Show hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 4 through 11 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 12
PITTSBURGH, PA - A new stink bug with attitude is heading toward Pennsylvania.
As if farmers and homeowners haven’t been bothered enough by the brown marmorated stink bug that landed in Pennsylvania in the late 1990s, a smaller but equally pesky bug is making its march toward the state’s border, experts say.
The Megacopta cribraria, known as the kudzu bug, has an armor-like shell and a beak for ripping into plants and feeding on legumes, particularly soybeans.
They can swarm but not feed on other plants such as grapes, wheat and corn, according to researchers at North Carolina State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Science.
Ears of corn, that is.
While farmers have struggled to plant and harvest crops and dry out their hay for baling, the wet weather has been favorable for corn.
“Our sweet corn crop is very good this year,” said Scott Simmons, co-owner of Simmons Farm in McMurray. ”A kind of year like this I’ll take anytime for corn.
Editor’s note: We here at Roy’s Rants fully support any Buy Fresh Buy Local program!
York County Buy Fresh Buy Local invites you to learn more about the home grown goodness York County has to offer.
Miller Plant Farm will host the Tastes of York event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 15 with sample goods from local vendors and musical entertainment.
BFBL is about supporting local farmers and growers and helping consumers to un derstand the importance of buying locally grown foods and how to find those local growers.
“Nutrition is tied to freshness. Why buy some thing that is shipped when you can find fresh food grown right here in York County?,” Dave Miller said.
The proceeds from Tastes of York go to sup port Buy Fresh Buy Local and to help pay for the food guide for this year, he said.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Honey bees, which play a key role in pollinating a wide variety of food crops, are in sharp decline in the United States, due to parasites, disease and pesticides, said a federal report released on Thursday.
Genetics and poor nutrition are also hurting the species, which help farmers produce crops worth some $20 billion to $30 billion a year.
Honey bee colonies have been dying and the number of colonies has more than halved since 1947, said the report by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture Department.
The decline raises doubt about whether honey bees can fulfill their crucial role in pollinating crops that play a role in about one-third of all food and beverages sold in the United States, the report said.
It’s not only the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation but it’s probably the only place to see square dancing tractors.
It’s the 97th Pennsylvania Farm Show, all set to run Jan. 5-12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg, where (among other things) two teams of two callers and 16 drivers will maneuver their tractors around the Large Arena in time to music.
It’s just one entertaining attraction during the eight-day event, which will feature some 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.
This year’s Farm Show theme is “Made in PA. It makes a difference,” a motto designed to drive home just how big a role agriculture plays in our lives and how it is driving the state’s economy.
“Fresh” and “local” are buzzwords used by marketers to promote everything from organic produce to fast-food sandwiches.
But the Buy Fresh Buy Local network is distinct from Madison Avenue marketing. It is a grass roots movement aimed at encouraging consumers and businesses to buy foods grown and produced in their immediate regions.
Linda Aleci is the chair of the Buy Fresh Buy Local steering committee in Lancaster County. The network’s state coordinator is the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture, and its national coordinator is the FoodRoutes Network.
Aleci is an associate professor at Franklin & Marshall College and an affiliated scholar with the college’s Local Economy Center.
For just over a quarter-century, Farm Aid has used pop music to try to help fix some of the problems in American agriculture: the disappearance of family farms, the corporatization of food, and the widening gap between producers and consumers.
The nonprofit organization will bring its annual fundraising concert to Hersheypark Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 22, to once again share its message in a very public way. Performers will include founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, as well as Dave Matthews, Animal Liberation Orchestra, Kenny Chesney, Jack Johnson, Pegi Young & the Survivors, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real.
The show came to Pittsburgh in 2002, and organizers say they are excited to be bringing it back to Pennsylvania.
“We looked at Hershey before,” said Carolyn Mugar, Farm Aid’s executive director. “It’s right in the middle of some the best farm country in the region, and the size is perfect. We’re going to change out all the concessions to be homegrown and regional, and it is really going to feel like the venue is ours that day.”
ST. LOUIS – A deepening drought in the nation’s farm states has cut further into this fall’s harvest, with farmers now expected to pull from their fields the lowest corn yield in more than a decade.
But American farmers are still expected to produce their eighth-largest harvest ever, and while there’s sure to be a rise in prices at the grocery stores, there’s little risk of a failed harvest that would lead to shortages on the shelves.
The U.S. Agriculture Department predicted the nation’s biggest harvest ever in the spring, when farmers planted 96.4 million acres of corn – the most since 1937. But it cut its estimate a month ago and again Friday, saying it now expects the nation to produce 10.8 billion bushels, the least since 2006.
Editor’s Note: This is a good awareness story during Farm Show Week!
JEFFERSON TWP., PA - Will Keating looked at the depleted hay stockpile in his barn and thought about the impact on his dairy farm.
“It will cost us another $15,000 to $18,000 to get through the winter,” Mr. Keating said as his herd of 38 milking cows lounged in theMountCobbbarn. “The hay took a big hit and quality is down. It’s very frustrating.”
Drenching summer rainfall severely diminished production of forage crops, such as feed corn and hay, on many regional dairy farms. Months after the record-setting rains ceased, the shortfall forces dairy farmers to buy hay and feed they would not need after a normal growing season.
“My hay crop was the worst I ever had,” said Joe Davitt, a Waymart-area dairy farmer. “It’s going to cost me probably $2,000 a month to feed my cattle. In a normal winter, I don’t have any added expenses.”
Considering the earthquake, tornadoes, flooding, drought, excessive heat and stink bugs, York County‘s apple crop could end up having a banner year. Many fruits and vegetables did not fare well this summer with the erratic weather. However, the apple crop has been unaffected. The rain has kept the stink bugs at bay. One York County apple grower referred to her crop as “tremendous”.
Adjoining Adams County is the number one fruit producing county in the state. Experts fear that climate change could limit apple production to the northern counties of Pennsylvania by mid-century.
Who would have ever thought proximity to Route 422 would be a litmus test for a good corn crop? Certainly not I. However, that is the case in Berks County. Farms south of 422 are in good shape and farms north of 422 are suffering.
July’s above normal temperatures, coupled with a lack of rain has caused tremendous damage to corn crops in Berks County located north of 422. Farms south of 422 received more rain and the clay-like soil holds moisture better. Most farms in Berks County do not use irrigation to water crops.
Berks County is not the only place where the corn crop is doing poorly. Nationwide it is estimated that corn yields will be down 40 percent! This translates into higher prices at the supermarket for you and I!
Another casualty of the heat has been milk production. Cows do not like heat (sounds familiar) and when they are hot they eat less and produce less milk!
The School District of Lancaster maintains a 21-acre vacant lot across from Wheatland Middle School. A Lancaster City resident, Ben Weiss, would like to turn 10 of these vacant acres into farms and a garden. Weiss runs two organic farms in Mount Joy and Millersville.
Weiss would actually farm five acres, four acres will be available as “incubator plots” for other farmers and the last acre would be devoted to a community farm and garden.
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This project is a 4-H educational outreach program of Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The program was initiated by Dauphin County cooperative extension to address the specific needs of urban and inner-city youth.