A perfect pest — Palmer Amaranth, a new threat to Pennsylvania agriculture

CM-MR-3-Palmerby Steve Wagner

Woody Sigmin of Memphis, TN is very vocal about Palmer Amaranth, a species of pigweed recently introduced to Pennsylvania agriculture.

“I’m from the Mississippi delta, and believe me, you do not want this plant on your farm!” he said while riding in a canopied wagon with three dozen attendees during the 2014 Farming for Success seminar at Penn State’s research station in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.

Pigweed is not grown in these trial fields, but samples have been brought in. “It’s unbelievable. It is horrible, it is terrible,” Sigmin said. “We have to rotate completely different crops just trying to clean out that one weed.” [Read more…]

A new renaissance

CEW-MR-1-Soil renaissanceby Tamara Scully

Neil Conklin, President of Farm Foundation, NFP, introduced a new movement in today’s agriculture, one which is inclusive of all types of production systems, philosophies, farm sizes, and crops. It’s a movement with one key component — soil.

This movement is called the Soil Renaissance, and it is coming soon to a farm near you. According to Conklin, the movement began to take root after Klaas Martens, a New York state organic farmer, and Bill Buckner, formerly CEO of Bayer CropScience LP and now the President and CEO of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, had a discussion about their passion for soil health. No matter that they had disparate backgrounds. They agreed that soil health is key to a sustainable agriculture, one which can feed the world as the population rapidly grows, climate changes cause havoc, the agricultural landbase decreases, and decimated soils can no longer support food production. [Read more…]

Summer forage tour showcases a variety of warm-season grazing options

CM-MR-3-FieldDayby Karl H. Kazaks

RAPHINE, VA — Richard Clemmer and his wife Becky recently hosted more than 60 people on their farm in far-northern Rockbridge County for a dinner and evening farm tour. On display were a variety of summer forage options they have planted for their 200-cow beef cattle operation.

Attendees came from across the Shenandoah Valley, central Virginia, southwestern Virginia and West Virginia.

“I want to learn some new ideas,” said Kent Shipe of Mathias, WV, explaining his decision to attend the event. “I’m particularly interested in crabgrass.” [Read more…]

Youth demonstrate their skills at the Southern Maryland Invitational Livestock Expo

SONY DSCby Hope Holland

The Southern Maryland Invitational Livestock Expo (SMILE) is the fruition of the collaborative efforts of volunteers from the five-county region of Southern Maryland, University of Maryland Extension staff, the St. Mary’s County Fair Board and The Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission of the Tri-County Council for Southern Maryland. Participation in the Southern Maryland Invitational Livestock Expo is open to youth 8 to 21 years of age from the entire region of Southern Maryland, including Anne Arundel, Prince Georges, and Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s counties, and other counties by invitation. The 2014 show was held on June 21 in Leonardtown, MD. [Read more…]