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.

91 Results

List Grid

Beekeeping - Honey Bees
Beekeeping - Honey Bees - Articles Articles

Beekeeping - Honey Bees

Maryann Frazier, Tom Butzler, Lynn Kime, Timothy Kelsey, Ph.D., Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Honey bees can be managed to produce many products, but they are even more valued for the major role they play in pollination of agricultural crops. More
Understanding Your Federal Farm Income Taxes
Understanding Your Federal Farm Income Taxes - Articles Articles

Understanding Your Federal Farm Income Taxes

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

Basic concepts and applications of federal income tax law for farmers. More
Flower Production
Cut Flower Production - Articles Articles

Cut Flower Production

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

The specialty cut-flower business may fit well into a small-scale and part-time farming operation. More
Irrigation for Fruit and Vegetable Production
Irrigation for Fruit and Vegetable Production - Articles Articles

Irrigation for Fruit and Vegetable Production

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

Irrigation often is necessary because of the uneven distribution of precipitation throughout the year, especially during critical growth periods. More
Small-Scale Egg Production (Organic and Non-Organic)
Small-Scale Egg Production (Organic and Non-Organic) - Articles Articles

Small-Scale Egg Production (Organic and Non-Organic)

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

Egg production on a small scale is one of the oldest animal farming enterprises in recorded history. A small investment may yield several years of income. More
Managing Small Woodlots
Managing Small Woodlots - Articles Articles

Managing Small Woodlots

Lynn Kime, James Finley, Ph.D.

Woodlot owners can improve your woods for the future or cause damage from which it might not recover for generations. More
Understanding Agricultural Liability
Understanding Agricultural Liability - Articles Articles

Understanding Agricultural Liability

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

As soon as someone enters your property, whether invited or not, you have some form of responsibility for that person’s safety. More
Maple Syrup Production
Maple Syrup Production - Articles Articles

Maple Syrup Production

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

The production of maple syrup requires access to suitable woodland and many hours of labor within a short season. More
Dairy Goat Production
Dairy Goat Production - Articles Articles

Dairy Goat Production

Robert J. Van Saun, DVM, MS, PhD, Lynn Kime, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Dairy goat production is an alternative livestock enterprise suitable for many small-scale or part-time livestock operations. More
Lamb
Off-Season and Accelerated Lamb Production - Articles Articles

Off-Season and Accelerated Lamb Production

Lynn Kime, Melanie Barkley, David Hartman, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Sheep are ideally suited to small-scale and part-time farming operations in Pennsylvania due to their adaptability and nutritional versatility. More
Elk
Elk Production - Articles Articles

Elk Production

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

Commercial elk farming has seen steady growth because of increasing demand for deer products and minimal acreage requirements for production. More
Tomatoes on the Vine
Tomato Production - Articles Articles

Tomato Production

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

Many marketing opportunities are available for small-scale growers, making it easier for growers to find niche and more substantial markets. More
Spring Lamb Production
Spring Lamb Production - Articles Articles

Spring Lamb Production

Lynn Kime, Melanie Barkley, David Hartman, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Compared to most other livestock enterprises, spring lamb production has lower investment costs and labor requirements, and quicker returns on investment. More
Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe Production - Articles Articles

Cantaloupe Production

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

Cantaloupes are a crop that is well-suited to small-scale and part-time farms and have multiple markets for growers. More
Developing a Roadside Farm Market
Developing a Roadside Farm Market - Articles Articles

Developing a Roadside Farm Market

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., John Berry, Lynn Kime, James Dunn, Ph.D.

Retailing directly to consumers can be a viable alternative marketing strategy and means of increasing profits for many small-scale agricultural ventures. More
Bison
Bison Production - Articles Articles

Bison Production

Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

Bison adapt to a wide range of environments, feed sources, and management systems. More
Dairy Heifers
Dairy Heifer Production - Articles Articles

Dairy Heifer Production

Jud Heinrichs, Virginia A. Ishler, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D., Lynn Kime

In most herds, dairy farmers replace 25 to 30 percent of the herd each year. These replacements represent a significant financial investment. More
Milking Sheep
Milking Sheep Production - Articles Articles

Milking Sheep Production

Virginia A. Ishler, Jayson K. Harper, Ph.D.

A profitable Pennsylvania sheep milk industry needs three components: customers, processors, and distributors. More
Cucumber
Cucumber Production - Articles Articles

Cucumber Production

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

Multiple markets exist for growers with fewer than 5 acres, and many field operations, such as land preparation, planting, and harvesting, can be custom hired. More
Cooperatives
Cooperatives - Articles Articles

Cooperatives

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

Cooperatives are an ancient concept where a group works together to meet common needs. This informal arrangement evolved over time into a business organization. More
Red Deer
Red Deer Production - Articles Articles

Red Deer Production

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

Potential producers will need to be very active in marketing their product and be aware of the special handling requirements involved with deer. More
Watermelon
Watermelon Production - Articles Articles

Watermelon Production

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

There are multiple markets for growers with 5 acres or fewer. Many field operations - such as land preparation, planting, and harvesting - can be custom-hired. More
Beef cattle
Beef Background Production - Articles Articles

Beef Background Production

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

Backgrounding is a beef production system that involves maximal use of pasture and forages from the time calves are weaned until they are placed in a feedlot. More
Broccoli
Broccoli Production - Articles Articles

Broccoli Production

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

Initial investment in broccoli production is relatively low and can be throughout the summer and early fall. More
Pumpkins
Pumpkin Production - Articles Articles

Pumpkin Production

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

Pumpkins are well-suited to small-scale and part-time farming operations. Marketing opportunities, such as wholesale, retail, and pick-your-own, are options. More