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.
Across Pennsylvania, the prevailing hot dry weather has slowed the progression of disease in many fields while increasing damage due spider mites, flea beetle and other insect pests.
Another Berks County township is quarantined in the fight to stop the spread of the Spotted Lanternfly, an invasive insect new to the United States that was first found in the area last fall.
Soil in high tunnels isn’t exposed to the elements like soil in the field is, and if the plastic is kept on the tunnels for multiple winters, little leaching takes place. Thus, nutrients and salts can accumulate. How much difference does taking the covers off for one winter make?
Powdery mildew, a warm-weather high-humidity disease, is present in some blueberry plantings. Lowbush, highbush, and rabbiteye blueberries are all affected.
Producing the greatest quantity of the highest quality tomatoes (peppers too) requires careful attention to production details.
Two of our least favorite fall pests may be consorting together. Warm rains in the spring and now late summer, combined with heavy dews have resulted in medium to high insect and fruit rot activity this fall in berry crops.
In summary, corn earworm (CEW) and/or fall armyworm (FAW) captures are at levels that puts sweet corn at risk. This is occurring at multiple sites, especially in Bucks, Centre, Clinton, Erie, Fayette, Lancaster, Mifflin and Washington Counties.
Researchers at Penn State are investigating how solitary and wild bees are increasingly important in the pollination of crops.
In summary, Corn Earworm (CEW) captures are spotty but above threshold in Bucks Lancaster Lycoming and Schuylkill Counties. Lancaster County has dramatically high populations. Fall Armyworm (FAW) populations are also being captured throughout the state, with notable captures in Blair, Centre, Clinton, Erie, Fayette, and Lycoming Counties. European corn borer (ECB) populations appear to be insignificant.
As the market demand for more locally grown produce harvested year-round increases, onions are a crop that seems to be receiving a great deal of attention. Season extension and overwintering techniques utilizing plasticulture technology can be applied successfully to growing onions, adding financial value to your farm operation.