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 


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
• 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.



Registration is open for Practical Farmers’ 2018 annual conference, “Revival” — new conference website is live Featuring keynote speaker James Rebanks, 50+ sessions, soils short course and more For Release: November 22, 2017 Brochure cover for PFI’s 2018 annual conference James Rebanks (c) Eamonn McCabe Contacts: Tamsyn Jones | Outreach & Publications Coordinator | Practical [...]

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.
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



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.

Natasha Hegmann owns and operates Turkey River Farm near Elkport, Iowa, with her partner Peter Kerns. She grows vegetables for a delivery CSA, farmer’s market, restaurants, and a market-style CSA. She is completing her second year farming on her own.
Ryan Pesch grows certified organic vegetables at Lida Farm near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota, with his wife Maree. He sells his produce through local farmer’s markets, an on-farm stand, a nearby grocery store and to the local school. Ryan is also an extension educator in community economic development.

November 21, 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 


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
• 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.



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

October 24, 2017 


Gary and Carol Gadbury are urban farmers in Manhattan, Kansas, where they work on a large backyard plot to raise vegetables, fruit, chickens and cereals. “We kind of have a woodland garden area and a vegetable garden area and a small orchard,” Carol says. These practices are a natural culmination of the Gadburys’ careers. The […]

October 5, 2017 


“I can’t remember a time in my life when gardening wasn’t part of my life,” said Darla Eeten of Good Eetens Produce Farms. Darla and her husband Michael run the all natural produce farm on 12 acres outside Everly. They aim to sustainably produce vegetables, fruit and cut flowers with little to no mechanization and […]