An Iowa State University research farm in southwest Iowa’s Adair County near Greenfield is the site for a special field day this afternoon. Kathleen Delate, an organic specialist at the I.S.U. Extension, says the field day is for anyone interested in pasture management, as well as organic field and vegetable crop production.
Delate says there are four speakers scheduled to speak at the event, three from I.S.U. and one from the local community, with an emphasis on growing organic and sustainable crops and livestock. An I.S.U. Extension beef specialist will discuss grazing management, selecting the right forage and stockpiling grazing to reduce feed costs.
Delate will share the results of her years of research at the farm on organic production, highlighting her work with traditional agronomic crops of corn, soybeans and alfalfa, along with organic vegetable production. She will provide a comparison of long-term organic and conventional crops, which is now in its 14th year.
Delate says their research has shown equivalent yields in the organic system compared to the conventional system and they hope to repeat those results this year, although the weather may have affected the yield this year. She says the highest yield of organic crops was 204 bushels of organic corn per acre in 2004 but they should make at least 150 bushels per acre this year.
Delate says it’s been a crazy year for weather with hail and wind damage, grasshopper infestations and other factors affecting the crops. She says it’s been challenging but she is grateful for what rain they have received and hopeful the weather will cooperate through the harvest season. As part of the field day, a free meal will be provided in the evening by the Adair County Pork Producers.
She says other workshop presenters include Ajay Nair, with I.S.U.’s horticulture department, who will talk about ways to improve soil biology, and Diane Weiland, with the Wallace Centers of Iowa, who will speak on the growing and marketing of organic vegetables. The field day is free and supported by the U.S.D.A. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.
The Neely-Kinyon Farm is located two-miles south of Greenfield on Highway 25, then about one-half mile east on 260th Street and one-half mile north of Norfolk Avenue. For more information, call the Adair County Extension Office at 1-641-743-8412, or 1-800-ISU-E399.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic