To provide growers with information for successful, region specific, cultivar selection in 2010-11, we evaluated several acorn squash cultivars in a conventional system across the state.
To provide growers with information for successful, region-specific cultivar selection, in 2010-11 we evaluated several types of squash cultivars in conventional and organic systems across the state.
The following report includes general mid-demonstration conclusions, hints from farmers, and experiences from each of seven participating farms.
Every farm has a field that just does not perform up to expectations. Nine farms in Southeastern PA used the Cornell Soil Health Test in 2009 and 2010 to learn more about which soil properties might be holding back poor performing fields on their farms. The soil health tests yielded interesting results. Some results confirmed farmer expectations and provided a catalyst for change. For example, “This is what I might have guessed for that field,” said one farmer, “It is nice to have the experts confirm my suspicions.” Other tests revealed unseen below-ground problems. For all who participated, the project provided a valuable learning tool. One grower stated, “I can honestly say that the Soil Health Study has taught me more than any other class or workshop.” Six of nine farmers acted on their Soil Health results, planting cover crops and monitoring possible benefits. At the remaining three farms Soil Health test results indicated few problems and/or cover crop attempts were thwarted by environmental conditions.
The Best of the Penn State Tomato Trials