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Dairy goat production is an alternative livestock enterprise suitable for many small-scale or part-time livestock operations. Some dairy goat producers have been successful in pasteurizing goat milk and building an on-farm jugging business, while others have ventured into processed milk products for retail distribution, especially specialty cheeses and yogurt. The potential also exists for selling milk to processors, usually on a regional basis. Although fluid milk and processed products are important markets, dairy goat producers should also consider the potential for selling animals to hobbyists and youth involved in vocational agriculture livestock projects.
Susan Schoenian is an Extension Sheep & Goat Specialist at the University of Maryland's Western Maryland Research & Education Center in Keedysville. She has put together an extensive listing of Ethinic Holidays that may be useful to consider while you create or expand your marketing plan for your lamb and goat meat.
As corn harvest progresses, don't overlook corn stalks as a feed resource for your beef cattle.
To reduce apple scab risk for next season, growers are encouraged to spray a fall application of urea as close to leaf drop as possible. Prune out fire blight strikes now while they are still visible on the tree to prevent cankers from overwintering. For those battling bacterial canker, copper applications are recommended since autumn is an optimal time for high bacterial populations. Additional disease management strategies are also discussed.
The changing of the color of the leaves and the advent of falling temperatures at night along with pumpkin, broccoli, potato and apple harvest signals to me that cooler weather is just around the corner. Having worked many years with irrigation systems and drip irrigation systems in particular, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to share with you some tips on winterizing irrigation systems so that your system will be ready for next spring.
The growing season has come to an end and I imagine you’re happy it is over too. However before you go into hibernation for the winter, take advantage of the dry fall we are experiencing and pull some soil samples. Fall soil sampling has a number of advantages.
Think about who your ideal CSA member is. Find them and keep them.
Pennsylvania crop farmers know that farming has never been a more complicated enterprise. Countless decisions must be made concerning variety selection, crop rotation, soil fertility, irrigation, weed control, insect and disease management, harvesting, marketing the crop, and labor, not to mention complying with associated regulations along the way. How can a busy farmer keep up?
So, you want to be a dairy farmer. Maybe you grew-up on the farm and are taking over ownership from your parents or grandparents, maybe you have worked on a dairy and milked cows for years, or maybe you're a novice to dairy farming but think dairy farming seems like a lifestyle for you. Whatever your background and experience, there are some things you need to know before you get started milking cows.
Cover crops can help improve soil quality, save manure nitrogen or fix nitrogen for the following crop, supply rescue forage and can lead to improved ground and surface water quality. Cover crops have a host of benefits, but there isn’t a single species that does it all. You need to determine what your goal is for your field and select a cover crop species that will do that.
You dream of being a farmer. You love working outside, growing your own food, and being your own boss, but then reality sets in. The time commitment, the loans, and the pressure to produce suddenly make starting a new farm seem like a crazy idea.
Herd Health is absolutely a prime example of the age old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Many times a producer does not consider or appreciate the value of a true year-round herd health program until confronted with a difficult calving season or an unacceptable level of calf loss from health challenges.
Penn State Extension provides updates on Tree Fruit insect and disease as part of the Fruit Times. Here is a few of the highlights.
Spotted Wing Drosophila is a new invasive fruit fly.
People are concerned about the effect pesticides have on wildlife and the environment. Specifically, there is a lot of discussion about the role pesticides play in the decline of pollinators; both honeybees and wild insects.
Purchasing equipment in the beginning years of a business is a daunting task! There are so many options, and so many ways to farm. Equipment is a huge time saver, however, it can be hugely expensive, and sometimes extremely frustrating. How do you negotiate what to buy in the first years of a business? Have a researched plan. Try it out. Stick to a budget. Stay flexible.
Recent humid wet weather is the perfect environment for plant diseases. Make sure you are familiar with problematic diseases, are receiving notifications when they are close by and are protecting your plants.
Care for yourself and valued employees during times of potential heat stress. Personal safety and a job well-done are important considerations.
Due to the wide diversity of genus and species among cut flowers, managing weeds often requires different approaches depending on the specific weed, specific flower or woody stem, time of year and level of weed infestation.