Cover crops can play many important roles in cropping systems that are well recognized: preventing soil erosion, enhancing soil carbon, reducing drought stress, suppressing weeds, minimizing nutrient runoff and providing supplemental forage. Despite these advantages, the establishment of cover crops is often limited by the late fall harvest of the corn or other crops, which leaves little growing season for a functional cover crop to become established. The cost of cover crop seeding can also be an issue with the expense of an added trip across the field and seed costs keeping some crop producers from using the practice. With increasing needs to limit nutrient runoff and leaching into the Chesapeake Bay watershed, a growing desire to harvest corn stover, and an increasing need to develop strategies for increasing forage production on livestock farms, there is a critical need to develop technologies that overcome the issues with cover crop establishment in corn in our region.
Penn State Extension Specialists Gary Moorman and Greg Hoover have updated the Penn State Woody Ornamental Insect, Mite and Disease Management Guide.
Are you noticing damage to spruce and white pine?
Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here. Warm weather provides ideal temperatures for bacteria to grow to dangerous levels and cause foodborne illness.
As I mentioned in a previous blog the new USDA Agroforestry Strategic Framework was unveiled. This is a link to the press release and to the document itself. I see new light in the future of agroforestry. Lets hope this momentum continues.
Great story about agroforestry as a solution to deforestation.
Interesting, so New York decides to wait and see and learn more from PA. As an economist one has to think of the costs of delay. Also, what if you are a landowner sitting on money but unable to tap it. Interestingly we also have more and more calls for a moratorium.
Updated disease infection models for apple scab, cedar apple rust, cherry leaf spot, and bacterial spot are attached.
When it comes to growing field crops, the “airwaves” are full of myths regarding the right and wrong way to farm the land. If we want to farm for the “long run”, certain principles are key.
Deputy Secretary Merrigan, USDA unveiled the new national agroforestry strategy at the North American Agroforestry Conference in Athens GA.
“Wherever you are, you are standing in a watershed and your actions have an impact on the water you drink.” This was the take-home message at the "Link to Your Drink" activity presented at the 2011 PA Children’s Water Festival. The festival, a national event was held on Tuesday, May 24 at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA.
Water Hemlock is a native plant that grows throughout North America and is found near streams or in swampy or wetlands. The toxin is a resinoid known as cicutoxin
Check out the wide variety of sustainable agriculture events organized by Penn State, the Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network, and others.
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, a funding and outreach program of the USDA, recently announced the 2011 awards to farmers, educators, and agricultural community organizations in the Northeast. Pennsylvania will host 12 projects with a total funding level of $406,284. Additionally, Penn State Extension is collaborating with projects awarded to principal investigators based in Vermont and Maryland.
To better protect children, pets and wildlife, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is moving to ban the sale to residential consumers of the most toxic rat and mouse poisons, as well as most loose bait and pellet products. The agency is also requiring that all newly registered rat and mouse poisons marketed to residential consumers be enclosed in bait stations that render the pesticide inaccessible to children and pets.
Computer simulation studies by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests that a dairy cow living year-round in the great outdoors may leave a markedly smaller ecological hoofprint than its more sheltered sisters. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) agricultural engineer Al Rotz led a team that evaluated how different management systems on a typical 250-acre Pennsylvania dairy farm would affect the environment.
The halls of the Penn Stater Conference Center bustled with excited people from all walks of life who came to learn about and show support for sustainable agriculture at the 20th annual Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Conference. I was there to learn about biodiesel and attend the workshop ‘Energy Efficiency & Renewables: Improving Your Bottom Line and the Health of the Environment.’ As I finished my cookies and organic milk, I dodged some fellow attendees and slipped into the workshop room where John Williamson, a farm scale biodiesel producer, was presenting. Williamson’s family business, State Line Farm Biofuels, is located on the southern edge of Vermont and has stirred up a lot of interest in the biodiesel world.
March 16, 2011 is a day to remember in the history of organic agriculture as it marked the start of the first USDA conference dedicated to organic farming. The Organic Farming Systems Research Conference: Exploring Agronomic, Economic, Ecological, and Social Dimensions was the result of a cooperative effort by multiple entities within USDA (ERS, ARS, NIFA, OSEC, OCS) and stakeholder organizations the Organic Farming Research Foundation and the Organic Trade Association. One of the goals of the conference was to bring together research experts and industry representatives from across the country to review the science on organic agriculture and develop a research agenda for the future. The organizers really hit their mark, as the conference was packed with fascinating material ranging from hard data from prominent researchers to real-life experiences from outstanding organic famers.
In late March 2011, the Central Susquehanna Valley Organic Crop Growers Network met over breakfast to discuss tillage and pest management practices. The meeting was hosted by Columbia Co. Cooperative Extension Educator, Dave Hartman, at the Watson Inn in Watsontown, PA. Three members of the network shared presentations with the group about their experience with various tillage and pest management practices.
20 Beginning farmers learned how to remove greenhouse plastic and many other details of Teena Bailey's passive solar set-up at Red Cat Farm. Wendy Gloffke, Penn State Extension Master Gardener, shares some of the day's highlights in this blog from the Mcall.com.