Author Bio

Dr. Ajay Nair is an Associate Professor working in the area of Sustainable Vegetable Production in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. The focus of his research, extension, and education program is on cover cropping, conservation tillage, nutrient management, soil amendments and health, and season extension strategies in vegetable production. He works closely with commercial vegetable growers, stakeholders, and extension professionals on production aspects and techniques needed to meet the rising demand locally grown produce.    


Wednesday - 5:00 pm-5:30 pm - Room: Salon 3

Effect of shade cloth and cultivars on high tunnel colored bell pepper production – Dr. Ajay Nair

Production of sweet, colored bell peppers provides an opportunity for vegetable growers to receive a price premium over non-ripened green bell peppers. Growing colored bell peppers in high tunnels enhances fruit quality and accelerates ripening. While there are benefits to high tunnel pepper production, increased heat inside the structures can lead to plant stress, blossom

Wednesday - 11:00 am-11:30 am - Room: Salon 3

Tomato rootstock evaluation for grafted tomato production in high tunnels – Dr. Ajay Nair

Soil management within high tunnels is critical to reduce soil-borne diseases and ensure long-term productivity of crops grown within them. This talk will discuss results of a high tunnel study that evaluated eight hybrid tomato rootstocks and their effect on marketable yield, fruit quality (soluble solids, titratable acids, and firmness), and plant growth characteristics (SPAD,

Tuesday - 2:00 pm-2:30 pm - Room: Salon 3

Reduced tillage systems for vegetable production – Dr. Ajay Nair

Strip-tillage production system with rolled and crimped cereal rye has been shown to promote soil health, resulting in significant increases in soil aggregate stability, potentially mineralizable nitrogen, active soil carbon, and microbial activity when compared to a conventionally tilled production system. To make strip-tillage and no-tillage systems viable options for growers, it is crucial to