Keeping honeybees healthy has become a challenge for beekeepers. One main reason is a threat that has been wiping out bees since the late 1980s: the varroa mite. But one beekeeper in PA might have a solution: raising bees that demonstrated a unique, mite-fighting grooming behavior.
It’s the time of year when many growers are figuring out what varieties to include in their strawberry orders. For an impartial view of the performance of some of the newer cultivars, here are the first harvest year results from a matted-row trial at the Penn State Horticulture Research Farm at Rock Springs.
As the true winter season approaches—officially arriving on December 21st at 11:48 PM EST, it might be good to look back on this year’s growing season. There have been extremes of temperatures and moisture the past two years.
Apples are a long-lived perennial crop, thus most fruit farms have several blocks of trees that vary in age and size. Many orchard enterprises have adopted intensive (≥518 trees per acre) orchard systems over the past 25 years. However, blocks of larger semi-dwarf trees at medium density still exist on many farms, and often these blocks still have a significant role to play in the orchard enterprise.
The spotted lanternfly has now been found in one additional municipality in Berks County; an additional township in Montgomery County and has appeared in parts of Bucks and Chester Counties. The additional quarantined municipalities include Boyertown Borough, Berks County; Douglass Township, Montgomery County; Milford Township including Trumbauersville Borough, Bucks County; and South Coventry Township, Chester County.
Firewood is an important source of heat for many Pennsylvania residents. As the weather turns colder, a lot of folks are gathering firewood for the winter. Unfortunately, firewood is also an important source of invasive problems, and moving it around can spread damaging insects and diseases. You should use local firewood as much as possible.
Growers can get a jump on fungal and bacterial disease management for the 2016 season this fall. A review of tips to manage apple scab, fire blight, peach leaf curl, cherry leaf spot, bacterial canker, and fungal fruit rots are discussed.
Broad mite (Polyphagotarsonemus latus) has been a pest of tropical, subtropical and greenhouse crops for over a century, and has been problematic for pepper growers in PA for the last couple of years. Now we can add blackberries to the list of crops that they frequent.
The Penn State Extension Horticulture, Start Farming, and Pesticide Education Teams have produced three new videos on integrated pest management practices for sustainable establishment and management of apple orchards.
For years we have all heard the landscape green industry say that "fall is for planting". As orchardists, we should consider that fall is a very good time for applying weed control materials.
Zeus Prime XC is a new product from FMC Corporation with a new active ingredient that has not been used in tree fruit before. Currently it has a supplemental label for use in apples that have been established for at least 3 years—similar to the time frame for Alion.
The National Center for Farmworker Health has created a guide for agricultural workers that describes benefits under the Affordable Care Act. The guide is in English and is available for sharing.
The demand for local hops is creating a renewed interest in growing hops. A team of Penn State Extension Educators and Specialists recently received funding from the US Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block program to study hops.
Not only insecticides but also some fungicides and herbicides are harmful to bees. The following are some general guidelines to protect bees from pesticides.
Chris Walsh and Mike Newell, University of Maryland, report that there is an increased potential for internal browning and breakdown in 'Olympic' Asian pear fruit. Growers are advised to harvest ‘Olympic’ one to two weeks earlier this year to minimize consumer complaints and ensure adequate storage life.
Penn State is teaming up with establishing farmers to help new farmers become more profitable, productive, and sustainable. With funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher project the Penn State Start Farming team is offering study circles, courses and “Models for the Future” demonstration plots.
Luminaires, Luminaires, Luminaires
Spotted wing drosophila is present just about anywhere we look these days—even in berry fields where fruit is no longer present.
Penn State Extension, in cooperation with University of Vermont Extension and Rutgers Extension has developed energy-saving resources for Northeast farmers. The information is now available at E-Extension and includes information specific to tree fruit production.
Diversified farming means we have to be experts in the production requirements for each of the products we produce. On top of that, we need to be able to have a market for each product. How we plan to sell our products is just as important as deciding how we will grow them.