It makes sense to vaccinate most horses now

Mosquito season will begin soon in Virginia and has already begun in some areas. That means it’s time to start thinking about vaccinating your horses against mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Rabies is not a mosquito-borne disease, but it’s a fatal disease that also requires an annual vaccination.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) urges all horse owners to check with their veterinarians for vaccination recommendations for their animals. Virginia only had one confirmed case of WNV (Augusta County) and one of EEE (Suffolk) in 2014, although many other states had a much higher incidence of cases.  [Read more…]

Insect Jeopardy!

CW-MR-1-Insect-jeopardy10391by Tamara Scully

The dozen or more attendees at Penn State Extension’s New Organic Vegetable Producers class — the second class in an ongoing series of five spring and four fall classes offered in the Lehigh Valley — were playing games. In this case, it was a game of “Insect Jeopardy,” designed to insure that they will know if crops are in jeopardy from insect attacks, what to do to prevent pest problems, and how to treat them. [Read more…]

Farmers Market Federation of NY launches its Farm and Farmers Market Websites Program

by Mary C. Gruszka

Running a successful farm business relies not only on technical skills in the field, but increasingly on internet and computer skills, as well as promotion and marketing savvy.

To help farmers and farmers markets increase their web presence and skills to better promote their operations, the Farmers Market Federation of New York launched a new website development program. [Read more…]

GMOs: Distinguishing fact from fiction

By Mary C. Gruszka

Genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms can be controversial subjects. Growers often have to field questions about GMOs from concerned consumers, and it can be challenging to clearly explain what they are and how they differ from traditional cross-breeding.

So it was timely that the keynote speaker at the recent Empire State Producers Expo in Syracuse, Dr. Margaret Smith, Pant Breeding and Genetics, Cornell University, presented a clear and concise overview of genetic engineering (GE), a comparison with traditional plan breeding, commonly grown GE crops, a review of scientific studies on the impact of GE crops and safety, and what to expect in the future. [Read more…]