Fall snow and ice storms are especially damaging because the leaves on many trees have not yet fallen. Faced with toppled trees, split trunks, and damaged limbs, the urge is to do something -- to salvage the damaged trees. Do not act too quickly.
Pennsylvania agriculture continues to change. The number of farms that produce agricultural commodities such as milk or most grains has been falling for a number of years. Commodity items tend to be made into processed products and sold at large retailers and restaurants. Some consumers prefer these foods. However, other consumers place strong value on traits such as how or where the food was produced. Some also simply prefer to support their local farmer. This creates a very real market opportunity for smaller-scale farmers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is warning consumers to beware of unscrupulous vendors who may market ineffective and unregistered products or services that claim to disinfect surfaces or entire rooms against the H1N1 influenza virus. In the current flu-conscious climate, heightened anxiety about the spread of the H1N1 virus has bred false claims in the marketplace.
As winter settles in over Happy Valley, the PSU Community Garden is wrapping up its first and very successful season. Located on the grounds of the Center for Sustainability (CFS), the garden has been a joint project of the CFS and College of Agriculture student volunteers. The garden is now a permanent part of the CFS masterplan and will compliment the MorningStar solar home as a show piece for sustainability on the PSU campus.
Our programs target ponds and lakes that range from an impoundment on a farm of less than an acre to a small private lake of many acres. The one thing these ponds have in common is that they all somehow are connected to nearby streams or groundwater aquifers.
Penn State offers a wide range of courses related to sustainable agriculture for undergraduate and graduate students. From across several majors and departments, here are a selection of course offerings for the Spring 2010 semester.
Agriculture in Pennsylvania relies upon insects for crop protection and pollination. Unfortunately, many of our crop production practices can have unintended negative consequences for some beneficial organisms and the valuable agroecological services they provide. Given the recent decline in managed honey bee populations, many growers in Pennsylvania are now looking for alternative ways to ensure pollination of their crops. One way that this can be accomplished is by providing or improving habitat for wild bees.
Researchers are strapping small solar-powered satellite transmitter onto the back of Ospreys to monitor the bird's location, within a few hundred yards, for the next two to three years.
As an old saying goes, “without some sense of direction, you can wind up anywhere.”
It doesn’t take a lot of cows to make biogas from manure. The real question is how does the capital and management cost of a digester fit into your farm business and management situation?
Nutrition has many effects on the health of the calf and improvements must be considered to reduce the high incidence of morbidity and mortality as found on dairy farms around the world.
Shrink is defined by Kansas State Extension Specialist Michael Brouk as the amount of feed delivered or grown on a farm that is never consumed. Brouk estimated that shrink may account for 5 to 30 percent of feed purchased.
Thousands of hunters who took to Pennsylvania's woods and fields for the archery antlered deer season opener last Saturday may have unintentionally poisoned the state's deer herd.
By Charlie White, Extension Associate
By Kate Butler, Program Coordinator, Agroecology Major
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program of the USDA recently announced its funded projects for 2010. Twelve projects were funded in Pennsylvania for a total of $536,000.
At the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s Farming for the Future Conference this past February, there were no doubt a lot of people in attendance who were inspired by the growing enthusiasm for local and sustainable food systems to pursue farming as a business and livelihood. But would-be growers often encounter two seriously intimidating entry barriers to making a go in farming: access to the land and capital that starting a farm venture requires. Fortunately, opportunities in urban and peri-urban environments may offer a way around these barriers and a path towards viable, small-scale agricultural enterprises.
By Rich Smith, Penn State Weed Ecology Lab
By Paige Arthur, Secretary, Sustainable Agriculture Club
By Ron Hoover, On-Farm Research Coordinator and Sjoerd Duiker, Soil Management Extension Specialist