The blue dye doesn’t lie

CM-MR-1-BLUE DYE1by Bill and Mary Weaver

“We have to manage soil nutrients and irrigation together, because the two are intertwined,” stated Dr. George Hochmuth, Professor at the University of Florida, whose research focuses on developing Best Management Practices for plant nutrient use to protect water quality. “A grower can do a visual demonstration of this simply by injecting blue dye into his irrigation system along one row. Turn on the irrigation and watch where the dye goes.” [Read more…]

Stepping Back

CEWM-MR-2-PA-REDDING_0369by Steve Wagner

The Honorable Russell Redding, PA Secretary of Agriculture was officially welcomed at the PA FFA Association 28th State Legislative Breakfast where he was the keynote speaker. His appearance at this gathering afforded Redding the opportunity to meet and greet lawmakers and farm association leaders, as well as executive vice presidents, many of whom he has worked with before. Five years ago, Redding served for a year as Ag Sec, filling out the term of Secretary Dennis Wolff, who wanted to return to farming and international agricultural genetics. After that year of service, Redding became Dean of Agriculture at Delaware Valley College. “The best thing was stepping back from the department, being tested by students on what it is that this industry can offer, where there are opportunities and bring that back,” he said, adding “It gave me a fresh perspective to look at the job as Secretary and the industry that I am so honored to represent.” [Read more…]

Biological controls for common pests on edible crops

by Katie Navarra

Leanne Pundt, Extension Educator for University of Connecticut at the Litchfield County Extension Center, shared strategies for biologically controlling pests common to herb and vegetable bedding plants during the annual Bedding Plant/Nurseryman’s Education Day and Tradeshow.

A variety of “good” bugs can be used to control “bad” bugs in a greenhouse to limit the need for chemical pesticides and reduce crop loss. There are several types of pests that can be used as part of a biological control program. Learning about each beneficial pest and subspecies is critical to success. [Read more…]

Retail Farm Market School

CM-MR-3-RETAIL-FARM_0306by Steve Wagner

“Fruit and vegetable produce are living, breathing organisms,” says Penn State Extension Educator John Berry, adding, “We do not handle produce like a baby kitten; we are very rough with our produce.” Berry is largely responsible for the course he teaches, called Retail Farm Market School. The day-long seminar held at Yoder’s Farm Market in New Holland PA, offered insights to crisping and trimming, sanitation, food safety, food borne illness and handling produce. Attending this workshop were several people who were already in the business of farm marketing and were looking for ways to upgrade their operations; others came who were thinking about getting into it. [Read more…]