The horticulture team with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will hold the 2021 Fruit and Vegetable Field Day July 22 at Iowa State University’s Horticulture Research Station northeast of Ames.

The annual event will feature various research and demonstration projects on fruit and vegetable production for commercial growers, extension personnel, nonprofit organizations and master gardeners. 

The field day will provide an opportunity to observe results and evaluate projects focusing on organic vegetable production, peppers, winter squash, apples, grapes, pest management in cucurbit crops, three-sisters intercropping and beneficial insects.

Ajay Nair, associate professor in horticulture and extension vegetable production specialist with Iowa State, said there is strong demand for fruits and vegetables amid a renewed interest in local foods. The field day was postponed last year, due to COVID-19, and he is looking forward to the chance for growers and the industry to reunite.

“We hope this event will provide a good panorama of all of the research that is happening here at Iowa State related to fruit and vegetable crops,” said Nair.

The field day will also include demonstration of equipment for small and diversified farms. 

The Horticulture Research Station is located at 55519 170th St., Ames. The field day will run from 2-6:30 p.m.

Registration is free but required for accurate count for food. Register by July 16 using this link:

Funding for the event is provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, an Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship specialty crop block grant, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s NIFA-OREI. The field day is organized in partnership with Practical Farmers of Iowa, Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Topics will include: 

  • Precision guided apple sprayer.
  • New apple cultivars and winter squash mulch study.
  • Vegetable chicken integrated system.
  • Three sisters cropping system study.
  • ProtekNet study in winter squash.
  • Pepper and cauliflower biochar study.
  • Vineyard (grape and grape quality).
  • Equipment demonstration (weed management).
  • Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic tent.

Ajay Nair
Extension Commercial Horticulture Specialist

Iowa State University Extension & Outreach

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