Today, EPA is taking action to improve residential safety and reduce risks associated with bug bombs, or total release foggers (TRFs). The Agency is calling for significant changes to their labeling to address the most common causes of exposure incidents associated with TRFs.
Due to a significant increase in adverse incidents, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking a series of actions to increase the safety of spot-on pesticide products for flea and tick control for cats and dogs.
Tips for spring seeding.
Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus shale brings many new questions and uncertainties about the process. We have developed a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ's) and provided answers to these questions here, based on our research and experience.
Proper pasture management leads to high quality, productive pastures that can supply excellent nutrition for horses. Pasture management can be a challenge because of continually changing environmental conditions and fluctuations in horse populations on farms.
The lactating broodmare is one of the hardest working class of horses to feed. The wet mare’s nutrient requirements are greatly influenced by the amount of milk produced to supply the nutrient needs of the foal. Milk yields range from two to three percent of the mare’s body weight per day, so it can be easily seen that nutrient needs are greatly increased.
EPA issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rule Making concerning the initiation of rulemaking to increase public availability of the identities of the inert ingredients in pesticide products.
An interdisciplinary team of 12 Penn State and USDA-ARS researchers and educators were awarded the 2009 USDA NESARE Agroecosystems grant to evaluate cropping system strategies that can produce the forage, feed and fuel for an average-sized dairy farm in Pennsylvania. The team is testing the hypothesis that a well-planned cropping system can minimize off-farm inputs and environmental impacts, and be productive, profitable and sustainable.
Misha Moschera, a graduate student in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, shares her path to sustainable agriculture and the work she is doing to build sustainable local food systems in low-income communities.
Penn State Extension is partnering with several organizations to launch Pennsylvania MarketMaker, an online tool to connect buyer and sellers within the food industry. The tool provides access to free, in-depth marketing information to help farm and food business owners find markets for their products throughout Pennsylvania and other participating states.
Organic cucurbit growers face two main challenges, managing insect pests and using organic nutrient sources. Researchers at Penn State are investigating innovative strategies to manage cucurbit problems more sustainably through a multidisciplinary approach that integrates key components of pest management and soil fertility. The goal is to optimize promising strategies which apply to organic cucurbit production throughout the eastern United States.
In the “three-legged stool” of sustainable agriculture, the environmental leg often receives the most popular and academic attention. But in order for farmers to operate in ways that are ecologically sustainable, they must also consider the economic and social implications of their farm management practices. The employment and management of hired farm workers raise critical questions for small-scale farm operators with regards to the economic viability of their farms as well as the social sustainability of their practices.
On Friday, February 12th, there was standing room only as Jim Crawford, owner of New Morning Farm and president of Tuscarora Organic Growers, presented the spring semester Sustainable Agriculture Seminar organized by the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and co-hosted by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. In addition to his seminar, “Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative: Twenty years of helping small growers compete in a big market,” Crawford visited with students, faculty and staff to discuss his 38 years of experience as an organic farmer.
As winter nears its end, warmer days and cold nights signal the beginning of maple syrup season.
To date, Penn State Extension has participated in over 350 programs and presentations in 60 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania as well as surrounding states. This article describes the types of programming conducted by Penn State's Marcellus Education Team.
A new publication on maple syrup production is available in Penn State's Agricultural Alternatives series and SARE has released several new books including the 3rd edition of Building Soils for Better Crops, Crop Rotation on Organic Farms, and Youth Renewing the Countryside.
Two Penn State groups recently received funding for programs to support new farmers through the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. In southeastern Pennsylvania, a team of Extension Educators is launching a program called "Start Farming" which will bring courses, workshops, and expert assistance to new farmers. The Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network is using a peer learning approach to offer programs on business planning and marketing, sustainable production and value-added processing, and stewardship of air, land and water resources.
Increasingly, Pennsylvania farmers are using cover crops to limit erosion from fields, control weed growth, fix nitrogen in the soil, feed livestock and produce biomass for energy. But depending on an agricultural producer's needs, all cover crops are not created equal, according to Bill Curran, a professor of weed science in Penn State's Crop and Soil Sciences Department. To help farmers determine how best to integrate cover crops into their operations, Curran and colleagues Eric Nord and Rich Smith, both postdoctoral associates, and Matt Ryan, a doctoral degree candidate in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, recently published a new fact sheet titled "Suppressing Weeds Using Cover Crops in Pennsylvania."
What is in a seed? Some may answer germ or starch; but others, such as Tim Mountz , president of Happy Cat Farm, would answer culture. Mountz inherited a mason jar filled with beans of every color from his grandfather. “It was just that last little connection with my grandfather that I had,” Mountz recalls. Mountz’s grandfather had grown the beans, saved them, and now years later his grandson would attempt to grow the same beans his grandfather had sown. Mountz didn’t have experience with gardening like his grandfather had, but he did have determination to not lose his cultural link.
As someone with an abiding interest in sustainability standards and certification, I was excited to see that the Food Alliance had a session planned at this year’s PASA conference. The Food Alliance began in 1994 in the Northwest region, where it is well-recognized and has a very strong presence. It more recently moved into the Midwest, and is only just beginning operations in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.