As a general rule, vegetable crops require 1 - 1.5 acre-inches of water per week. Penn State's Elsa Sanchez and Bill Lamont explain how to determine how long to run your drip irrigation system to meet this need.
With the warm weather insects are early this spring. Growers have seen damage from onion, seed corn and possibly cabbage maggot. Onion maggot damage of 10-20% has been confirmed in two fields in the Shippensburg area. Bean seed maggot was confirmed in Northampton County yesterday.
Field and forage crop producers discussed soil testing and analysis at a recent organic crop producer study circle. Take a look at the following interesting tidbits presented by Penn State Agronomist Doug Beegle.
It may seem early to be thinking about summer cover crops. But with many crops earlier than normal this year there may be windows for soil building summer covers.
This season, The Seed Farm will be demonstrating a variety of tillage and weed management techniques and tools as part of our Specialized Equipment for Vegetable Production project.
Tips from Alternative Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (attra.org).
New York State Senate recently voted to add silvopasturing -- raising livestock and poultry in woodlots -- to the state’s agricultural assessment program. If enacted, silvopasturing could provide tax breaks for those raising livestock on land previously not part of the program.
Late summer and early fall is an excellent time to renovate and restore pastures. Often people think a pasture must be totally renovated or made “new” to be productive, when actually they can use restoration techniques. This article addresses the differences between the two management approaches to ultimately have good productive pastures for animals.
Maryann Frazier, Penn State University, gave us an update on bee research at a recent Women in Ag Network workshop at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
Recent hot, dry weather has been favorable for mite infestations. In the last two weeks we have seen mites in tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, strawberries and raspberries. This problem, generally of greenhouses or high tunnels, is best caught early.
Local polenta, wheat, berries, pasta, and flour? Thor Oechsner explained at the recent Penn State Extension Organic Crop Production Tour in the Finger Lakes Region, New York, how he grows a wide variety of crops, not only for feed, but flour, bread, pasta and pastries.
This is a golden opportunity for cover crop seedings. The cover crops help protect soil from erosion, increase its resilience against soil compaction, boost the organic matter content, feed soil organisms, provide some weed control, produce the mulch for next year’s crop, hold and recycle nutrients, and can produce extra forage this fall or next spring. Here are some options:
Seed-bank, that is. The weed seed-bank. Right now, across Pennsylvania, huge deposits of weed seed are being accepted by soil. Stop it now and this will pay dividends later.
Recently I was speaking with a grass fed beef producer in Northampton County and he mentioned that he had heard that access to shade can affect weight gain and thus his bottom line, but was not sure on the research. This would not be surprising, of course, but I thought it would be interesting to look at the data.
Cover crops offer multiple benefits from soil conservation to weed suppression. But it can be difficult to get cover crops planted in time to reap all the benefits. The ideal time to plant fall cover crops is soon -- mid-August to mid-September. Here we will explore a couple of options for seeding cover crops if you cannot use a traditional early fall planting.
In late January I was fortunate enough to hear Dr. Galen Dively of the University of Maryland give an overview of organic insecticides at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Grower’s Conference. Did you miss it? I’ll try to provide a recap.
Mena Hautau Penn State Extension Educator, Berks County, was recently awarded a Sustain-able Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grant to study mob grazing in the Northeast.
The harlequin bug is an important insect pest of cabbage and related crops in the southern half of the United States. Recently it has been reported more frequently in southeastern Pennsylvania. Penn State Extension entomologist Shelby Fleischer and colleagues would like to learn from growers if it and other related true bug species are a problem in your fields.
Today we visited Tim Kurtz in Elverson, Pennsylvania, to take a look at cover crops he planted as part of a statewide trial with Penn State Extension. Researchers hope to find cover crop combinations that do a good job of sucking up excess nutrients that might otherwise contribute to pollution in the Chesapeake and other watersheds and also improve soil quality, reduce erosion and provide supplemental forage. The trials contain crimson clover, annual ryegrass, triticale, forage and grain oats, tillage radish, hairy vetch, and cereal rye planted in various mixtures.
When I ask growers how their season went, it seems like most said – pretty good, considering. There were a lot of challenges this year. Let’s look at a few of the new or more difficult than usual pests and diseases from 2012 and options for organic management.
A summary of a presentation by Tom Ford, Penn State Extension, at the High Tunnel School.
At Penn State Extension’s recent Organic Vegetable Intensive, Paul and Sandy Arnold from Pleasant Valley Farm in Argyle, New York, shared tips on farm profitability.
A summary of a presentation by Dr. Meg McGrath, Cornell University, at the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention.