So, you want to keep bees? Well, join the club… beekeeping is a hot topic for many reasons. Maybe it’s the interest in producing more of your own food or eating locally produced food. Maybe it is sympathy for honeybees succumbing to a mysterious malady called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Maybe it’s Nature’s call to pay attention to this fascinating creature, the honeybee. Whatever the motivation, hobby beekeeping is on the rise.
Backyard poultry is a fun enterprise whether it is a project for your children or a project for you. There is so much to think about when it comes to raising live animals, such as a small flock of chickens. Breeds, purchasing birds, and equipment are just a few topics that should run through your mind.
Having concluded another market season - I start to wonder about how it might have been different this past year and what might we do to steer our direction for 2011. Let’s spend a few moments wrapping our minds around how well we met our marketing objects this past year. By doing this we begin the steps needed to make changes for the coming marketing season.
December for many cattle producers means much preparation for winterizing their herds. What is on your checklist for this month? Nutrition and winter feeding, body condition evaluation, and calving issues should all be on your list.
Market growers are using many ways to extend the growing and marketing season. Some of these methods, like using cold frames and raised beds are time-tested, standard practices. However, in the last 20 years or so, many new methods have been developed. To stay competitive while tapping the early and late season markets, many growers plant early under clear plastic, use low tunnels or high tunnels, and the consensus is clear. These practices work.
September is a good month to take a close look at your pastures. Normally we would be thinking about controlling perennial weeds and giving our pastures a shot of fertilizer to boost fall grass growth. But this is not a normal year. Bucks County and most of Southeast PA are currently suffering through a drought, and most pastures have long since dried up. So, what to do?
Managing sweet corn worms is the major pest management challenge for sweet corn growers in mid to late summer. European corn borer (ECB), corn ear worm (CEW), and fall army worm (FAW) all are potential threats to this valuable crop. First generation ECB is the early season threat but CEW requires the most attention from late July until the end of the season. Fall army worm is an occasional pest.
We can grow great edible nuts in PA. There are many other outstanding nut varieties that perform well in Pennsylvania. Each one of these varieties was selected from seedling trees. All it took was for one observant person to recognize that a particular seedling produced outstanding nuts and start to propagate it through grafting. By grafting pieces of the outstanding tree onto other rootstock, the graft grows into a clone of the tree that it came from.
The Web Soil Survey (WSS) is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and provides free access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. The WSS is a Web application that provides customers (producers, agencies, Technical Service Providers, and others) electronic access to relevant soil and related information needed to make wise land use & management decisions. Users can get information on only what they want by highlighting areas on the map and collect information relevant to their land use concerns.
Whether you plan on raising chickens, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, or horses there are some basics that you should know first before taking the jump into production. Keys to success in raising livestock include knowledge of goals, options, and resources. Knowing these key points will help to shape your farm and make it successful in the long run.
For the small or part-time farmer buying a used tractor may be the most practical and economical way to get the power you need without shelling out a lot of money. But, how do you know what to buy and how to make the right purchase? First you need to know what your needs are for the tractor so you can determine what to start looking for.