For consumers (and some very enthusiastic vendors), this time of year elicits shrikes of excitement and sheer joy as people line up to see which vendor has the early asparagus, rhubarb, or coveted dry beans preserved from fall harvest.
Late winter and the promise of spring brings with it the beginning of new growth. That includes bugs and rodents on the farm. Depending on how well you ventilated during the winter, conditions could be right for a bug bloom of epic proportions that may not be seen until you pull manure or litter out of your housing. The method of integrated pest management or IPM can help reduce the impact of the first few weeks of spring and certainly prior to manure movement from the farm.
This certainly isn’t news to many of you but all too often I see farmers starting to cut grass hay around Memorial Day.
The Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network (PA-WAgN) is launching a women farmer mentoring program to connect established farmers with new and beginning farmers, aspiring farmers, and seasoned farmers. The mentor program will encourage women farmers to support each other through shared learning and exchange of experiences in workshops and online forums focused on five topic areas: fruit and vegetable cultivation, dairy and cheese production, urban agriculture and nutrition, on-farm education and value-added products, and livestock production.
Most farmers would probably say no to that question, let alone become excited or optimistic about such a prospect. In fact, the thought of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration paying a visit leaves a lot of farmers with a dreadful sensation in their gut.
Spring is a key time for disease control. This is especially true for many leaf, needle, and flower diseases, regardless of the type of plant involved.
This year’s machinery custom rates are now available online. Of the 82 rates reported with year-to-year comparisons, 65 increased, 12 decreased, and 5 are virtually unchanged from last year. Overall, custom rates were up 4.45 percent compared to the previous year. Because of the potential variation in size and overall productivity of equipment, a range of reported rates for each job has been included. The range represents the middle 80 percent of all reported rates for each job, thus the lowest 10 percent and the highest 10 percent of all reported values were not published.
It is that time of year again when homeowners and farmers are getting ready to plant their gardens or numerous acres of crop land. Even though planting is still a couple of weeks away, it is important to keep in mind that what you do to the soil now could affect your entire growing season. This is why it is important to maintain your soil’s fertility, which is its health or quality.
The pure white flared trumpets of Easter lily flowers are a time‐honored symbol of the hope, purity and innocence embodied in the Easter tradition. Lilies grow each year from scaly bulbs deep in the earth, a resurrection if you will, to form majestic plants with sturdy dense green foliage and radiant white flowers touched with sweet fragrance.
Make plans now to come out to one of Penn State Extension’s ten cover crop field walks. Penn State’s Crop Management Team has established cover crop trials on dairy farms across Pennsylvania since 2009. At these walks, we will review results from the first two years, and you will have the opportunity to observe the performance of various cover crop mixtures, and interact with peers and specialists. Mixtures of several different cover crops will be highlighted.
Whoever said ‘silence is golden’ was not working on a committee or serving on a board. Silence isn’t golden when a community group is at work. In fact it can be toxic.
New partnership enables farmer to cut processing costs in half.
One of the pleasures of early spring, for a gardener weary of winter, is watching herbaceous perennials emerge from the bare ground, with lengthening stems and unfurling leaves often changing color as they develop into the full-grown plants that will add color, form, and texture to the garden during the growing season.
Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Here are some practical tips when looking to manage pastures this spring.
Moss is one of the first plants to green-up in Pennsylvania lawns during early spring, and many homeowners consider it an annoying weed. This year, moss has made an early arrival, and homeowners are looking for answers on how to keep it from taking over their lawns.
Before farmers start their spring planting in March, they complete their winter planning in February. There is plenty to do on a farm — even when the ground is covered in snow. Pennsylvania was home to 62,100 farms in 2012, according to a report released Tuesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
This meeting will help you prepare for the upcoming pond season. It will help you manage a pond used for recreation, irrigation or a livestock water supply. Get an overview of what happens in your pond, then look beneath the surface of the pond to gain an understanding of your pond’s life cycle. And finally, consider a few basics of the pond structure itself, such as determining the size and condition of the pond. We want you to be able to develop an effective management strategy for your pond. We will explain how to identify weed, discuss weed management options, as well as a provide information about fish and wildlife management.
It won’t keep the doctor away, but you’re almost guaranteed to get a daily dose of conflict if you’re involved in a community organization. How you handle that conflict can make a difference in your organization’s health. And an apple a day probably wouldn’t hurt, either.
To remind us that spring will return, snowdrops poke their heads out of the ground, sometimes as early as Groundhog Day; but they are prettier than groundhogs, smell nicer, and stick around longer, even under a blanket of snow.