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Soil and Insect Management Workshop for Vegetable Crops Offered by ISU Extension

By Ajay Nair
Department of Horticulture


Vegetable crop producers will learn about cover crops, soil fertility and insects in vegetable cropping systems during  the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach workshop Monday, Feb. 16 at Cedar Valley Produce Auction warehouse, 18072 Addison Ave., Elma (south of Riceville), Iowa.

“One of the core philosophies of sustainable production systems is the development of healthy and productive soil,” said Ajay Nair, assistant professor with the ISU Department of Horticulture and vegetable production specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.

Nair continues by describing the importance of cover crops and compost. “Incorporating these practices improve soil organic matter, enhance nutrient cycling for plant growth, and support diverse and active soil biotic communities,” said Nair.

His Feb. 16 workshop presentation will focus on various cover crops, their management aspects, attributes and effect on nutrient cycling and soil quality and health. Nair was recently named recipient of the 2015 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Early Achievement in Extension and Outreach Award.

ISU Extension and Outreach horticulture specialists Joe Hannan and Patrick O’Malley are also on the workshop agenda. Hannan will discuss soil fertility, proper soil sampling procedures and how to make sense of soil sample reports. His session will help growers make decisions on annual fertilizer applications for vegetable crops.

O’Malley will speak about insects common on multiple crops, specifically the Solanaceous crops (tomato, pepper, eggplant, potato and tomatillo), in the field, high tunnels and greenhouses. He will also do a short presentation on Colony Collapse Disorder of honeybees.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. and the workshop ends by 3 p.m. For details, see the workshop description. Cost is free, but registration is required by Feb. 10 for lunch. To register, contact Sue Barnes, Howard County - ISU Extension and Outreach office at: or 563-547-3001.

This program is being sponsored in cooperation with People’s Savings Bank of Elma, Cedar Valley Produce, Howard County Extension and Outreach, and USDA-SARE.

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