Good soil fertility means good crops

CW-MR-2-Good-soil-fertility659by Steve Wagner

“The physical characteristics of soil and the biological characteristics are every bit as important as fertility.” This was expressed by Soils Agronomist Mark Kopecky of the CROPP Cooperative during the first day of a two-day agronomy school at the Bird-in Hand Family Inn in Lancaster County Pennsylvania this summer. [Read more…]

Tractor rollovers, overturns and back flips

CE-MR-3-Tractor-rollovers1-by Bill and Mary Weaver

The list of events causing tractor fatalities in Pennsylvania for a recent five-year period is mind numbing in its repetition of rollovers, overturns, rollbacks and backflips, but each statistic represented a tragic loss of an irreplaceable family member or friend. Stunningly, about 70 percent of the deaths could have been avoided if the tractor had been equipped with a roll bar alone, (for folks who won’t wear seat belts), and 99 percent of the victims would still be alive and have escaped serious injury if they had used a roll bar plus a seat belt. [Read more…]

What’s been working for organic farmers?

CW-MR-2-Organic-Farmers585by Steve Wagner

Elvin Ranck, a Mifflintown, Juniata County farmer, says when he started switching from conventional farming methods to organic, it was 1986. Ranck was the lead-off speaker at the two-day Organic Valley/Organic Prairie/CROPP Cooperative ‘Balancing for Profit’ Agronomy School. At that time, he said, he never thought that Pennsylvania would be supporting organic like they are today. [Read more…]

The sport of Coon mule jumping, airs above the ground for mules

CM-MR-43-3-coon-mule-jumping-1793by Hope Holland

The first day of the Howard County Fair in West Friendship, MD dawned as an oddly cloudy day with patches of sun that didn’t waste much energy on heating this 6th day of August. Howard County Fair week has a history of fitting as many different types of weather as it can into one week, so it was a relief to have it cloudy and not too hot for the Coon Mule Jumping class. [Read more…]

Government and Industry Day Luncheon honors retiring Ag Progress Days Manager, Bob Oberheim

CEW-MR-32-2-Gov't-and-Industry-day376by Jon M. Casey

This year’s 41st Ag Progress Days was held Aug. 16 to 18 at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center in Rock Springs, PA featured more than 500 exhibitors and event demonstrations. At the Government and Industry Day Luncheon on Wednesday the 17th, more than 700 alumni, agricultural industry members and local, state, and federal governmental officials met to hear updates on the progress that has been made in state budgetary improvements since the 9-month impasse that took place during the 2015-2016 fiscal year. [Read more…]