A new five-part program to help local businesses understand and take advantage of opportunities arising from the development of the Marcellus Shale
Fall is right around the corner, and many plants will come to life through fall color. Fall is the second best time to plant, so why not design a fall garden? Many garden centers will receive fresh stock in the fall months of the year, so you’ll have a great selection to choose from. Consider mixing plants that have fall interest with the plants that you enjoy in the spring and summer. Here are some native plants you may want to try.
When you’re visiting a nature center, local park, or even driving on the highway you often see signs that identify the name of the local watershed that you are in. However, when you return home that same sign doesn’t hang at the entrance to your neighborhood or at end of your driveway. So how do you know what watershed you live in?
A study just released that looks at items not previously considered in the economic impact of natural gas development.
What will it take to restore 50 million hectares (580,000 square miles) of deforested and degraded forests? The latest effort is the Bonn Challenge.
2011 Plat Books can be purchased by coming into the Extension office.
Following 21 4-H and FFA Members received a scholarship check during are 2011 Market Livestock Sale.
eOrganic is a website dedicated to providing relevant information for the organic community based on science, regulations and experience. The web address is http://eorganic.info. Funding for the site was provided by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Integrated Organic Program.
Given that spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has been found in PA, many growers are scrutinizing their berries a little more closely. The main concern is that there could be SWD larvae in the fruit. Blackberries and raspberries are two favorite foods of SWD, and fall-harvested cultivars are the most at risk since SWD populations increase throughout the growing season. However, there are other types of larvae that could be in fruit, including those of fruit fly species that lay eggs in overripe fruit.
I want to write about some present day activities in the City of Philadelphia and some good “old style” extension and applied research that we have been undertaking in the heart of the city under the gaze of William Penn, perched high atop City Hall. As you may or may not know, myself and other colleagues in the department have been working with high tunnels since 1998 when we started the High Tunnel Research and Education Facility located on the Horticulture Farm at Rock Springs, PA.
Farmers 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.
Like many parents, you probably send your children off to school every day with a home-packed lunch that is healthy and catered to your children’s individual tastes. But if that lunch isn’t also packed and handled with food safety in mind, it could wind up making your child sick.
On June 25th, the “Weed Management, Environmental Quality, and Profitability in Organic Feed and Forage Production Systems” project organized a field day in partnership with the Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture Association (PASA) Farm-Based Education program. Almost 40 people took part in the full day of hands-on activities at the Russell E. Larson Research Center at Rock Springs to learn about how short- and long-term management legacies influence soil, weed, and insect populations.
As part of a national initiative to reduce food insecurity, faculty in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will direct a new $5 million project to study whether greater reliance on regionally produced foods could improve food access and affordability for disadvantaged communities, while also benefiting farmers and others in the food supply chain.
Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been awarded a $2.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate how certain cover crops and rotations can improve production of organic commodities. The study's goal is to determine whether diverse cover crop mixtures -- as opposed to a single-species cover cropping -- can enhance ecosystem functions in a corn-soybean-wheat cash crop rotation that produces organic feed and forage, according to project leader Jason Kaye, associate professor of soil biogeochemistry.
“To be a successful farmer one must first know the nature of the soil.” It was fitting that Jeff Moyer, Farm Manager for the Rodale Institute, kicked off his workshop on organic no-till practices with this bit of ancient wisdom from Xenophon's Oeconomicus, written cerca 400 B.C. Moyer was speaking to a packed audience at the 2011 “Farming for the Future” conference of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. If there is one thing organic and no-till advocates have in common, it is a passion for soil health. Of course, deciphering the soil’s mysteries and reconciling them with crop management is no less daunting today than in Xenophon’s time.
On September 16th, the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group hosted Thor Oechsner, owner of Oechsner Farms and founding partner of Farmer Ground Flour and Wide Awake Bakery, as the fifth speaker in the Sustainable Agriculture Seminar Series. An energetic farmer with a good sense of humor, Thor enlightened and entertained the audience with the story of his farm, mill, and bakery.
Twenty organic grain farmers met at Summit Valley Farm in New Holland, PA in July. Part of Penn State Extension's new Organic Crop Producer Study Circle series, the focus was on organic weed management for corn, soybeans, spelt and hay.
In order to look at the possible labor and resource savings Penn State Extension educators, working with growers, laid biodegradable mulch at seven sites in Northampton, Berks, Schuylkill, Snyder, and Bucks Counties. Take a look at what we learned and farmer tips on how to work with biofilms.
Carl Schmidt, a member of the Central Susquehanna Valley Organic Crop Growers Network, has been growing a rotation of alfalfa, corn and soybeans on his organic crop farm in Muncy, PA for decades. Now, after seeing small grain crops growing at a fellow network members farm last year, Carl has added winter wheat to his rotation to break up weed cycles, create a spot for a red clover cover crop, and pursue high-value artisan wheat markets. Carl hosted a twilight network meeting on July 7 at his farm to look at the mature wheat crop and discuss his production strategies for corn and soybeans.