Ag Progress Days 2014 delivers despite rainy weather

CEWM-MR-2-JonCaseyAPD081by Jon M. Casey

This year’s Ag Progress Days (APD), held Aug. 12-14 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Rock Springs, PA, proved to be just as interesting, exciting and educational as always. Despite steady rainfall on Tuesday and brief showers early on Wednesday, “Government Day,” many of the more than 400 exhibitors found that this year’s rainy start didn’t deter farmers from taking advantage of these conditions to come explore the latest in technology and methods. Even with the rain, indoor exhibitors reported a steady stream of activity most of the day on Tuesday. [Read more…]

Paso Finos

CM-MS-3-PasoFino3by Bill and Mary Weaver

The classy show stallion in the riding ring was moving its legs at a furious pace, but its steps were so small that the horse itself was hardly moving forward. This is the “fino” gait, performed by show horses of the gaited breed Paso Fino.

The scene was Ag Progress Days in Pennsylvania, and the expert rider and trainer in the saddle was Rick Shaffer, of R&S Paso Finos, Somerset, PA.

“This is strictly for show horses and breeding horses,” he said. “You wouldn’t want a show Paso Fino to take you over a mountain. You wouldn’t get anywhere. It’s the gait of a show horse. But a Paso Fino will give you the smoothest possible ride.” [Read more…]

Potatoes and soil health

CN-MR-1-Potatoesby Tamara Scully

Soil health is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in plant health and yield, and is the key to successful non-chemical growing. When the soil structure is optimal and left intact, the soil microbial activity is thriving, and carbon is sequestered, the conditions are perfect for crop production. But what if you grow a crop that requires soil disturbances for planting and harvesting? How can soil health be optimized when the soil has to be disturbed? [Read more…]