Have you noticed how many tall perennials bloom with yellow, daisy-like flowers from mid-summer through fall in fields and gardens in this area? There are a lot of them. They are all U.S. natives, all members of the Aster or daisy family (Asteraceae), and all attract hordes of pollinating bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects, as well as birds when seeds ripen.
A Franklin County raw milk producer has been cleared to resume sales. The state had ordered The Family Cow to halt sales on Aug. 5 after two people who had consumed raw milk from the farm near Chambersburg were sickened by Campylobacter, a gastrointestinal illness that usually clears up without medical care.
Rock Springs, PA. Teens and safety rarely go hand in hand, but the next generation of agricultural producers is proving that safety is an important part of rural work and life. Five teams of 4-H youth from throughout the commonwealth displayed a wealth of knowledge during the Pennsylvania State University Farm Safety and Health Quiz Bowl, held at the 2013 Ag Progress Days on Wednesday, August 14.
Most everyone enjoys fresh flower arrangements in the home, where their colorful beauty adds a delightful touch to any room. Purchased bouquets can add up to quite an expense, but you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy flowers. If you have a garden, you can easily grow your own cutting flowers, but you can also find a plethora of plant material suitable for arrangements in perennial beds and shrub borders around your yard.
This program is for landscape architects, landscape designers, contractors, land planners, municipal officials, and other professionals in the landscape design and installation field.
Millipedes, often called “thousand-leggers,” have been showing up in homes around Cumberland County recently, most likely due to very dry or very wet soil conditions. These wormlike arthropods are common throughout Pennsylvania, and most of the time, they live unnoticed; but occasionally, they may crawl into homes in great numbers, causing alarm and annoyance. Fortunately, they cause no damage, other than being a nuisance, and they don’t live long indoors.
HARRISBURG — Three farms received the Chesapeake Bay Clean Water Farm Award for their efforts to protect the Chesapeake Bay. The awards ceremony was held during the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts’, Inc. (PACD) annual conference on July 15. Recognition is given annually to those farmers who are environmentally conscious in the management of their farm operations and who also exhibit an understanding of the roles we all play in protecting the commonwealth’s waterways.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — As Pennsylvania soybean producers scout their fields this summer, one new pest they should be on the lookout for is the kudzu bug, an exotic stink bug-like pest that is headed toward the state, says Dr. John Tooker at Penn State. “It is much smaller and has an odder shape than your typical stink bug,” says Tooker. Tooker requests that if growers find evidence of the kudzu bugs in their fields, they report their findings to their local Penn State Extension office. This invasive stink bug-like pest, also known as the bean plataspid, was first discovered on kudzu in the vicinity of Atlanta, Georgia, during the fall of 2009.
As certain as the heat and humidity of summer are the questions about tomato problems. So far, I have not seen tomato late blight, although it has been reported in a few areas of the mid-Atlantic region, but blossom end rot and tomato leaf roll have made their annual appearance in home gardens.
Recently I’ve been seeing samples or getting phone calls about some garden pests that are showing up not just in Cumberland County but across the state. The humid and rainy weather, combined with the moderate temperatures of the past few weeks, seems to exacerbate the appearance of garden pests – disease, insect, or weed. Caveat hortus – gardener, beware!
Black walnut trees have been a part of our natural landscapes forever. This native tree grows along streams in moist, rich soils, and sunny locations. They do not tolerate dry sites, often dropping leaves at the first sign of drought. They have a nice canopy, potentially reaching 100’ in height. They provide light shade and yellow fall color. These trees are very valuable, not only for the lumber it provides – often coveted by woodworkers – but also for the necessary food source it provides for our wildlife. There are problems that threaten our native black walnut. A disease - thousand canker disease – has been introduced to Pennsylvania in Bucks County (southeast PA, near Philadelphia). As a result, a quarantine was directed that no firewood, lumber, nursery stock, or scions can be transported outside county lines. This has been a disease thought to be limited to the western part of the country, but is now here as well. “The disease poses a significant threat to the state's $25 billion hardwoods industry. Black walnut trees, which make up less than half of one percent of hardwood trees in Pennsylvania, produce high-valued lumber used in woodworking and furniture-making. The nuts of the trees are consumed by humans and wildlife.” http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/ Symptoms of this disease include yellowing leaves, reduced leaf cover, and flagging of branches and eventually death.
HARRISBURG, Pa. — At one Pennsylvania grocery store chain, customers will know their neighbors supplied the store brand of milk.
Summer covers can add organic matter and nitrogen to soil, provide food for beneficial soil organisms, and help reduce weeds in subsequent cash crops. Keep the soil covered!
As a Pennsylvania grower of fresh vegetables and fruits, you have worked hard to learn about and adopt GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) on your farm and in your packing house. Now that we are moving into peak marketing season, remember those farm food safety concepts when selling your produce at farm and farmers markets. Food safety practices that extend from farm to fork can help prevent foodborne illness outbreaks.
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – Penn State’s Extension Dairy Team has scheduled five “Tools for Teams” webinars designed for members of dairy advisory teams to provide in-depth information on using whole farm and management tools to achieve maximum profitability.
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.