The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Team, in cooperation with growers and other extension educators from the Mid-Atlantic region, have put together 3 days of cutting-edge educational sessions to help producers prepare for a successful 2015 growing season.
Penn State Extension is looking for host sites for demonstrating best management practices and helping beginning farmers succeed. Be a ‘Model for the Future’!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, improve grazing and forest lands, conserve energy, enhance organic operations, and achieve other environmental benefits.
Agricultural businesses and pesticide applicators in 18 counties can dispose of unwanted pesticides safely and easily in 2015 through the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s CHEMSWEEP program.
Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is a new threat to Pennsylvania and the United States. Experts are still learning about this threat to agriculture in Pennsylvania and the United States and how to combat it.
Another pest that has flared due to BMSB sprays has been San Jose Scale (SJS). SJS is a relatively easy pest to control with many different control options added in the last 10 years. Paradoxically, it is a pest that is better prevented than cured.
Pennsylvania is fortunate to have large amounts of water to support agriculture but farmers also use irrigation. According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, since 2007 irrigation use has expanded in the state to over 4500 farms and about 39,000 irrigated acres.
Spotted Lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, is a new threat to Pennsylvania and the United States. It lays egg masses of 30-50 eggs wherever there's a flat surface -- meaning that many home items easily transported can pack this pest and help it spread quickly.
On November 3, 2014 the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced the discovery of a new invasive insect species, spotted lanternfly, Lycorna delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae). This new species of fulgorid hopper (i.e., planthoppers), also known under the name of spot clothing wax cicada, is native to China and South-East Asia where it has one generation per season. Both nymphs and adults are known to feed on wood (sap feeding) of multiple tree species including fruit trees and grapes. The Pike and District Township areas in Berks County PA are currently under quarantine regulations to stop the spread of this new invasive insect pest.
To reduce apple scab risk for next season, growers are encouraged to spray a fall application of urea as close to leaf drop as possible. Prune out fire blight strikes now while they are still visible on the tree to prevent cankers from overwintering. For those battling bacterial canker, copper applications are recommended since autumn is an optimal time for high bacterial populations. Additional disease management strategies are also discussed.
The key to preventing seeds from rubbing off strawberries is to control powdery mildew before plants become heavily infected.
New apple cultivars are continually being introduced, with some being branded and some restricted. Resistance to apple scab has been a long term goal of some breeding programs. The four cultivars mentioned here all have resistance to apple scab from the Vf gene.
Penn State Extension is offering a series of bi-lingual study circle networks for new, young and minority farmers exploring or starting a career in horticulture. The first session is Saturday, December 6, 1 to 4 pm at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville, PA.
Pennsylvania apple and peach growers have until November 20, 2014 to apply for crop insurance on next year’s crop. Current policyholders who wish to make changes to their existing policies also have until November 20 to do so.
The Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Production website now includes a link for interactive budgets that may be used to calculate pro-forma or year-end actual budgets for many orchard enterprises.
Local soils and climatic conditions favor the production of apples with the highest fruit quality, which has been a competitive advantage for the Mid-Atlantic fruit industry over the years. There is a growing interest among consumers for hard cider, and during a January 13th workshop, producers exploring alternative markets for apples will learn how to establish a hard cider orchard and also important considerations for cider production. Register early as space is limited!
Everything we have previously learned about economics and business management must be applied on our farms. From conversations with farmers we believe this is the challenge for today’s farm managers and leaders. The difference in profitability of the top 20% and the bottom 20% of commercial farms continues to grow every year. Even the best and most successful farm businesses have issues. “
The changing of the color of the leaves and the advent of falling temperatures at night along with pumpkin, broccoli, potato and apple harvest signals to me that cooler weather is just around the corner. Having worked many years with irrigation systems and drip irrigation systems in particular, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to share with you some tips on winterizing irrigation systems so that your system will be ready for next spring.
Do you question your skills when discussing “hot” agricultural topics with others? Are your media statements Ag Literate? Lori Connelly, Penn State, and Dr. Richard Stup, AgChoice, address this topic on Monday January 26 from 1 to 4 pm at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center. The Penn State Extension Young Grower Alliance hosts this workshop for growers of specialty crops.
Penn State Extension of Lehigh County is pleased to announce a workshop devoted to helping farmers assess and choose marketing methods. Those interested in direct-to-consumer sales will learn with experts from Pennsylvania and New York.