A new strain of norovirus, known as GII.4 Sydney 2012, is making the rounds this winter, causing a significant number of acute outbreaks. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it has become the dominant strain, causing more than 140 reported outbreaks in the United States this year. People should try to limit their exposure to norovirus and try to minimize its spread, advised an expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. "There are some important reasons that lead to so many people becoming ill from norovirus," said Martin Bucknavage, extension food safety specialist. "One is this virus' low infectious dose. It is estimated that it may take less than 20 viral particles to make someone ill. Then, there is the ability of the virus to survive on dry surfaces for two weeks or more and in water for months."
Building startup communities is a strategy being used by entrepreneurial leaders to increase the number and success of innovative startup enterprises in their cities and regions. Read on for an overview of building a startup community based on Brad Feld’s “Boulder Thesis.”
Penn State Extension and the Northeast SARE Pennsylvania State Program are hosting a series of webinars during the winter of 2013 to focus on cover crop innovations. Topics in the series will include using winter-killed cover crops to reduce tillage in organic vegetable production systems, interseeding cover crops in standing corn, cover crops for small dairy farms, managing beneficial and pest insects following high-residue cover crops, nutrient and weed management in organic no-till cover crop systems, and managing nitrogen with cover crop mixtures. Here you will find the schedule and registration information for the upcoming webinar series.
This, an odd-numbered year, is when officials such as township supervisor or commissioner, boro council, and school board directors are elected. The Community and Economic Development Team is delivering this program in a few short weeks in many counties. The program in Berks County drew more than three dozen potential local candidates.
Pesticide and fertilizer calculations are not a lot of fun for most people. They can be difficult, confusing, and even scary. But getting the math right when calibrating a sprayer, applying fertilizer, or converting large scale rates into rates for smaller applications is absolutely critical in producing a quality product, maintaining landscapes, and protecting the environment.
When designing a landscape for the spring, summer, and fall, you often include shrubs that have bright colors in flower and/or leaf. Bringing color into the winter landscape, excluding the evergreens, can be difficult.
Droughts occur periodically over much of the United States. In Pennsylvania, severe droughts have occurred more frequently over the past two decades. During droughts, water supplies often become critically low. In some cases, whole communities are either without water or have very limited supplies. Water use restrictions are often imposed on the residents of these communities.
There have been numerous changes in the Commercial Vegetable Production Guide in the last few years as some new products are registered while others are removed. In addition, other products have been added because reevaluation of trial data indicated that they were effective. The following is a brief listing of some of the changes and updates to the 2013 Commercial Vegetable Production Guide. This summary is not comprehensive so not all crops are mentioned here. Also – many of these products have not been tested in replicated trials and therefore comparisons of efficacy with existing labeled fungicides is difficult. Remember to follow all label safety guidelines, rates, resistance management guidelines and tank mix incompatibilities.
Every group has to make them, but too often we put off those pesky decisions. We talk in circles, get bogged down in details, repeat ourselves – all to avoid the moment of truth when we finally decide what to do.
Spring is in the air. “What?” you say, “It is the coldest day of the year.” Well that may be true but as farmers I am sure you are all busy thinking about spring already.
CHEMSWEEP is a program administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) to provide pesticide applicators and dealers with a viable means to dispose of cancelled, unwanted, or unused pesticides. Participation is free if you are a grower, farmer, retired farmer, or private applicator. Participation is also free if you are a pesticide application business or pesticide dealer wishing to dispose of less than 2,000 pounds of waste pesticides. Businesses wishing to dispose of more than 2000 pounds may enroll and will be billed at PDA’s contract price for any amount over 2000 pounds.
If you have not done it yet, now is the time to finish up your crop plan for next year. Soon it will be time to start seedlings and the whirlwind will begin. At a recent CSA day organized by Lehigh County Extension’s Brian Moyer, I shared some tips for crop planning. What follows is a teaser, just the first few steps of the crop planning procedure I put together based on the great crop planning information Josh Volk from Slow Hand Farm recently shared with us. For the full procedure and example spreadsheets click the links below.
USDA Finalizes New Microloan Program Microloans up to $35,000 aim to assist small farmers, veterans, and disadvantaged producers.
Recent hire to the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Heather Weeks featured in Progressive Dairymen Magazine
It is the middle of winter and most likely water pollution, droughts, and groundwater levels are not things that you are thinking about right now. For most people these things tend to be more “warm weather” topics, but should they be?
"Neglect is the worst thing that happens to the horse during the winter months. Most horses are turned out to pasture and we only see them in the dark at feeding time," states Ann Swinker, Penn State Extension Equine Specialist.
In the latest issue of the Journal of Animal Science, researchers at Clemson University and the University of Florida examine the impact of exercise on mare reproductive health and embryo transfer.
A Standardbred racehorse residing in Genesee County, Mich., has tested positive for neurologic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), as confirmed by state veterinarian Steve Halstead, DVM, Jan 2.
Parasite control is an important component of all equine health care programs.
Recent hire to the Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Ximena del Campo featured in Progressive Dairymen Magazine