Start Farming Blog
Farm record keeping is usually not the reason we became farmers. However, there is much value to be had when we establish a system that not only meets our legal obligations, but also allows us to study and explore how we can become what we want to be.
Last month Gayle Ganser, co-owner of Eagle Point Farm, shared tips to farm market success from good signage to managing customer flow at a meeting for farm apprentices hosted by the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) in collaboration with Penn State Extension, Start Farming.
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.
Whether you are a seasoned, new, or aspiring farmer, there’s something for you in the 2012-2013 line-up of online courses presented by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension. View all 12 courses at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses.
One of the best management tools in an integrated pest management program is using resistant varieties.
Equipment is expensive. But often it can pay for itself quickly if you get the right piece for your farm. We would like to share a few considerations and tips we have learned through a recent equipment demonstration at The Seed Farm New Farmer Training and Incubator Program in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, as well as from our wonderful farmer neighbors and a few good resources.
A new program designed to provide a helping hand for beginning farmers is set to debut in the coming year.
Ever wish you could try a piece of equipment or a new hand tool before you made the purchase? Participants of the Equipment Field Day held on July 25 at the Seed Farm in Emmaus had an opportunity to do just that!
Thanks to receiving funding from the NE-IPM Center, we were able to complete a set of four full-color factsheets on spotted wing drosophila, and they are now available on-line. These fact sheets were written with northeastern U.S. growers of the most susceptible crops (raspberries, blackberries, day-neutral strawberries, and cherries) in mind.
Potato leafhoppers cause varying levels of damage to small fruit crops in different years, and this year we are seeing a fair amount of leafhopper damage to both strawberries and raspberries. In many cases where leafhopper feeding injury is severe, dry conditions cause plant growth to slow down, and damage from the leafhoppers then accrues and symptoms become more severe.
When enjoying ice cream made with tree-ripened peaches at a roadside farm market it’s easy to appreciate the local flavor of a community. However, what may not be realized are the unique partnerships and business savvy it took to get that food from the field to delicious first bite.
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. Secondly you need to plant it at the appropriate time so it has sufficient time to do what it is supposed to do. Cover crops are just like cash crops, they respond well to moderate to high fertility; a field that has low fertility will have a marginal cover crop growth as well. Fields with a manure history are excellent for cover crops.
Finding the right farm property can be a daunting task for a beginning farmer. Landowners looking for someone to lease or purchase their property are also looking for the correct person to take over the land. That’s why Pennsylvania Farm Link has unveiled a new website at www.pafarmlink.org that allows people to enter the Farm Link database online.
The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce a new " On-Farm Poultry Slaughter Guide". Designed to complement a hands-on training in how to properly kill and prepare a poultry carcass for sale, this guide focuses on the critical points for producing a product that is safe to eat. While the publication is written for those in New York, much of the information is applicable in Pennsylvania.
In dry weather like this it is important to irrigate sufficiently if you can. Vegetable crops need an inch to an inch and a half of water per week. So how much is an inch of water? One acre inch of water is 27,154 gallons!
Late summer and early fall is an excellent time to renovate and restore pastures. Often people think a pasture must be totally renovated or made “new” to be productive, when actually they can use restoration techniques. This article addresses the differences between the two management approaches to ultimately have good productive pastures for animals.
Honey bees are in the news almost every week. A condition known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) has drawn attention to honey bees like never before. The public has been reminded of the importance of honey bees in the production of everything from apples and almonds to onions and alfalfa. (It is the onion/alfalfa seed they help with). And, the bee’s plight has struck a sympathetic nerve with many folks. Maybe you’re one of them.
Dr. Kathy Soder, animal scientist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service also known as the Pasture Lab located on Penn State’s campus, joined livestock grazers and aspiring grazers from the Lehigh Valley at the first grazers roundtable. Dr. Soder introduced why grazers opt for the low input system, and ways to be more efficient. Overall, grazers succeed by decreasing input and stored feeds, and increasing forage quality.
If you rely on a backpack sprayer, whether using organic products such as copper or synthetics it is important to choose the right sprayer, calibrate, measure correctly and use the right nozzles. Rutgers has a new set of online videos to help you with this process.