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2013

Farm$En$E Training To Be Offered In Your Area
December 10, 2013
Are you looking for a farm business management class to help brush up on your financial and production planning skills? Farm$en$e is a finance and production education class for Pennsylvania farm businesses.
Holiday Tree Care
December 10, 2013
Once you’ve purchased your fresh tree for the holiday season, you need to maintain its freshness. Here are some tips to keep your cut holiday tree fresh and safe throughout this festive season
Decorating with Fresh Greens
December 4, 2013
One of our nicest winter holiday traditions is decorating with fresh greenery. Evergreens such as cedar, ivy, pine and holly add a natural look and fresh fragrance to our homes; for many, they represent life everlasting and the coming renewal of spring. Your own landscape is a great place to look for holiday greenery. You may have a variety of materials unavailable at a store, and what you gather will be much fresher. Just remember that you are actually pruning the plants as you gather greenery, so consider carefully which branches you can trim to preserve the natural form of the tree or shrub.
Holiday Tree Selection
December 4, 2013
It’s time to choose the perfect fresh Christmas tree for the holidays. Penn State experts recommend checking the tree carefully before purchasing and taking good care of it after you get it home. The most popular species today are Fraser fir and Douglas fir, and with good reason. Both offer dark green color, needles soft to the touch, that classic “Christmas tree” fragrance, attractive shape, sturdy branches, and excellent needle retention. A tree that holds its needles well means less of a mess in the living room. There are also other varieties of Christmas trees offering different characteristics available at both “choose and cut” tree farms and ready-cut lots.
Winter Guidelines for Manure Management
December 2, 2013
Most livestock producers would prefer to spread manure on their fields in spring and summer when the crops are going to get the most use out of it. However, there are circumstances when manure has to be applied in the winter, such as wet fall weather that kept field conditions unsuitable for manure application and the lack of a large enough storage structure to hold the manure until spring. Because of this, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Manure Management Manual has defined winter application guidelines.
Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh, and Cinnamon?
November 21, 2013
As we head into the festive seasons and anticipate feasting on foods flavored with exotic spices, cinnamon comes to mind as a favorite.
Dining With Diabetes Clip on WGAL 8
November 18, 2013
Dining with Diabetes is a program offered by Penn State Extension. It will help you to understand the important numbers for diabetes management, planning healthy meals, healthy food preparation and physical activity. This class meets for 5 weeks with a 6th class 3 months later. If you have been told you have Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, this class is for you!
New (old) rules going into effect for Farmers Market
November 6, 2013
The "new" guidelines for farmers market vendors in Pennsylvania have been on the books for years, Warren just hasn't been in compliance. Act 106 changed the rules for vendors across the commonwealth and now it's impacting the Warren Farmers Market as well. However, despite only now being implemented, the law took effect in 2011 and those not meeting its standards were violating it. Under Act 106 of 2010, farmers markets could no longer use a blanket retail food facilities license to cover everyone on their site. Individual vendors were required to be treated as individual food facilities and had to follow guidelines as such. Essentially, the law stopped treating the market as a single facility and started regulating every vendor individually.
Food for Profit Workshop held in Dauphin County
October 15, 2013
The Food for Profit Workshop that took place Thursday, October 10, 2013 took you step by step through the information necessary to start and run a small food product business, especially directed at individuals who will be making and packing their products for resale through grocery stores, farm markets, or restaurants.
Free Online Training For New 4-H Stream Team Volunteers
October 10, 2013
Adults throughout Pennsylvania have a new opportunity to become volunteers for the 4-H Stream Teams Program. A free, online training will be held by Penn State Extension to teach interested adults how to form and guide youth in the 4-H Stream Teams Program.
Bagworms
September 12, 2013
Bagworms (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) seem to be making pests of themselves across the Commonwealth. Extension educators across the state have been seeing considerable damage from this native insect.
Washing Pesticide Contaminated Clothing
September 12, 2013
Professionals know how important it is to be careful when using pesticides. We all strive to use the least toxic, effective option, read the label and follow the directions, calibrate, measure carefully and wear the required personal protective equipment.
We Need Your Help Planting Trees!
September 9, 2013
Join Londonderry Township, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, & Penn State Extension’s Greening the Lower Susquehanna Initiative to plant 900 trees along the Swatara Creek. Individuals, families, scout troops, church groups, and school groups are welcome for this fun fall event to kick-off National Estuaries Week. Help us save our streams, rivers, and the Chesapeake Bay in PA!
Fetter and Smith to Receive National Award
September 5, 2013
Stormwater Management Watershed Publications Youth Watershed Education Master Watershed Stewards Program Chesapeake Bay Watersheds FAQs About Us Contact Us Subscribe to Email Updates Extension» Natural Resources» Water Quality» ... » 2013» Fetter and Smith to Receive National Award Share Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on print Fetter and Smith to Receive National Award Posted: September 3, 2013 Penn State Extension Watershed Youth Development Educator, Jennifer Fetter, who is based in Dauphin County, and Extension Specialist, Sanford Smith, who is based in State College, are national winners of the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals (ANREP) 2013 Silver Award in the Innovative Program Category.
Safe Food Handling: to rinse or not...
September 3, 2013
Washing fruits and vegetables is a must as they are grown near the ground where animals, insects and even birds may contaminate the produce. Do food safety experts recommend washing any raw meat before cooking? No, do not wash raw meat before cooking.
Cutting Flowers from the Garden
August 28, 2013
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.
From The Shipping Crate To Our Plate
August 26, 2013
Do we look at our plate and think about where our food comes from or what resources were used to get it there? Probably not that often. But as the world’s population continues to rise, perhaps it will be a thought that creeps into our minds more often as consumers. The amount of agricultural products imported into the U.S. continues to increase each year due to its growing wealthy population and its growing ethnic diversity.
Time to Pull Out the SAAWW
August 13, 2013
As the dry bulb and dew point temperatures increase during summer months a dairy cow’s ability to get rid of excess heat decreases. Heat stress occurs when a cow is unable to get rid of heat she has gained during the daytime. Signs of heat stress in dairy cattle include rectal temperatures above 102.5oF (approximately 1oF above normal), respiration rates over 80 breaths per minute, and a 10% decrease in feed intake and milk production. To reduce the amount of heat produced she eats less resulting in decreased milk production. To minimize the effects of heat stress many dairy producers apply the acronym SAAWW to their systems.
Safe Food Handling in the Home
August 6, 2013
In light of all of the recent reports of foodborne illness, it is important to remember the fundamentals of food safety when you are preparing food in the home. Consumers can do a lot to protect themselves, their families and guests from contracting foodborne illness.
Curried Tuna
August 5, 2013
The StrongWomen Program, designed for midlife and older women, is based on research conducted by Dr. Miriam Nelson of Tufts University. The series of weight-bearing exercise is designed to increase strength while improving bone density to avoid the onset of osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Exercise is not enough. Nutrition plays a major role in aging well. Try this heart healthy recipe, Curried Tuna.
Millipedes Making an Appearance
July 25, 2013
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.
Farm Fresh Directories
July 24, 2013
Farm fresh retailers of Dauphin County will have a new way to attract customers this summer. Penn State Extension of Dauphin County has created a Farm Fresh Directory filled with information from agricultural and local food producers who sell directly to the consumer through on-farm and centralized markets, pick-your-own farms, and roadside stands.
Newville Farm Recognized for Efforts to Protect Chesapeake Bay Watershed
July 19, 2013
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.
Kudzu Bug Threatens Pennsylvania Soybeans
July 18, 2013
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.
Common Tomato Problems
July 17, 2013
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.
What’s Old becomes New Again
July 2, 2013
Freekeh, an ancient grain, is quickly gaining popularity in American grocery and health food stores. Countries in the Middle East, such as Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt have cultivated Freekeh, for centuries. Freekeh, pronounce “free-kah”, is gaining popularity because of its nutritional punch. It may soon replace Quinoa as the grain power food.
Black Walnut Trees
June 18, 2013
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.
Brand May Unstick 'Stranded' Milk Premium
June 18, 2013
HARRISBURG, Pa. — At one Pennsylvania grocery store chain, customers will know their neighbors supplied the store brand of milk.
Be on the Lookout for These Garden Pests
June 14, 2013
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!
Choosing the Best Trees for Your Landscape
June 13, 2013
Well-chosen shade and small flowering trees can greatly enhance the appearance of your home and property. Trees provide shade to cool the environment and screening for privacy. Their beauty can frame the home setting or a view and offer accent points with flowers or seasonal color. Trees are a long-term landscape investment, so it pays to prepare carefully and purchase the best tree every time.
Try a Summer Cover Crop this Year
June 13, 2013
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!
Family Cow to resume production, sale of raw milk
June 12, 2013
Food Safety at Farm and Farmers Markets
June 12, 2013
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.
A New Blight on Boxwood
May 31, 2013
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.
PA Ag Department: Raw Milk From Chambersburg Farm Sickens Five People
May 31, 2013
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.
Strawberries: Here's Where to pick-your-own in the Harrisburg Region
May 29, 2013
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.
Impact of Japanese Knotweed on Our Forests
May 28, 2013
Japanese Knotweed is an invasive plant that is causing increased concern in Pennsylvania.
Boxwood Blight Found in Pennsylvania
May 28, 2013
Boxwood blight was recently detected in a landscape in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Boxwood blight was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2011 in Lancaster County.
May is Egg Month – Enjoy one today !
May 22, 2013
Poultry is one of the largest sectors of the Adams County Ag Community. While 76% of the county’s agricultural, lands are in crops, 68% of farm income comes from livestock and poultry production (2007 USDA Census). In 2007, $84.4 Million dollars of poultry and egg products were sold from the county as compared to the $45.3 Million from tree nuts, fruit, & berry production. With the close proximity to eastern markets and the good balance of animal production and croplands, poultry & egg production works out well in the county.
Uninvited Guests: Spring Insect Pests
May 13, 2013
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.
The Key to Lawn Mower Safety is You!
May 7, 2013
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.
Starting Early on IPM for the Season
May 1, 2013
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.
PA-WAgN Launches Specialty Mentor Program
April 18, 2013
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.
Are You Ready for an FDA Visit?
April 17, 2013
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: A Key Time for Plant Diseases and Disease Control
April 15, 2013
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.
Plant a Mother’s Day Container with Penn State Master Gardeners
April 3, 2013
Penn State Master Gardeners in Cumberland County are hosting a workshop for youth on Saturday, May 4, 2013, between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon at the Penn State Extension office, 310 Allen Road, Carlisle. At this workshop, youth can make and take home a colorful container of flowers and herbs for Mom on Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 12. The Master Gardeners will also help youngsters leaf-print a card to add a special message to Mom and make a decoration to brighten the container.
Dining with Diabetes Afternoon Classes Start Soon
April 3, 2013
Penn State Extension is offering its interactive, informative, and low-cost series of classes on diabetes, beginning in late April. “Dining with Diabetes: A Program for Adults with Diabetes and their Families,” is designed to teach those with type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes how to manage their condition. The set of 6 classes are offered in a social and interactive setting. A new attraction of the classes is that the series is offered without charge for Medicare or Medicaid beneficiaries. For others, the total cost for the first 6 classes is $40.00 for an individual or $55.00 for a family of two. The fee includes all educational materials, lab tests and foods served, with scholarships available, based on financial need.
Maintain the Best Soil for Your Crops by Avoiding Compaction
April 3, 2013
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.
Aquatic Invasive Species Pose a Threat
April 3, 2013
The American Horticultural Society, in its most recent issue of The American Gardener, warned its members to “beware weedy aquatic plants.” Some introduced aquatic plants, such as crested floating heart, have become highly invasive, spreading rapidly in U.S. waterways. Established colonies of these plants can choke out water supplies, hydropower production, native vegetation, and recreational activities; and herbicides and mechanical control measures have had little effect.
Cover Crop Field Walks Planned Across Pennsylvania
March 27, 2013
Cover crop walks are planned at 10 locations this spring across Pennsylvania.
Penn State Master Gardeners Ready To Grow In The Garden
March 21, 2013
“Ready, Set, Grow!” If you are anxious to get outside and start digging in the garden, then don’t miss this informative workshop offered by the Penn State Master Gardeners in Cumberland County. Scheduled for Saturday, March 23, 2013, at the Cumberland County Extension office, 310 Allen Road, Carlisle, “Ready, Set, Grow!” covers vegetable gardening tips and organic gardening techniques to help you have a healthy and productive vegetable garden. This year, the same program will be presented twice during the day, with a morning session from 8:15 to 11:30 a.m., and an afternoon session from 12:45 to 4:00 p.m.
Sustainable Gardening Classes Offered
March 19, 2013
Do you want to learn home gardening techniques that are more earth-friendly and that can save you time and money? Do you want to create gardens and landscapes that are healthy, productive, and beautiful? Are you interested in raising poultry in your backyard? Then join Penn State Extension in Cumberland County for a series of four informal classes on “Sustainable Gardening” topics to be held on April 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2013.
Speak up!
March 19, 2013
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.
Farmer Partners With Butcher to Slash Costs
March 12, 2013
New partnership enables farmer to cut processing costs in half.
Solomon’s Seal – 2013 Perennial Plant of the Year
March 7, 2013
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.
Eat Right
March 7, 2013
Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Looking Ahead to Spring Pasture Management
March 6, 2013
Here are some practical tips when looking to manage pastures this spring.
Moss is Greening Up in Pennsylvania Lawns
March 5, 2013
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.
Farmers Making Their Plans for Spring
February 26, 2013
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.
Heralds of Spring: Early Flowering Bulbs
February 21, 2013
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.
Research Continues on Cover Crop Interseeder
February 21, 2013
EPHRATA, Pa. -- In many parts of Pennsylvania, getting a cover crop seeded after corn or soybeans can be difficult, especially if it gets cold too soon. And while a cover crop interseeder may provide a way to get seed in when a crop is standing, it's not a perfect solution. Greg Roth, professor of agronomy at Penn State, talked about cover crop interseeders Monday during a webinar on cover crop management.
Winter Educational Meetings for Fruit Growers
February 20, 2013
Penn State Extension has nine educational meetings planned this winter for tree fruit growers throughout Pennsylvania. The meetings are designed to address current challenges with the latest research based information
A New Challenge for Growing Flowers in the Shade
February 20, 2013
Last season, we at Penn State Extension started getting calls about Impatiens losing their leaves and collapsing long before frost. The best calls were requests for bunny rabbit control as gardeners thought that rabbits had eaten all of their Impatiens’ leaves. It turns out that we have a new disease, Impatiens Downy mildew, that specifically hits what most of us know as the “Common Garden Impatien.”
Challenges and Opportunities for Obtaining Capital
January 24, 2013
A workshop for young, new, and minority farmers to gain insight into ag loans and business management. Guest speaker is Clark Seavert, Oregon State University Agricultural Economics Professor.
Don't Trash the Farm Show Butter Sculpture!
January 22, 2013
What do you do with a 1,000 pounds of excess butter? The dairy masterpiece will be mushed into manure & other organic waste.
2013-2014 Agronomy Guide Now Available
January 22, 2013
The Penn State Agronomy Guide is designed for easy reading and quick reference.
Mifflinburg FFA and Cumberland County 4-H Top Farm Safety Quiz Bowl
January 11, 2013
Harrisburg – Mifflinburg FFA and Cumberland County Team A won their respective brackets at the Farm Safety Quiz Bowl on Wednesday, January 9, at the 2013 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.
Southampton Teen's Angus Named Champion at Farm Show
January 9, 2013
This is her 4th Farm Show steer!
Winter Manure Application Considerations
January 9, 2013
Winter manure application is probably the most sensitive nutrient management issue that farmers face.
Toss Your Hat in the Ring
January 9, 2013
How to get involved in local government.
97th Annual Farm Show Begins Saturday
January 2, 2013
Theme for the 2013 show is 'Made in Pa.; It makes a difference'