Many Iowa fruit and vegetable growers are anticipating large crops of spring produce, according to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. However, Iowa grown fresh fruits and vegetables may be slightly delayed in some parts of the state due to the cool weather this April and into May, so it is a good idea to contact area fruit and vegetable farmers to find the status of their crops.
Iowa's first crops of the spring such as strawberries, asparagus and rhubarb are starting to become available across the state and should be followed in the next few weeks by leafy greens, radishes, carrots, green beans, and other late spring/early summer produce.
"It is always exciting when the first fruits and vegetables of the year become available at the farmers market or by visiting an on-farm store," notes Northey. "It is important to check with your farmers market vendors or on-farm retailer to find out when they will have fresh produce available."
Iowa may have one of its most bountiful fruit and vegetable crops in years
The long winter, late snowfalls and cooler temps may have delayed the progress of specialty crops in some regions but the timely spring rains and avoidance of a late killing frost have left the state with what hopes to be one of the most bountiful fruit and vegetable crops in years. ~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
There can be significant variation in timing of harvest between counties or even from one town to the next. This graduated harvest, will allow you to enjoy fresh produce over a longer period of time and offer the opportunity for you to pack up the family and visit produce farms in different areas of the state.
Iowa Ag Department website has information on how you can find locally produced fruits and vegetables
Find a full list of Iowa farmers markets, farm stands or fruit and vegetable farms on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website under "Data Searches and Directories" on the bottom right-hand side of the page.
Before heading to the farm, be sure to check their website or give them a call to check on their harvest status to ensure that you receive the freshest crop available. Many growers have websites or phone number to call to keep you abreast of their harvest status. "I hope Iowan's will take advantage of the many fruit and vegetable growers we have and who do a tremendous job of raising fresh, delicious, locally grown produce across our state," says Northey.
Grain dealer license of Verified Grains at Kanawha suspended by Iowa Department of Agriculture
In other news from the Iowa Department of Agriculture last week, a press release says the agency has suspended the grain dealer license for Verified Grains, Inc. in Kanawha, Iowa and Mantorville, Minn. in accordance with Iowa Code Sections 203. As a result of this action, Verified Grains is forbidden to operate as a grain dealer within Iowa and must surrender any grain dealer certificates to the state ag department.
The suspension is based upon the failure to file accurate monthly financial statements to the department as well as a failure to meet minimum net worth requirements. A revocation hearing has been set for July 12, 2013 in the second floor conference room of the Henry A. Wallace state office building in Des Moines.
The Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship's Grain Warehouse Bureau regulates and examines the financial solvency of grain dealers and grain warehouse operators. The functions of the bureau include warehouse licensing, warehouse examination, grain dealer licensing and grain dealer examinations.