Managing pastures for nutrient and soil retention is in the best interest of producers and the environment. Spring is a great time to evaluate your management techniques; you can learn a lot at this time of year when things look their worst.
Scout your grass forage fields now and treat winter annuals and biennials with a foliar-applied herbicide when they are susceptible. Prowl H2O can now be used for summer annual grass and broadleaf weed control in grass hay and pasture.
Changes in operational structure and programming now underway will enhance the value of Penn State Extension to the Pennsylvania communities and clients it serves, according to leaders of the organization.
When we think of grazing corn we often think of cattle in a green field of corn in the summer or cattle grazing corn stover in the winter after grain was harvested. Another management tactic is to plant corn with the purpose to graze the standing corn in the winter. Plan now to provide corn for grazing for the winter of 2017/18.
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A Bill introducing the Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Act has been introduced to both the House and Senate. The new Act will modernize PA’s noxious weed law by prioritizing invasive plant management based on the ability to effectively contain or even eradicate certain species.
Planting remains one of the most critical steps in setting the stage for good yields. Proper placement of seed creates an environment where timely and consistent germination helps to set the maximum yield potential for a stand.
The use of Precision Agriculture-based decision making to determine fertilizer rates and hybrid types and planting rates is becoming more common. However, with the increased use of Precision Ag and the collection of farm information comes questions regarding the ownership and rights of data.
The Integrated Weed Management Resource Center is a new online tool, maintained in part by Penn State Extension weed specialists, to find weed management information, ask questions, and read timely articles on weed management news.
Trials conducted over three years show that several shorter-lived residual corn herbicides can be used successfully with interseeded cover crops; at the same time the use of longer-lived residual herbicides will likely preclude successful interseeding practices in corn.
Last week, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture approved Xtendimax and Engenia for Xtend soybeans in Pennsylvania. We see opportunity for marestail control in burndown programs, but concerns about off-target movement, sprayer cleanout, etc. suggest that we in Pennsylvania first learn from the experiences of other states and regions in 2017 that need this technology more.
Participants to a listening session on herbicide resistance in Lancaster, PA inspired a productive and insightful discussion on the challenges, successes, and needs going forward for managing herbicide resistant weeds.
The performance of several species of perennial grass is on on-going program conducted at Penn State. There has been tremendous growth in the industry in terms of what is available on the market as more growers realize the value of grasses to their bottom line.
What ended up being a very mild and relatively wet month of January ended on a very wintry note earlier this week, with several inches of snow falling across much of central and northern Pennsylvania. The wintry weather will persist through at least the start of next week.
Recently the Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) worked together to develop consistent, simple, and flexible policy for cover crop practices.
There is increasing concern with sulfur (S) deficiency due to reduced atmospheric S deposition which is reflected in a trend toward lower soil test S levels in all samples run by the Penn State Ag Analytical Laboratory (AASL) over the last 10 years. Research was recently conducted to determine the extent and severity of S deficiency in Pennsylvania.
Are more farmers interested in injecting manure now than previously? Should there be an increase in the interest in manure injection? Both questions will be valuable in helping to determine the future of this practice in Pennsylvania.
When I’m ready to learn about agricultural marketing one of my primary sources is the University of Illinois. This institution has what I believe to be a stellar Ag Economics department with an excellent set of researchers and teachers. Let’s review some of my notes from when I was in the audience the middle of December at one of their Extension events.
Regular liming is critical to good crop production in our soils. However, of all of the soil test results, pH is the only one that is consistently below optimum in our annual soil test summaries for PA.
If you didn’t write it down it never happened; it’s a lesson often learned the hard way. For field crop production, not having accessible records can range from not knowing when a disease or insect occurred to being in trouble with a regulatory agency. Fortunately, there are a lot of good smartphone and tablet apps that are specifically tailored to farm record keeping.
The month of December ended with near seasonal temperatures and above normal precipitation across much of the state (except for the far southeast). As the first full week of 2017 continues, the mild weather that has been observed early in the week will transition to much colder weather for the end of the week and the weekend.