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Is Your Marketing Strategy Working? Mastering Marketing - June 2016   Who’s Your First and Best Customer?
PSI, PMT, and the Tier System: What You Need to Know The Phosphorus Site Index (PSI) and the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT) are tools used to determine the risk for phosphorus runoff into nearby waterways. The PSI has been used for many years on fields with a Fertility Index Value (FIV) of 150 or greater. This is used to determine the safety of applying manure or phosphorus-containing fertilizers on fields with an FIV-P of 150 or greater.
Mites (Two Types) Found in Strawberries  While visiting some strawberry fields over the last few weeks, I ran into a few areas that had two spotted spider mite (TSSM) feeding. These were mostly in fields that had been using row cover. Spider mites Tetranychus urticae are well adapted to high-temperatures and can complete their life cycle in as little as 7 days when temperatures are > 80º F.
Allium (Onion) Leafminer The allium leafminer Phytomyza gymnostoma (also known as the onion leafminer) has recently been detected and confirmed from infested leeks in Lancaster County, PA.  This is the first confirmed infestation in the Western Hemisphere.
Pre-sidedress Nitrate Testing: Crucial for Corn! Soil nitrogen levels are very important for crop health and yields, especially when growing corn grain or corn silage. Fertilizer recommendations that are generated for a field that had a previous forage legume crop or manure application assume a significant nitrogen contribution from the previous crop or manure application.
Who’s the Boss Mastering Marketing - April 2016 A primary attribute often given for being self-employed is “I’m my own boss.” But, business guru Peter Drucker stated, “The purpose of a business is to have a satisfied customer”. So, whether you’re a farmer, producer, or other type of small business owner; who’s the boss in your business?  Is it you, your customers, or both?
Understanding Grapevine Frost/Freeze Damage   Timely Viticulture Updated: April 7, 2016
Marketing— The Root of All Profits Mastering Marketing - March 2016 I’ve written, taught, and executed marketing ideas and plans for some time now. But, after pages and pages of text and theories, I’ve found marketing really boils down to a couple key concepts executed over three similar categories.  And, marketing is truly the root of all profits in any business.
Generate More “Word of Mouth” Referrals Mastering Marketing - February 2016
Laundering Clothing After Pesticide Applications After completing a pesticide application, it’s important to follow the correct procedures for removing and cleaning personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing. While you should always read and follow any cleaning directions on the pesticide label, most product labels do not give specific information for washing clothes.
Toxic Plant Profile: Rhododendron and Azalea Accidental poisoning of livestock is statistically most likely to occur from ingestion of plants in pasture or hay, but poisoning can also occur from ingestion of ornamental plants. One common ornamental in our area – rhododendron – is toxic to livestock and can be fatal.
Key Considerations for Your Next Nutrient Management Plan Manure Applications in High FIV-P Fields
Toxic Plant Profile: Black Walnut Black walnut trees are considered toxic but are unique from most other toxic plants. They are safe to all livestock except horses, and horses are generally only affected by shavings made from the tree. Black walnut trees are, however, toxic to some species of plants if growing within a certain range of the tree.
Preparing for Winter on the Farm Winter is coming! Are you ready? While we can’t predict whether it will be a mild winter or a harsh one, now is the time to prepare for the possibility of severe winter storms. Here are a few tips to help keep things running smoothly in the event that Mother Nature presents us with challenges.
Manure: Dollars and Cents Have you ever wondered how much a manure application is worth for your operation? Manure and other organic products have an economic value because they provide nutrients for crops and save money on fertilizer expense. However, assigning an exact dollar value can be a bit complicated.
Choosing PPE for Pesticide Applications Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required by law and by common sense when making any pesticide application. How do you choose the proper PPE for a job? The pesticide label will tell you the minimum PPE required, but it’s a good idea to have your own understanding of what kinds of PPE are best in different scenarios. What should you wear?
Toxic Plant Profile: Yew Unlike most of the toxic plants we have featured recently, yew is not commonly found in pastures or hay but is rather an ornamental plant. For this reason, yew poisoning is uncommon – but it’s not unheard of. Yew is highly toxic to livestock and even to humans.
Toxic Plant Profile: Milkweed and Dogbane Milkweed is relatively well-known because it’s the primary food source for monarch butterfly larvae. It is, however, toxic to livestock. Dogbane, while lesser-known, is a milkweed relative that is also toxic.
Tomato Ripening August 2015
Blossom End Rot in Tomatoes This is just a reminder with the peculiar weather we have had lately with stretches of very high temperatures then cooler days and throw in the very heavy down pours we have had over the last few weeks, blossom end rot can become a real problem in tomatoes.
Crop Development Sampling It is critical to properly monitor and assess the fruit characteristics and maturity to make the appropriate management, harvesting, and winemaking decisions to produce the best quality grapes and wine possible. The first step to assess ripeness and quality is to take a proper sample that best represents the actual ripeness stage of the variety in that vineyard.
Fall Soil Sampling Soil samples are good for three years for Nutrient Management Plan development. Expired soil sample analyses must be replaced! Use your Nutrient Management Plan (NMP) to quickly determine fields in need of sampling. Look at the “Test Date” column on the “Soil Test Results” page of your NMP. Highlight expired soil sample analysis and work off this sheet for sampling.

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