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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.
Is Diversification Your Ultimate Goal? Mastering Marketing - October 2017
Maryland Crop Production Meetings Maryland Crop Production Meetings Planned
Fall is the time to start managing nematodes Nematodes are a highly successful and diverse group of roundworms that have adapted to nearly every terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem; in fact, they are the most numerous multicellular animal species on earth. One tablespoon of soil can contain thousands of nematodes of many different species, each contributing different ecosystem services.
Farm to Door─Should You Offer a Product Delivery Service? Photo Credit: Alden Jewell - Maier's Kew-Bee Bread Truck by Boyertown Body Works
Growing Conditions Affecting Potassium Availability Growing Conditions Affecting Potassium Availability
Summer brings the possibility of Phytophthora rot Andrew Kness Extension Educator, Agriculture University of Maryland Extension, Harford County   As summer rolls along, one disease issue that can affect a wide range of vegetable crops is Phytophthora rot. Staying ahead of this yield-robbing disease can help save you money.
Early May Freeze: What’s The Risk to Our Grain Crops?   Andrew Kness Extension Educator, Agiculture University of Maryland Extension, Harford County  
How Much Should I Spend on Marketing Mastering Marketing - May 2017
Selling On-line, a 24/7 Opportunity Mastering Marketing - February 2017
Marketing and Branding ─ Color it “SOLD” Mastering Marketing - November 2016
Why so little yellow shoulders in tomatoes this year? Normally at this time of year, I’d be writing about how bad yellow shoulders and other fruit ripening problems are in Maryland tomatoes. But this has been a strange season with May weather in March and March weather in May, which caused a great deal of catfacing problems this year.
Get Ready for the Holiday Sales Season Now Mastering Marketing - September 2016 While the holiday season may seem a ways off, the line between when customers shop and when they take offense to holiday décor in stores is becoming a blurry one. The National Retail Federation reports that every year, about 40 percent of customers begin their holiday shopping before Halloween(1). 
Catfacing Problems in Tomatoes There have been some reports from growers and educators of several sets of tomato fruit with catfacing or that are deformed (Fig. 1). Catfacing results in fruit with deep indentations in the blossom end or fruit with significant distortions.  It is thought to be caused by a problem during the formation of the flower that results in the fruit not developing normally.
Potato Leaf Hoppers on Hops I do not usually look at hops very much as only a few farms have them, but they are becoming a bit more common in the last 10 years (Fig. 1). Visiting two farms withy hops I saw marginal leaf damage (Fig. 2) on some leaves (found some thrips too) and then marginal leaf scorch on others (Fig. 3).
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

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