Pinpoint soils data leads to successful tree planting for Iowa apple orchard

2019-05-20T09:49:45-05:00May 20, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Jason Johnson, NRCS

Iowa’s Apple Trails Family Orchard is prospering after soils information provided by USDA helped two beginning orchardists start off on the right track.

Darren and Becky Housberg moved to Osceola, Iowa, in 1995. They began making plans for their orchard in 2010. Becky researched apple varieties, and the couple set aside 40 acres of land for their planned orchard. (more…)

Testing agricultural water

2019-04-08T18:03:46-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Sally Colby

As growers become more familiar with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and the Produce Safety Rule (PSR), it’s important they understand the meaning of and regulations pertaining to testing agricultural water used for irrigation and other areas of production. (more…)

Today’s Marketing Objective: When All Good News Is Not Good News

2019-04-08T18:39:21-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest, Grower West|

When All Good News Is Not Good News

The clerk handed me the receipt and pointed to instructions at the bottom. “Please fill out our customer survey,” she said, “but only if you have good things to say about our store. We don’t want to hear any negative comments,” she quipped, and then quickly added, “Remember – if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” (more…)

Seeds of Science: If Tony Stark and Bruce Banner grew spinach

2019-04-08T18:49:20-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest, Grower West|

The battle never ends. Growers, across regions and soil types and seasons, are constantly fighting against all the elements to produce healthy (and profitable) crops. They contend against the weather, insects, changing consumer tastes, diseases and more, always hopeful for a good harvest. Luckily, there is an army of scientists marching right alongside them, always striving to make the process easier. (more…)

Agritourism ~ Considering the risks

2019-04-08T18:58:01-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest, Grower West|

by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of a three-part series on agritourism. Information comes from a six-part webinar by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Schoharie, Otsego, Sullivan and Ulster Counties, hosted by Delaware County CCE, and sponsored by the Northeast Extension Risk Management Education.

“How risky do you want to go?” asked Mariane Kiraly, Delaware County CCE Senior Resource Educator/ Farm Business Management.

Inviting the public onto your property to tour your agricultural business and participate in farm activities incurs risk. How much responsibility do you need to take if someone gets injured? (more…)

How to attract more customers

2019-04-08T18:58:17-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower, Grower Midwest|

by Katie Navarra

Improving sales at a farmers market stand can feel like a daunting task. Customers stream by without making eye contact or they stop and ask a question, only to walk away without purchasing anything. Speakers at a recent direct marketing conference hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension provided cost-effective strategies that can help every farm increase sales. (more…)

Education is sweet at Bee Wise Farms

2019-04-08T10:06:26-05:00April 8, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Enrico Villamaino

Running a combination farm/apiary of any size is a challenging enterprise, and the time, toil and toleration it takes is worthy of admiration. So it is even more impressive when a young farm/apiary is able to expand its size and scope of services so swiftly while also engaging in programs to better serve those in its community. Bee Wise Farms in Lansing, MI, is an ideal example of this type of success. (more…)

Growing for chefs

2019-03-08T13:45:18-05:00March 8, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Courtney Llewellyn

CHICAGO – It can be difficult if not seemingly impossible to eat well while on the go, especially when faced with literal miles of fast food restaurants as you wander through an airport during a lengthy layover. O’Hare International Airport saw this and has stepped up to provide travelers – and the chefs who prepare their food – some green relief.


Take a break from tomatoes

2019-03-08T09:07:25-05:00March 8, 2019|Grower Midwest|

by Sally Colby

Growers who are just starting with high tunnel production are satisfied when the structure is bursting with a profitable crop. There’s a significant investment in the tunnel, and growers want to offset costs by continually growing high-value crops. In many cases, that crop is tomatoes.