Start Farming Blog
Today you decided that your pigs are up to market weight and you are going to send them off to a USDA inspected slaughter facility so you can sell the cuts from those pigs at your local farmers market. You get the boxes of meat back and you think, “Am I missing a box?” “Is that all the meat that comes back from a 300 lbs. pig?” “How much should I charge my customers?”
There are a number of tools available for selection, but the key is to combine operation goals with production benchmarks and visual appraisal to select the best sheep for your farm.
Consumer interest in garlic and garlic consumption has grown over the past several decades and it remains strong. Gourmet food interest and healthy diet trends are probably a factor. Regardless of the reason, this presents marketing opportunities for growers.
High populations of different flies can have a negative impact on the productivity and profitability of beef cattle enterprises.
Reproduction is the most influential factor contributing to the profitability of a cow calf producer. Poor conception rates will drastically decrease annual revenue of the operation, likely inhibiting profitability. While there are several reasons that contribute to this happening, we need to manage our risk to insure that we give our cows an opportunity to be successful.
Experts aren't sure why Pennsylvania so far has been spared in the outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 avian influenza that has caused massive losses to the poultry industry in the Midwest. But it could be just a matter of time until the virus shows up in the Keystone State.
Land that needs to increase its productivity is a common question and often the temptation by a landowner is to tear up the ground and re-seed it. The land may have been cash rented or the previous owner did little to properly maintain the fertility. Before spending a lot of money on seed, fuel and a lot of time, it’s prudent to do your homework before you do anything to the ground.
Leaf miners seem to be especially noticeable this spring in both conventional and organic fields. If you are seeing white meandering tunnels in your beet, spinach and chard leaves you are not familiar with, read on for management tips.
The large flocks in the western part of the country have the luxury of dealing directly with wool buyers because they harvest enough tonnage to attract a bid. Shepherds in the East generally have small flocks, and, consequently, don’t produce enough wool to interest a woolen mill or wool broker. That’s where Wool Pools come in.
I recently met a farmer who said “I got into farming because I didn’t want to sit in front of a computer!”, and I’m sure she’s not alone. Oftentimes the farm accounting is at the bottom of the list of farm chores. Farm accounting can be tedious and daunting to those who are unfamiliar with spreadsheets, accounting terminology, and computer accounting software.
This spring went from cold to hot and dry. Seed corn maggot, flea beetles, and cucumber beetles are already out and causing problems. Leaf miner has started laying eggs and is likely hatching and starting to mine.
The Penn State Extension Spring Orchard Meetings provide opportunities to tour innovative specialty crop enterprises and hear from fruit specialists who are working on the critical issues facing the tree fruit industry. (free)
Dry spring weather may mean it is time to cut your hay crop.
Cucumbers, Summer Squash, and Winter Squash have a number of serious pests: cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and vine borer. Cucumber beetles also transmit bacterial wilt, squash mosaic virus, increase the incidence of powdery mildew, black rot and powdery mildew. Make sure you use cultural controls to manage these pests from the start!
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture encourages the poultry industry to practice biosecurity measures and stresses the need for vigilance and preparedness in wake of avian flu outbreak. The Department is actively working with industry and government agencies following confirmed positive tests in other states.
Catalan, Spain has a culture of good food, pure delicious olive oil, cured meats, cheeses and wines. Here are some marketing tips from Catalan.
Basic recommendations for keeping packing areas sanitary.
One question prospective beekeepers have is: “Where will I get the bees?” There are four possibilities. Package bees, nucs, swarms and established colonies.
A group of 12 young growers just returned from touring fruit growing regions in Central California. Penn State Extension Young Grower Alliance Network Tours provide experiential training in sustainable production practices and encourage innovation among this next generation of growers.
Mistakes made in planning and planting an orchard cannot easily be reversed. Before establishing a new orchard block, it is important to carefully assess all the factors that will ultimately affect fruit quality and orchard sustainability. Proper planning includes evaluations of business goals, management style, site characteristics, and market potential.