomatoes in the high tunnel gives farmers an early jump on the tomato market, and can help protect the plants from some environmental stressors. Two farmers (Tim Landgraf at One Step at a Time Gardens and Mark Quee at Scattergood Friends School) conducted replicated variety trials in high tunnels of two determinate tomato varieties, Mountain […]
December 2, 2016
Two farms conducted replicated
variety trials in high tunnels of two determinate
tomato varieties, Mountain
Fresh Plus and Rebelski.
• Yield at both farms was lower than
yields reported in other published high
tunnel variety trials.
• Rebelski yield was higher at Landgraf’s,
with 1.4 lb/plant difference.
• Rebelski yield was also higher at
Quee’s, with 2.1 lb/plant difference.
November 22, 2016
• This project tested the effect on
over-wintered garlic yield of planting
date and two mulching strategies:
companion-seeded oat cover crop vs.
• Farmer-cooperator Mark Quee planted
garlic in September with a companion
oat cover crop (oat residue following
winterkill intended to serve as mulch).
Garlic planted in October was mulched
• September-planted garlic had higher
yield than October-planted, but pervasive
rot in several areas of the field
may have impacted results.
November 18, 2016
In a Nutshell
• Fifteen farms participated in fruit and
vegetable production recordkeeping
• The purpose of the project was to
create Iowa-specific production
• producers to have baseline
• the advancement of crop
• and to provide information about
typical Iowa production for
• Actual yields exceeded FSA-NAP
yield estimates for most crop
May 10, 2016
Registration is now open for the 2016 Practical Farmers CSA Workshop Retreat, February 5 – 6, at the Pilgrim Heights Retreat Center in Montour. Attendees will be divided into an “Experienced” group (at least three years experience managing a CSA) and an “Exploratory” group (those in their first years or new to CSA management).
December 28, 2015
Five farmers compared two bell pepper varieties, Olympus and Revolution, to determine which produces better in Iowa’s climate. Each farm planted four randomized pairs of research plots, each pair with 10-20 plants of each variety.
December 21, 2015