Managing pests of herb and vegetable bedding plants

by Katie Navarra

“Biological control programs use living organisms that are natural enemies of insects to control pests and diseases,” said Leanne Pundt, Extension Educator for University of Connecticut at the Litchfield County Extension Center.

“They do not act as quickly as pesticides, so cannot be used as a rescue treatment. Natural enemies are best used preventatively, early in the cropping cycle, when plants are small, pest numbers are low and pest damage has not yet occurred,” she added.

Biological controls also reduce worker exposure to pesticide and pesticide residues, limits spray damage, requires limited equipment for application and improves plant quality. Integrating biological controls also lengthens the lifespan of effective pesticides used in greenhouses by reducing opportunity for the development of resistance. [Read more…]

Animal care in USDA Research Program

by George Looby

One of the most important of the USDA’s many departments, units or sections is the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) where wide ranges of agriculturally related research programs are conducted. If it pertains in any way to agriculture there is very likely some sort of research going on in that particular area. One of the many components within the ARS is the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) located in Clay Center, NE.

The mission statement of this program is to develop scientific information and new technology to solve high priority problems for the U.S. beef, sheep and swine industries. The research is directed toward problems of national concern and to meeting USDA’s Action Agencies research needs. Research approaches involve multidisciplinary teams with emphasis on both short-term and long-term solutions to improving animal production and product quality. [Read more…]

Farm safety: It’s a daily concern

by Tamara Scully

If you are a farmer, a farm family member or a farm worker, on-farm safety concerns you directly each day. The Center for Disease Control reports that 374 farmers and farm workers died from work-related injuries in 2012. And according to the Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America’s 2015 Agricultural Safety Work Sheet, available at www.ashca.org , the farm, fishery and forest combined work-related death rate is approximately 480 per year. Those numbers indicate that farming is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. [Read more…]

The call of the mud

CE-MR-3-Call-of-the-mud21by Troy Bishopp

DEANSBORO, NY — Jack London said in his classic novel, The Call of the Wild, “There is an ecstasy that marks the summit of life.”

The 2015 Daniel Barden Highland Mudfest held at MKJ Farm in Deansboro invoked a similar joy as runners powered their way through ice-encrusted water obstacles, muddy hills and grueling physical endurance on their way to the finish line in honor of a little boy’s life who tragically will never see a mud puddle again. [Read more…]