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How to interpret salinity test results Salinity matters for high tunnels and growth mediaNeith Little, Urban Agriculture Extension AgentDr. Andrew Ristvey, Extension Specialist for Commercial Horticulture
Emerging Models for Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Mastering Marketing - June 2018“You never change things by fighting an existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
Making the Most of Your Time — Be Effective Mastering Marketing - May 2018In the opening session of a recent Annie’s Project Class I coordinated, we addressed the topic “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Farm Women.” It was a take-off modeled on Steven Covey’s (1992) book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.” In his book, Covey highlights the seven habits of great managers.
Market Season-Ready, Set, Sell Mastering Marketing - April 2018Despite the colder temps and slow start to the growing season, farmers markets, roadside stands and on-farm markets, need to get ready for sunnier days and the first flush of customers looking for fresh local produce, fruits, and other locally produced foods.
Balanced Pruning 2: Timing  Timely Viticulture Update:  February 26, 2018Pruning a vine causes it to deacclimate similarly to a warm spell, so do not prune (especially very sensitive varieties) when you know you will experience very serious cold shortly afterwards.
Balanced Pruning I - A Critical Step in Maintaining and Adjusting Vine Balance  Timely Viticulture Update:  February 26, 2018A major theme of viticulture is that for a vine to consistently produce high quality fruit it must be “in balance.” That means that the amount of vegetative growth (shoots and leaves) is just right to properly ripen the reproductive growth (fruit load).
Assessing Grapevine Bud Damage  Timely Viticulture Updated: February 26, 2018
Understanding Grapevine Bud Damage  Timely Viticulture Update:  February 26, 2018
Maryland’s Expanding Value-added and Craft Movement Mastering Marketing - February 2018I attended this year’s “Maryland’s Best Expo” organized by the Maryland Department of Agriculture to highlight Maryland products to a wide variety of buyers. This year’s offerings featured value-added products from at least three - quarters of the attending exhibitors.
Matching Products to Customer Appetites in 2018 Mastering Marketing - January 2018Every December I enjoy reading food trend predictions for the coming year from a variety of sources such as the Specialty Foods Association, the American Restaurant Association, Packer magazine, and  a host of foodie blogs.
Certifications in agriculture and natural resources I get a lot of questions about certifications. What certifications should a farmer or landscaper or food entrepreneur get? What professional development certifications can UMD Extension help you work towards?
Is Diversification Your Ultimate Goal? Mastering Marketing - October 2017
Farm to Door─Should You Offer a Product Delivery Service? Photo Credit: Alden Jewell - Maier's Kew-Bee Bread Truck by Boyertown Body Works
What is a "balanced diet" for plants? (Photo credit: Image # K9186-1 by Scott Bauer, USDA-ARS) Recently a farmer asked me the following question: “I read an article that suggested using a ‘balanced’ fertilizer. What does that mean? Does ‘balanced’ mean the N, P, and K should be the same?” 
May showers bring June crop diseases Published 6/6/17 Neith Little, Urban Agriculture Extension EducatorAndrew Kness, Harford County Agriculture Extension EducatorDr. Kathryn Everts, Professor and Extension Specialist, Plant Pathology The past month has been full of calls about seedlings and transplants growing poorly and showing disease symptoms.
How Much Should I Spend on Marketing Mastering Marketing - May 2017
Tissue Sampling Updated May 4, 2017 Some early varieties in many vineyards are just starting to bloom. This is a critical time for taking tissue/petiole samples to assess the nutritional status of your vines. The following are some timely considerations.
Don't cook your crops! High tunnel heat management It’s that time of year again. You’re out in the fields, busy, excited, maybe a little overwhelmed, getting your annual crops into the ground. The day started off cold and misty, but it cleared up just before noon and you got in a long, hot day of work planting transplants.
SWOT analysis and business planning Click here for the printer-friendly version SWOT analysis and business planning
Selling On-line, a 24/7 Opportunity Mastering Marketing - February 2017
Invest in your farm's success: Write stuff down! A wise person once told me that writing stuff down is the difference between doing science and just messing around. I would argue that it can also make the difference between a successful and a floundering farm business.
Some of our watermelon fields may be low in sulfur For the last 3 out of 5 years (yes I know, but I get busy with other things) I have been looking at whether or not adding extra sulfur to watermelon is worth it. I was asked a similar question from a couple of eastern shore growers awhile back and I said I was not sure and I’d look into it.
Marketing and Branding ─ Color it “SOLD” Mastering Marketing - November 2016

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