Clowdis brothers try their hand at organic tobacco

CM-MR-2-Clowdis-1bby Karl H. Kazaks

SAXE, VA — It’s been several years since the Clowdis brothers raised tobacco — and this year was the first time they grew organic tobacco — but Zach and Rob are glad to be growing leaf again.

“I like it,” said Zach. “We used to raise dark tobacco. Organic is more labor intensive — everything has to be hand-pulled — and there’s a whole lot more paperwork.”

“We never used the bunk barns before,” said Rob. “We’re still learning.”

Knowing when to adjust the temperatures in a curing barn — not letting it get too cold and sweat, not letting it get too hot and scald — “takes a while getting used to,” Zach said. “I go more by feel than anything.” [Read more…]

Farmers, beware!

CM-MR-2-Beware1165by Steve Wagner

Pennsylvania State Representative Mindy Fee is wrapping up her first term in the General Assembly. In those two years she has tattooed her dynamic presence on the hearts and minds of her constituents. Born with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy and ideas, Fee fittingly was assigned at the beginning of her term to the House Agriculture Committee and came up with the notion of periodic Farmer’s Breakfasts at a restaurant in Manheim, PA. The breakfasts are sponsored by Penn-Ag Industries. [Read more…]

Manure management system evaluation

CEWN-MR-2-Manure1by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Livestock manure used to be considered waste. Today, landowners have many choices for handling manure using traditional waste storage structures, on-farm manure application and innovative manure management and treatment systems. The manure management needs and local regulations are unique to every farm. [Read more…]