Earlier, we spoke with Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig about funding which will become available for growers of specialty crops in Iowa. Specialty crops, of course, include such things as fruits and vegetables. However, just like conventional agriculture crops, vegetables can pose their own set of challenges. Education is key to growing a successful crop.
Many people have their own gardens and grow vegetables for their families. For those who are growing vegetables on a much larger scale, the challenges can be a little more daunting. Some vegetable crops are just not suited to the climates we have in Iowa, and some crops may just need a little TLC. For producers who need a little boost, help is here.
Practical Farmers of Iowa will be hosting their 2019 Conference at Iowa State University January 17th– 19th. Attendees will get to learn the ins and outs of producing three different vegetable crops: Cauliflower, Egg Plant, and Storage Onions. Experts in all three vegetables will be on hand to share their experiences and lessons learned while growing these veggies. You will learn how to deal with pests, climate issues, weeds, and diseases.
While these three vegetables will be the main topics of the convention, there is still more education opportunities available. There will be sessions covering topics such as finances, labor, crop diversification, multi-farm management, and much more. It is your chance to also network with other specialty crop producers and learn how they do things and share what works for you.
Registration can be found on the Practical Farmers of Iowa website, or by calling 515-232-5661. There is a discount available to those who pre-register by January 10th. There is also information there on lodging, schedules, speakers, and vendors.