I am waiting for spring to arrive in Happy Valley. April has been a very cool month and from the cow’s perspective probably very refreshing. We finally transitioned from the bag corn silage to the bunk. Both the bunk and total mixed ration (TMR) were sent out for analyses. We had an in-service training scheduled for our Extension Dairy Team and Travis Edwards (assistant manager) and I were conducting a workshop on how to visually appraise forages and interpret analyses reports. So the timing was perfect to send samples out to check the corn silage and TMR, both for the herd and for the educational opportunity.
Pennsylvania is one of several states allowing the sale of raw milk for human consumption. Raw milk is simply milk that has not yet been pasteurized.
There has been a great deal of media attention this year on the mass emergence of Brood II of the 17-year cicadas, an insect phenomenon of eastern North America.
Be patient, strawberry lovers. Local berries - always one of the first signs of summer - are just showing up at some farmers' market stands. They are a little late this year. But the wait promises to be worth it.
Boxwood (Buxus species and cultivars) has a long history of use in American gardens, dating back to Colonial times. Think of Williamsburg, and boxwood comes to mind. For hedging and topiary, it is a plant without parallel.
CHAMBERSBURG -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health has confirmed five cases of confirmed Campylobacter infection in people who consumed milk from The Family Cow, 3854 Olde Scotland Road, Chambersburg. The state departments of Agriculture and Health on Wednesday advised consumers to discard raw milk produced by the farm because of potential bacterial contamination.
Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant that is causing increased concern in Pennsylvania.
Boxwood blight was recently detected in a landscape in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Boxwood blight was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2011 in Lancaster County.
The days are getting longer, temperatures warmer and everything is starting to bloom. Insects and many other creatures are also appearing more frequently as the temperature rises. Often these creatures don’t bother us, but sometimes they can become pests. Use IPM to keep pest problems from getting out of control. Below are some general tips for preventing pests and a few helpful hints to manage some common pests this time of year.
Tired of eating or making the same old thing for dinner? Try something different!
Even though we are well into the lawn mowing season it is worthwhile to review the hazards associated lawn mowers and their safe operation. Each year thousands of injuries are caused by power lawn mowers. Many of these accidents involve children under the age of five years old, and usually result in grotesque injury and/or the loss of fingers, toes, limbs, or eyes.
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.