You are here

The Iowa Produce Market Potential Calculator - Grinnell and Fairfield


Dig into using the Iowa Produce Market Potential Calculator a bit as it will be an important tool for the modeling project. In particular, check into two particular questions fist and then test the calculator based on what you find out in Question. See below.

From the research comes this caveat: County-level production data for several produce items were missing from the Agricultural Census. Data for these counties were estimated by comparing the undisclosed values for each item with the undisclosed values for each county. For this reason, county-specific production information may not be accurate in some cases and may affect some county-specific estimates of market potential.

Question: We will need to have a good idea of the accuracy of data used in this calculator for produce items in the two counties that are relevant to our target towns - Grinnell and Fairfield. See which produce data is estimated (if any) for each of the two counties and make note of same.

Even though all the produce items that are listed can be grown in Iowa, some perform better (using existing technologies and genetics) in certain parts of the state because of climate and other factors. For example, crops of peaches, nectarines, apricots or sweet potatoes will more likely produce acceptable yields on a consistent basis in the southern portion compared to other parts of the state.

Question: Research into the crops (grown for human consumption) that perform best in the Grinnell and Fairfield areas. In this case, do not use the calculator for this data. (We will be 'testing' the data in the calculator for these produce items for these two county areas.) Identify your source(s) for the crop data on both counties so we can go back and use them again in further research if we need later.

Then check your findings against the data used in the calculator. This should give us an indication if the calculator bases its calculations on state-wide estimates for these crops and how far off the calculator data may or may not be.