Start Farming Blog

Mario Sazo, Cornell Fruit Specialist, invites Pennsylvania fruit growers and farm workers to a tour of the Geneva Experiment Station.
June 20, 2017

A field training for Spanish speakers in the fruit industry. Una capacitación en el campo para trabajadores de habla hispana en la industria de la fruta.

June 1, 2017

The "Study Circle" meeting format provides a relaxed atmosphere where farmer participants can share information with each other as well as learn from and ask questions of the experts. Extension Educators Liz Bosak and Dave Hartman review this past year's Organic Field Crop Study Circles and share planned topics for upcoming meetings.

Image source:
June 1, 2017

More and more veterans are considering agriculture as a viable future upon returning home.

Site preparation for a "Model for the Future" apple planting in Adams County, PA. Photo: Tara Baugher
May 24, 2017

Have you recently pushed out a block of older fruit trees? In commercial grower plots, we are learning that sudangrass is an excellent first step to replant success.

Photo: Norma Young, Penn State
May 24, 2017

Have you noticed lately that many interstate rest stops are now called text stops? While the ever growing ubiquity of the smartphone has come with some issues, there are many opportunities to use this technology to make our lives a little easier, even on the farm.

May 24, 2017

The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit team has put together an online survey for fruit growers that currently grow or are interested in growing apples for hard cider.

Aerial image of Penn State’s research hopyard at Rock Springs. Photo by T. Delvalle, Penn State
May 16, 2017

You probably have heard of (or observed) the use of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS) throughout the country; whether it be for fun, a hobby, for capturing great aerial pictures, or commercial use.

Transplanting by hand can be labor-intensive.
May 10, 2017

Stand establishment is one of the most critical steps in producing a successful crop of vegetables.

Photo: Tianna Dupont
April 27, 2017

Many vegetable crops are started in the greenhouse as transplants, and then planted out into the field for crop production.

Mowing the sudex cover crop at the blueberry site at Five Elements Farm. The sudex was sown to compete against weeds, and was incorporated to add organic matter to the soil. Photo by J. Bozzelli.
April 27, 2017

On a recent trip to a wholesale marketing cooperative, the manager explained how she is always looking for more fruit from her growers.

April 27, 2017

When it comes to the livestock business, or any agricultural enterprise for that matter, a broad perspective and an open mind about potential market channels can help strengthen your business. Extension Educator, Walt Bumgarner, shares his thoughts on managing product for multiple markets.

 Shortly after tree growth begins, gently remove the 3 developing shoots below the leader to eliminate competition for leader growth. Photo: Tara Baugher
April 27, 2017

Timely tree training and integrated management of newly planted trees will ensure the success and future profitability of high density apple plantings.

Carrot transplants are grown in large quantities in Italy. They must be transplanted before the taproot reaches the bottom of the tray cell. Photo: G. Rampinini
April 19, 2017

Before the widespread use of plastic mulch, drip irrigation, high tunnels and greenhouse production, there seemed to be a clear line of demarcation between vegetables that could be transplanted, and those that had to be seeded directly into the field. Grower innovations have nearly erased that line.

April 11, 2017

This is an 8-session course for those hoping to make the leap from vegetable gardening to production for profit or new vegetable producers wanting to refine farm management.

April 6, 2017

Spring is one of the busiest times of the year on a farm and sometimes things are so busy that safety is not given the priority that it needs to keep everyone safe. Below are some ways to help improve safety and decrease the risk of injury at your farm operation.

April 6, 2017

Farmers are often surprised by the amount of record keeping that their agricultural enterprise can entail. After all, your passion is likely in the production of your crops! Nevertheless, good planning and records are paramount to running a smooth operation that is capable of success and expansion. Here are some quick tips on how to get off to a good start with your planning and record keeping this season and beyond.

Adult Allium Leafminer
March 31, 2017

The allium leafminer, Phytomyza gymnostoma, is a fly that originates from Poland, Germany, Austria and Spain, and was confirmed in 18 counties in Pennsylvania last year.

March 30, 2017

This Penn State Extension publication, in Spanish and English, is designed for use by orchard employees - often the first individuals to detect a new occurrence of a fruit disease or insect pest.

Photo: Seedling, U.S. Department of Agriculture, (CC BY 2.0)
March 9, 2017

Most vegetable crops start their life as seeds.

Scholl Orchards location in Kempton, Pennsylvania
March 9, 2017

The Lehigh Valley Study Circle Network began its 2017 season with a meeting hosted by Jake, Ben, and George Scholl of Scholl Orchards, located in Bethlehem and Kempton PA. During the meeting with fellow growers, the Scholls discussed their operation and some of the elements that have led to their success.