Start Farming Blog
Dairy farming requires a large capital investment. Land, buildings, equipment, and cows are expensive and few new dairy farmers have the capital required to purchase everything when first getting started. Extension Dairy Educator, Mat Haan weighs in on two potential options for getting a start in the industry.
Composting and compost provide numerous opportunities for farmers to improve their production systems. Potential income either directly from tipping fees or selling surplus compost, or indirectly from increased production supported by compost-improved soil. Here we share the benefits and drawbacks of 4 compost production methods, as well as 6 straightforward tips for using compost.
Penn State is teaming up with establishing farmers to help new farmers become more profitable, productive, and sustainable. With funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher project the Penn State Start Farming team is offering study circles, courses and “Models for the Future” demonstration plots.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released a "Checklist for Self-Assessment of Enhanced Poultry Biosecurity" and training materials as part of ongoing preparation efforts for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.
If you are considering using a pesticide, it is important to make sure you are in compliance with Pennsylvania law. If you are not sure what you intend to do is legal, make the effort to find out for sure before you get into trouble with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). The rules apply to all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered pesticides, including registered pesticides allowed for organic production.
Soil in high tunnels isn’t exposed to the elements like soil in the field is, and if the plastic is kept on the tunnels for multiple winters, little leaching takes place. Thus, nutrients and salts can accumulate. How much difference does taking the covers off for one winter make?
Diversified farming means we have to be experts in the production requirements for each of the products we produce. On top of that, we need to be able to have a market for each product. How we plan to sell our products is just as important as deciding how we will grow them.
Another Berks County township is quarantined in the fight to stop the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect new to the United States that was first found in the area last fall.
Pennsylvania agriculture is under pressure to reduce nutrient deposition in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Given current nutrient management regulations and restrictions, there are areas in Eastern Pennsylvania where available manure nutrients exceed those that can be applied as fertilizer to local crops. It seems logical that the region of Pennsylvania outside the Chesapeake Bay watershed should be part of a serious discussion for future livestock expansion.
Become familiar with the term "Bud Box"; it may change the way you work your cattle.
Powdery mildew, a warm-weather high-humidity disease, is present in some blueberry plantings. Lowbush, highbush, and rabbiteye blueberries are all affected.
Two of our least favorite fall pests may be consorting together. Warm rains in the spring and now late summer, combined with heavy dews have resulted in medium to high insect and fruit rot activity this fall in berry crops.
Pennsylvania growers understanding the benefits of cover cropping recognize that establishment time is near.
Researchers at Penn State are investigating how solitary and wild bees are increasingly important in the pollination of crops.
Information for Pennsylvanians about the biology of Avian Influenza ("Bird Flu") and recent outbreaks.
As the market demand for more locally grown produce harvested year-round increases, onions are a crop that seems to be receiving a great deal of attention. Season extension and overwintering techniques utilizing plasticulture technology can be applied successfully to growing onions, adding financial value to your farm operation.
A good disease management plan can increase your probability of success for the season. Farmer Anton Shannon and former Extension Educator Tianna DuPont, shared tips for disease prevention, identification and control at a recent field day at one of Penn State Extension’s Models for the Future sites.
Even if it's still hot and muggy out there, now is the time to start thinking ahead. As fall approaches, you can plan to take steps to get your pasture prepared for the winter and ready for a great start in the coming spring.