Start Farming Blog
Between the effects of weather, public policy and consumer variation, risk is omnipresent in agriculture. It is important for farmers to understand how to manage risk for greater reward when participating in the local food systems.
FSMA, GAPs, Farm Food Safety: these terms are getting tossed around a lot in the agricultural media these days. As a beginning farmer, you need to know what these terms mean, understand how your farm operation may be affected by these new regulations and market standards, and be aware of your role in keeping fresh foods safe.
Cover crop benefits and considerations from recent PASA conference workshop lead by Charlie White, Penn State Extension.
When most Americans envision a farm pictures of lush pastures, fields of ripening crops, and fat grazing cattle come to mind. Yet for the small percentage of Americans actually operating a farm, the images are not always as picturesque. Farmers today face numerous challenges such as high input costs, soaring land prices, and economic uncertainty, just to name a few. One group that has especially felt the pressure of these challenges is beginning farmers. Without years of experience this group can be particularly vulnerable to risk.
During the season everything is a rush. This winter take some time to calibrate your equipment so you have more precise sprays and seedings in the spring.
If you are considering or already raising chickens for egg production on your farm Penn State's Ag Alternatives provide some important considerations.
The Seed Farm's intensive organic vegetable training program includes 500 hours of training on our 45-acre farm in Emmaus, PA, and 100 hours of formal workshops and classes.
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.
Harvested vegetables are living systems that age with time. As a grower, your goal is to slow down the aging process. To do that, you need to understand, and manage, four natural processes: respiration, transpiration, ethylene production, and chilling injury. Proper cooling is the first step, followed by maintaining the optimum temperature and relative humidity (RH) for each vegetable.
For a beginning farmer, making economic decisions may be a stressful task if accounting records and financial statements are not available. The use of spreadsheets and computerized financial records help farmers relax while making a plan.
In the vegetable world you might be starting to wind down. Take a little time to take notes now while this season is fresh. It is too easy to forget important changes you want to make on the farm by January when you sit down to do your orders and make your plans.
A new website developed by Penn State Extension specialists is designed to be a one-stop resource for those seeking information on the Health Insurance Marketplace, which was created under the federal Affordable Care Act.
There are many types of tree nuts that grow in Pennsylvania, especially in the southern and eastern parts of the state. If you’d like to grow nuts to add to your product selection, you are more likely to be successful with a little planning and careful selection of the types of nuts you plant.
Farm Credit's Amanda Ramer explains how to find an ag lender and what they look for.
Iowa State Ag Economist Michael Duffy describes important factors to consider if you are getting started in farming by inheriting the farm.
Interest in regards to small grain growing is rising on small farms for several reasons. Historically, winter wheat, rye and winter barley have been grown in this region of the state for grain production, straw, “green-chopped” for forage and then ensiled, or a cover crop and killed early in the lifecycle.
Can you believe it? Fall is almost upon us and as we enter into the fall season, sheep producers should begin to prepare for the breeding season. This includes some general steps for both rams and ewes. A few weeks spent preparing for the breeding season can result in more lambs next spring.
With the growing season at its peak, it's hard to believe that the "down" season is just a couple months away. Use that slow season wisely to continue your farming education with a selection of 12 online courses. Registration is open now and some courses fill quickly, so be sure to check them out soon!
Feed costs are the major cash expense in any sheep operation. Keeping feed costs low while still supplying the necessary nutrients to keep the flock healthy should be the goal of every shepherd.
The last thing on your mind right now, in the midst of a harvest season, might be soil fertility. At this point you either planned correctly for crop needs or are suffering the consequences. But, it is also an excellent time to asses nutrient needs and begin to build soil fertility.