Start Farming Blog
When it comes to managing fire blight, the first line of defense is good sanitation, which is removing the overwintering source for the bacteria: cankers. Understanding what a canker is, being able to identify them in orchard, the importance of removal, and pruning strategies are discussed.
Revised every two years with input from Penn State faculty members, extension specialists and other consultants, this nearly 400-page production guide provides commercial fruit growers, extension educators, consultants, and others with the newest information on fruit culture, orchard nutrition, spraying, pesticides, storage of tree fruit crops, marketing, and management of weeds, insects, diseases and more.
Unlike some flowering landscape trees, peaches, cherries, apples and pears originated in a temperate climate, similar to our own. They are well-adapted to our climate, even in an el Niño year. Most fruit trees went dormant this fall, and stayed dormant. Fruit trees begin to go dormant in response to shortening day length in the fall. Exposure to freezing temperatures accelerates the onset of dormancy. Although this past fall was warmer than usual, the fruit trees got the necessary signals and went into dormancy.
Research performed by universities is relatively expensive because we have to pay for the considerable infrastructure associated with research, including the salaries of trained researchers and technicians. Recently some growers have expressed a desire to perform their own research to save money.
As producers make their way into lambing and kidding season, it brings to mind replacement selection and which factors to consider in that essential management task. Penn State 4-H Educator, Bob Brown, reviews and emphasizes the importance of weighing in your lambs and kids.
Although the earth is warming as a whole as a result of climate change, the weather is also becoming more variable resulting in early-winter cold snaps, winter thaws followed by extreme cold events, and early spring bloom followed by frosts.
The Ag Entrepreneurship team has developed a series of Learn Now Videos for new, young and minority growers. The goal is to increase next generation skills in identifying appropriate markets for their farm-fresh and value-added horticultural products.
Are you a lifetime farmer, just getting started, or looking to take the leap? Well, this podcast is for you! Whether his guests are discussing employment philosophy or the best techniques for cultivating carrots, his down-to-earth conversations with experienced farmers - and the occasional non-farmer - will be time well spent. The Farmer to Farmer Podcast provides a fresh and honest look at everything from soil fertility and record-keeping to getting your crops to market without making yourself crazy. Check out the Farmer to Farmer Podcast and other fantastic resources for farmers at purplepitchfork.com
“Tracking the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug” shows growers and others how to identify BMSB, why this pest is important in agriculture, and what’s at stake if we don’t stop it. Four new installments bring important new information about integrated pest management or IPM in terms of biological control, monitoring and trapping, and the iconic pyramid traps. These new videos show just how far our team has come in understanding this peculiar and pernicious creature, and why the newly hatching Trissolcus insect, now in the wild, could change the game.
One of the biggest questions a new grower faces is where and how to obtain loans for business start up. Even after the start-up phase, loans often continue to be an essential aspect of business establishment and expansion. No matter who you plan to take your loan from, a review of "The C's of Credit" can help you get organized for approaching your lender.
Evaluating the Body Condition Score (BCS) of individual females in your cowherd will go a long way in determining how you feed your herd during the winter months.
In this article, author Kevin Martin explores the challenges of running a profitable Vineyard, and the key factors to consider when examining where your business stands and where it's headed - Important lessons for agricultural operations of all kinds.
Nitrogen provided by legume cover crops is an important source of fertility for many vegetable growers, but cover crops are also important for recycling nitrogen and building long-term soil nitrogen reserves in soil organic matter (SOM).
Lifetime performance is an often overlooked measurement in sheep operations. Ewes that produce a lamb at a year of age should have a higher lifetime production than a ewe that lambs for the first time at two years of age. However, these young ewes are not only producing a lamb, they are also still growing. So, producers should manage these ewe lambs differently than mature ewes.
It’s the time of year when many growers are figuring out what varieties to include in their strawberry orders. For an impartial view of the performance of some of the newer cultivars, here are the first harvest year results from a matted-row trial at the Penn State Horticulture Research Farm at Rock Springs.
Dr. Lewis Jett, West Virginia University, recently gave a talk at the Western Pennsylvania Vegetable and Small Fruit Seminar on the topic of four-season head lettuce production. Dr. Jett has been researching how growers in West Virginia can produce top-quality bibb- and romaine-type head lettuces during spring, summer, fall and winter using high tunnels and other protected growing practices. Dr. Jett's findings and recommendations, summarized in this article, should be applicable for many growers in Pennsylvania.
Many of the most successful farmers I know are experts at finding and keeping great employees. As a new farmer, managing employees can be a huge challenge. For the first employee you hire it may seem like more time than it’s worth to figure out how to file all the right paperwork, let alone how to delegate effectively.
Healthy soil should be the objective of every farmer. But what is soil health and how can it be improved? In these workshops you will get an overview of the basics of soil health and how to evaluate it, and learn about 14 principles and practices that help to improve soil health. You will receive a copy of the new publication ‘Soil Health in Field and Forage Crop Production’, and be able to observe a live demonstration of the effects of poor and good management on soil health. Soil health specialists from Penn State and USDA-NRCS will be presenting and farmers from your area will explain how they have improved soil health on their farm. Come join us for an exciting exchange of ideas!
Join PA-WAgN for our annual One-Day Networking Symposium as we share through a full day of workshops, panel discussions, networking opportunities, and peer-to-peer information sharing.
The spotted lanternfly has now been found in one additional municipality in Berks County; an additional township in Montgomery County and has appeared in parts of Bucks and Chester Counties. The additional quarantined municipalities include Boyertown Borough, Berks County; Douglass Township, Montgomery County; Milford Township including Trumbauersville Borough, Bucks County; and South Coventry Township, Chester County.