Start Farming Blog
Forty aspiring grape growers filled the room at this week’s intensive new grape grower workshop. Read on for tips and start-up realities from Penn State Extension’s Mark Chien and Texas Agrilife Extension’s Fritz Westover.
July 1 is the sign-up deadline for farms to voluntarily register. This is very important to get farms included that were not the 2007 survey.
Do you ever wonder what your peers are doing better than you? Are they controlling their input costs better than you? Do they have greater outputs per unit? How do their gross margins compare?
During recent visits to area potato fields I am starting to see leaf hoppers, Colorado potato beetles and flea beetles. The wet weather has also created favorable conditions for early and late blight. If you have not started already, it is time for at least weekly walks of your potato fields. Here are some things to look for.
An Egg Safety and Quality Assurance Training is being offered in Lancaster County on Thursday, June 7 to educate egg producers on the new "Egg Safety Rule" requirements the FDA is implementing on July 9, 2012 for producers with more than 3,000 laying hens. Small egg producers are also encouraged to attend. Also, small (less than 3,000 hens) and medium (3,000 - 50,000 hens) farms are encouraged to participate in a USDA study which will identify Salmonella risk factors on farms.
For centuries, farmers have been developing innovative ways to solve problems or inconveniences within their operations. Farm Hack is an opportunity to put inventive minds to work providing sustainable solutions to on-farm problems.
One of our new vegetable growers brought this insect to the Lehigh County Extension office this week. A large population of adult beetles ate about 50 % or more of the foliage of his young blue lake green beans. This is the first year the field has been in vegetable production; previously it was a hay field.
Whether it’s a few backyard chickens for eggs or raising meat birds for profit on your farm, interest in raising poultry continues to grow in popularity. To help folks understand what it takes to raise healthy and productive birds, Penn State Extension’s Start Farming program offers an intensive four week course in small scale poultry production
The On-Farm Energy, Organic and Seasonal High Tunnel initiatives are available in all 50 states, the Caribbean Area and the Pacific Basin. Also, the Air Quality Initiative is available in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (as well as other Western States).
Hillsborough, N.J. - A new program designed to provide a helping hand for beginning farmers is set to debut in the coming year. The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) is launching an incubator farm on Duke Farms in Hillsborough that will create a network of solutions to a complex issue – too few beginning farmers and not enough access to farmland. The goal is to once again make small-scale farming a viable profession in New Jersey.
Twenty six aspiring and beginning farmers gathered in West Chester on Saturday, April 21 for the Breaking the Barriers: Access to Land, Capital, and Equipment workshop co-presented by Penn State Extension and Pennsylvania Farm Link. Our gracious presenters shared their presentations for those who were not able to attend the workshop.
PASA's Land Leasing Program Debuts New Website - Reprinted with permission from the PASA Passages Newsletter Number 95, March/April 2012 Edition. By Ann McGinnis, Eastern Region Program Assistant
Row cover, a spun fabric-like material can be used to protect from the frost, and keep bugs out. It also speeds up spring plant growth.
At a recent Breaking the Barriers: Access to Land, Equipment and Capital workshop sponsored by Penn State Extension and Pennsylvania Farm Link, Good Work Farm owners Sarah Edmonds and Anton Shannon described how The Seed Farm, an agricultural business incubator in Lehigh County, has helped them start their new farm business.
The above normal temperatures this spring has sped up the maturity of the hay fields. Unfortunately the dry weather has stressed them as well and limited their height. Although the crop appears short and not near harvest stage, some forage species are nearing heading, we are beginning to see heads emerge from orchard grass as of April 24th. Alfalfa is also approaching bud stage, which is an indicator of mowing to achieve the best quality forage.
In the tradition of SAITA in PA, and CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) programs throughout the US, Greener Partners is excited to announce the creation of the new Tri-State CRAFT chapter. Tri-State CRAFT offers a vibrant mentor network of established farmers dedicated to enhancing the educational opportunities for apprentices and new farmers in our region.
Beginning and experienced farmers alike are becoming more and more creative in the ways they finance their farms. Many farmers throughout New England are engaging their family, friends, and neighbors to support their local food source through community supported farms. Capital acquired through these agreements can be used for needed land and equipment purchases or everyday farm expenses which may not otherwise be possible.
Acquiring land is one of the top three barriers for beginning farmers. Leasing may be the best option for farmers looking to expand their operation and do not have the capital to purchase land.
Beneficial insects do a lot of pest management naturally, with little help from us. Many people are interested in having populations of beneficial insects inhabit their fields, high tunnels and greenhouses.
Fifteen participants from Southeast Pennsylvania and New Jersey attended the three-class workshop on grazing in Berks County. The program, which helps farmers transition their farm to a grazing operation, has been offered in Berks County since the early 1990s.