A number of growers trialed different products or techniques for pest control this summer, with support from this outreach project funded by the EPA. Some growers just tried things "on their own". Maybe you'd guess it, the latter ideas stood out more, to me anyway. Thanks to the articles submitted by my colleagues, I only have room to mention a few.
With this project I got to visit the Iowa produce auctions. A grower Elma selling to the Cedar Valley auction put up a 1/2 acre Haygrove for around $35,000. He says he’s making all his money back in the first year, and will not grow tomatoes outside anymore. Well it’s cold up there, but aa significant of reason he said was disease control. ‘When the plants get beat up by winds and hard rain, then the bacterial diseases seem to start up’.
Weeds were tough to control with all the rain, again. One grower in Rich Hill showed an interesting technique, drilling holes through black plastic mulch, and then putting it down ‘between the raised beds, applying straw over the top.
And a grower selling to the Central auction attained excellent weed control on pumpkins. After they came up he spot sprayed with glyphosate, but the key was just before they runnered out, he sprayed around them with a preemergent, like Command. It was a bit of hand work but he seemed to think it was worth it
A few other notes:
REVISED: December 3, 2015