Dr. Lewis Jett, West Virginia University, recently gave a talk at the Western Pennsylvania Vegetable and Small Fruit Seminar on the topic of four-season head lettuce production. Dr. Jett has been researching how growers in West Virginia can produce top-quality bibb- and romaine-type head lettuces during spring, summer, fall and winter using high tunnels and other protected growing practices. Dr. Jett's findings and recommendations, summarized in this article, should be applicable for many growers in Pennsylvania.
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. Our goal is to establish recommendations cultivar selection and integrated pest management strategies.
USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program just released a new publication entitled Organic Transition - A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs. It is available as a free pdf or as a book for $16.
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.
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 two new videos on integrated pest management practices and soil health.
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.
Have you considered growing chickpeas? Chickpea consumption has increased dramatically in recent years. Hummus consumption alone has increased about 5% annually over the past ten years. This trend is expected to continue.
In an experiment at the Russel E. Larson Agricultural Research Farm we have alternaria leafspot and head rot on the leaves and heads of fall broccoli planted. It’s a common late-season disease.
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.
In our continuing series on scouting and identifying insects in high tunnels we’ve been scouting for insect pests. We also scout the high tunnels to see what natural enemies of these insect pests are present.
On another bright and beautiful day on the road we headed up to Susquehanna county in northern Pennsylvania to link up with Tom Maloney to visit 4 Seasons Farm Market. 4 Seasons Farm Market is a 143 acre farm owned and operated by Tina and Gerald Carlin.
On an overcast day we headed to Millerstown in Perry County to meet up with Darryl Dressler and visit Raccoon Valley Farm. Farmer Lester Brubaker and his family moved here from Lancaster after purchasing the 150 acre farm. Most of the farm is planted to field corn and soybeans. Nine acres are devoted to vegetables, strawberries and mums. This is the Brubaker’s first year growing vegetables.
Spotted wing drosophila is present just about anywhere we look these days—even in berry fields where fruit is no longer present.
We recently spent an afternoon with Larry King of Harvest Valley Farms in Valencia, Pennsylvania. Larry grows vegetables on 160 acres with his brother Art and nephew Dave.
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.
Continuing dry conditions throughout the state are hastening the decline of pumpkin vines in many fields. This raises the question of when pumpkins should be cut from the vine, and how best to store them through October. Ruth Hazzard of U Mass Extension wrote the following article on this topic a couple of years ago. If you are asking yourself whether it is time to harvest pumpkins or not, take a few minutes to review this excellent discussion on harvest timing and postharvest handling of pumpkins.
If you are considering using a pesticide, it is important to make sure you are in compliance with Pennsylvania law.