Start Farming Blog
Equipment is expensive but often 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, PA as well as from our wonderful farmer neighbors and a few good resources. This is the second of three articles.
Meadow and pine vole populations can erupt periodically unless food sources and habitat cover are reduced and their numbers are kept in check. Control of vegetation around tree trunks and regular mowing limit cover and food sources and expose voles to natural predators. Population reduction strategies are applied after harvest before damage begins and before snowfall. To successfully manage deer damage, it is important to monitor behavior and apply controls before feeding or antler rubbing habits are established.
Zaprionus indianus Gupta (Diptera: Drosophilidae), commonly known in Brazil as the African Fig Fly (AFF), is an invasive species recently found in Pennsylvania for the first time. First discovered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in early October in Grape and Tomato Pest Survey traps, it was found immediately after by Dr David Biddinger at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville. Adult flies were found in apple cider vinegar traps used for the seasonal monitoring of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), another recently introduced invasive pest of small fruit crops in Pennsylvania that Dr. Biddinger first detected in Pennsylvania and Maryland in July of 2012.
Tomatillos (Physalis ixocarpa) are in the solanaceae family which includes tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant and peppers.
Beginning farmers who need to enhance their knowledge about organic vegetable production, ecological plant-disease management and soil basics will find useful information in a new series of fact sheets offered by Penn State Extension.
If you are new to farming or thinking of starting your farm next year, soil testing is probably the last thing on your mind. But come winter, when you are doing your planning for next year, you will want to have that soil test in hand. You will need the results to calculate what nutrients to apply and how much you need so you can complete your orders and have your crop plan ready. Fertile soil is the basis for healthy crops, don’t leave it as an after-thought.
The Seed Farm launches four new vegetable equipment how-to videos designed to help vegetable farmers choose appropriate equipment and use new equipment successfully.
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.