Agricultural Alternatives

The goal of the Agricultural Alternatives series is to help you evaluate all aspects of a given enterprise before you commit your time and money. Whether you are a full-time farmer looking to diversify or a part-time farmer looking to generate additional income from your property, there are many important issues to consider when selecting a new enterprise.

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Photo Credit: Alyssa A. Collins
Industrial Hemp Production - Articles Articles

Industrial Hemp Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Alyssa Collins, Ph.D., Lynn Kime, Gregory W. Roth, Ph.D., Heather E. Manzo

This publication focuses on growing industrial hemp for either seed or fiber on an agronomic crop farm with a typical complement of tillage, planting, and harvest equipment. More
Table Grape Production
Table Grape Production - Articles Articles

Table Grape Production

Lynn Kime, Steve Bogash

The initial investment for grapes can be high depending on the production method chosen, land preparation, and initial investment in the vines. More
Farmstead and Artisan Cheesemaking
Farmstead and Artisan Cheesemaking - Articles Articles

Farmstead and Artisan Cheesemaking

Sarah Cornelisse, Kerry E. Kaylegian, Ph.D., Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Emily Montgomery

The renaissance of farm-based dairy processing can be attractive, but it is imperative that farmers research and plan all aspects of a new enterprise. More
Golden Delicious Apples
Apple Production - Articles Articles

Apple Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime, Robert Crassweller, Ph.D.

Apples may be grown in many parts of the country and lend themselves well to part-time farming operations. More
Red Raspberries
Red Raspberry Production - Articles Articles

Red Raspberry Production

Kathy Demchak, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

Raspberry production is well suited to small farms, as a small area of raspberries can provide significant income and equipment needs for an acre or so of raspberries are not great. More
Blueberries
Highbush Blueberry Production - Articles Articles

Highbush Blueberry Production

Kathy Demchak, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Blueberries are well suited for small-scale and part-time farm operations. More
Peaches
Peach Production - Articles Articles

Peach Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime, Robert Crassweller, Ph.D.

The life of the orchard is expected to be at least 20 years, so the initial investment may be spread over a longer period of time than many crops. More
Beef Production
Beef Production - Articles Articles

Beef Production

Lynn Kime

Beef cattle is a major industry in PA with over 25,000 farms. More
Boarding Horses
Boarding Horses - Articles Articles

Boarding Horses

Donna Foulk, Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Many people enjoy activities involving horses; however, they don't have the facilities to house their animals. More
Farm House and Buildings
Owning and Leasing Agricultural Real Estate - Articles Articles
Land is the basic resource that distinguishes agriculture from most other types of businesses because it is required for the production of crops and livestock. More
Agricultural Equipment
Managing Machinery and Equipment - Articles Articles
Efficient machinery management means having the right size and type of equipment available to do the job at the right time for the least cost. More
Developing a Business Plan
Developing a Business Plan - Articles Articles
An important task in starting a new venture is to develop a business plan, which is a "road map" to guide the future of a business or venture. More
Drip irrigation of bell peppers
Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Production - Articles Articles

Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Albert Jarrett, Ph.D., Michael Orzolek, Ph.D.

Drip or trickle irrigation is a very efficient method of applying water and nutrients to crops. More
Bedded white-tailed deer
White-tailed Deer Production - Articles Articles
White-tailed deer farming has become an established and growing industry over the past two decades. More
Organic Vegetable Production
Organic Vegetable Production - Articles Articles

Organic Vegetable Production

Elsa Sanchez, Ph.D., Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

Certification and labor costs are high but returns have the potential to be high where markets are well developed for organic products. More
Garlic Bulbs
Garlic Production - Articles Articles

Garlic Production

Thomas Ford, Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Michael Orzolek, Ph.D., Steve Bogash

Garlic is a crop that is well suited to a small acreage or as part of a larger direct marketing operation looking to diversify its mix of crops. More
Beef calf
Beef Cow-Calf Production - Articles Articles

Beef Cow-Calf Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., H. Louis Moore, Ph.D., John W. Comerford

The beef cow-calf business is well adapted to small-scale and part-time farmers who have land suitable for pasture and hay production. More
Potatoes
Potato Production - Articles Articles

Potato Production

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., William Lamont, Jr., Ph.D.

With many varieties and high consumer consumption, potatoes fit well with many small growers and can be marketed through various outlets. More
Asparagus Grower Interview
Asparagus Grower Interview - Videos Videos

Asparagus Grower Interview

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Michael Orzolek, Ph.D.

2:01

Asparagus producer video explaining the benefits and drawbacks of asparagus production. More
Asparagus
Asparagus Production - Articles Articles

Asparagus Production

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Michael Orzolek, Ph.D.

Asparagus is a perennial crop that lends itself well to small-scale and part-time farming operations. More
Beef Cattle in feedlot
Feeding Beef Cattle - Articles Articles

Feeding Beef Cattle

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., John W. Comerford

Beef cattle feeding is possible on small and part-time farms, but the cost of feeding drops significantly as the size of the operation increases. More
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) - Articles Articles

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

Lynn Kime, Kathy Kelley, Ph.D., Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Community-supported agriculture (CSA) is a concept designed to encourage relationships between consumers and growers. More
Christmas Tree Production
Christmas Tree Production - Articles Articles
Carefully plan for the establishment and marketing of your potential Christmas tree crop. More
Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making
Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making - Articles Articles

Budgeting for Agricultural Decision Making

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

The various types of budgets are used for different purposes and this publication provides information covering the most commonly used budgets in agriculture. More
Onions
Onion Production - Articles Articles

Onion Production

Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Michael Orzolek, Ph.D.

Dry onions are a crop that lends itself well to small-scale and part-time farming operations. More
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