How does a plant pest whose existence was not chronicled before 1858 in England, cross the Atlantic Ocean 158 years later to land on a farm in Lancaster County, PA? That is the travel history of the allium Leaf Miner. This pest, native to Poland and Germany, first spread across Europe into Turkey, Russia and Asia during that time span. “One possibility is someone bringing garlic over,” says Penn State Extension Specialist Tim Elkner. “The pupa might have been down amongst the cloves. Certainly, it could have been brought in with leeks or onions. It’s just that this is not typically the kind of thing that would be transported around. Probably it was not an insect — most likely a group of them in order to start the population. You need male and female in a bunch, so it might have been like an infected shipment of garlic or something was sent over.” [Read more…]
When it comes to making hay, Clayton Geralds doesn’t pretend he can advise anyone how to grow hay, but he’s willing to talk about what works for him. Although Geralds grows hay in central Kentucky, the terrain and growing conditions are similar to those in the mid-Atlantic region. [Read more…]
Dairy producers who use pasture-based systems want to see healthy animals with good growth from the start. One aspect of managing cattle on pasture is managing their internal parasites.
Penn State extension veterinarian Dr. Robert Van Saun says that although internal parasites haven’t been a problem for most dairy herds in the past, they’re becoming more of an issue. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parasite management. [Read more…]
by Tamara Scully
The dairy industry has been selectively breeding for specific traits for many years. Yet even today, it finds itself in need of new genetics, such as those for polled animals, or for producing milk on pasture. Some traits which selective dairy breeding has focused on have included: birthing ease; ketosis; mastitis and lameness.
“We can’t lose that to get new genetics,” Jen Burton, Veterinarian for Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative, speaking at the recent NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference, said. [Read more…]
Beginning farmers can range from those just embarking on their passion after years of work outside of agriculture to younger adults choosing to farm for a living; those who happen to own enough land to qualify for reduced taxes or other incentives. No matter where on the spectrum a producer fits, keeping land in active agriculture is a benefit to everyone. [Read more…]
Ten years ago, a tick was a tick. They crawled onto a dog, perhaps hitched a ride on your pants leg and then latched onto your scalp. Moms became experts at finding and removing ticks after kids played outside.
“The tick climbed up to the top of your head, and you’d feel the bump,” said Dr. Tom Mather. “Your mom would remove it because she had pointy fingernails. And no one got sick.” [Read more…]
Ben Weikert has seen nearly every side of beef production possible. He started with beef projects as a young 4-Her, and he competed on a collegiate livestock judging team as he pursued a degree in animal science. He and his brother Owen have developed an elite herd of show cattle and have served as judges at numerous livestock shows. After receiving a master’s degree and serving as an extension agent, Ben is now working toward a PhD in agricultural leadership, and has some tips for youth who plan to show cattle this season. [Read more…]
Managing manure on a dairy farm can be challenging, especially with ever-changing regulations about when, how and where to put it.
Dr. Robert Graves, Penn State professor emeritus of Ag and Biological Engineering, says that methane digesters are a good option for handling manure on some dairy farms, but producers should be well informed about what a digester does, the cost of establishment and upkeep, and how to keep a digester healthy. Graves added that having an on-farm digester means that the farmer must acquire skills in wastewater treatment, electric power and organic materials management. [Read more…]