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…]

2014 Virginia Ag Expo draws large crowd on the Northern Neck 

CM-RP-1-2014VALOTTSBURG, VA — More than 1,800 farmers, agriculture industry professionals and interested parties from across the mid-Atlantic gathered at the 2014 Virginia Ag Expo on August 7 at Bleak House Farm, run by the Downing family in Lottsburg.

This year’s theme, “Northern Neck Agriculture: 400 Years and Still Growing” reminds us of the important role agriculture has played in Virginia’s past, while stay mindful of the innovation and hard working farmers that continue to make agriculture Virginia’s largest industry. [Read more…]


CM-MR-4-Yippee3by Sally Colby

Yippee! Farms is big, but there are no expansive modern freestall barns and no double-18 herringbone parlor. None of the barns are drive-through, so mixing feed for the cows and replacement stock in seven locations is a full-time job. Calves are housed simply and bred heifers are raised in barns on several farms. But the 830 milking cows are healthy and well-managed, and consistently maintain a RHA of 29,000 pounds.

How do Yippee! Farms owners Arlin and Deborah Benner do it? By making sure the little things are done right at their common-sense, no-frills dairy in Mount Joy, PA. [Read more…]

Corn rootworms suspected of resistance to Bt corn varieties discovered in Pennsylvania

CM-MR-4-Rootworm1by John Tooker, PSU Entomology Specialist

For the past few years, folks in Pennsylvania have heard reports from midwestern states of continuous corn growers struggling to control populations of western corn rootworms that developed resistance to some Bt corn varieties. Thus far, this problem has occurred elsewhere, with the closest fields with suspected resistance being found in central Michigan and New York, north of Ithaca. Unfortunately, this problem may now have found a home in Pennsylvania. [Read more…]

Lady Antebellum sang as calves were being born

CM-MR-2-Rock0509by Laura Rodley

Where else would you expect to see country music group Lady Antebellum performing and live calves being born on the same grounds, both attended by huge and adoring crowds? At the Delaware State Fair, of course. Lady Antebellum was the musical headliner on Saturday, July 26. Over in the Birthing Center, a crowd of 100 packed into a tent, waiting for a cow to calve. The calving was attended by several veterinarians. In an exciting mixture of agriculture and technology, more than 8,000 people had downloaded an app from the fair website to their smartphones to be alerted when a birth was imminent. [Read more…]