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? Continue reading
LOTTSBURG, 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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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. Continue reading