High Tunnels provide a great opportunity to extend the season, protect high value crops, improve quality, and reduce weed and pest pressure. As a follow up to High Tunnel Schools being offered this winter, Penn State Extension’s Vegetable and Small Fruit Team and Women in Ag Network are offering a series of on farm twilights. These twilight meetings will give you a chance to talk with growers and see good practices in action. At each twilight the grower will discuss their experiences with high tunnels and a visiting speaker will share knowledge on a special topic.
There have been numerous changes in the Commercial Vegetable Production Guide in the last few years as some new products are registered while others are removed. In addition, other products have been added because reevaluation of trial data indicated that they were effective. The following is a brief listing of some of the changes and updates to the 2013 Commercial Vegetable Production Guide. This summary is not comprehensive so not all crops are mentioned here. Also – many of these products have not been tested in replicated trials and therefore comparisons of efficacy with existing labeled fungicides is difficult. Remember to follow all label safety guidelines, rates, resistance management guidelines and tank mix incompatibilities.
A summary of a presentation by Tom Ford, Penn State Extension, at the High Tunnel School.
On January 4, 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released a draft Produce Safety Rule as required under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2011. This proposed regulation would establish mandatory practices that farmers must take to prevent microbial contamination of fresh produce.
Tomato growers reported a new insect pest this season, the Yellow Striped Armyworm.
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.
December 7, 2012, the Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network at Penn State University (PA-WAgN) hosts a one-day networking symposium at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, PA (Centre County) for new and beginning farmers, potential farmers, and seasoned farmers interested in diversifying their farm operations.
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2012 –U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic growers in the United States sold more than $3.5 billion organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011, according to the results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, released today by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). NASS conducted the survey for USDA’s Risk Management Agency to help refine federal crop insurance products for organic producers.
The Farmers Market Federation of NY and the NY Farm Viability Institute have partnered with USDA Northeast SARE to present a series of webinars on marketing, “Marketing for Profits: Tools for Success”.
The sunset date for sodium nitrate passed as of October 21, 2012.
Penn State's Bill Lamont provides tips for working fields and handling crops after the storm that passed in this Growing Produce article.
The use of sodium nitrate will soon be prohibited entirely in organic production.
The demand for locally grown produce continues to rise in Pennsylvania, providing excellent opportunities for producers to extend their marketing season into the fall and winter. Proper storage management in vegetables such as winter squash, onions and carrots will result in less decay, fewer losses and more high quality product to sell to eager consumers during the cold months.
Social media have become an exciting way to enhance your farm business's marketing activities, allowing you, the owner, or manager, to connect directly with your audience. While a social media presence is almost expected of many businesses, many owners struggle with how to use the various tools to connect.
It’s getting a little late in the season to do much about SWD for this year, but here are some observations that you might want to consider as you make plans for next year.
Penn State’s Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Program Team presents a series of webinars to keep you informed on critical production issues. The series provides convenient access to timely updates in commercial vegetable and small fruit production for extension educators, producers and industry representatives in Pennsylvania and surrounding states.
Registration is now open for participants and for trade show exhibitors for the 2012 Western Pennsylvania Vegetable and Berry Growers Seminar, November 13th, in Butler, PA.