When the economy gets rough, savvy business owners figure out ways to keep going. Jim Gehlsen was a masonry contractor for more than 30 years, but when the economy tanked in 2008, he had some decisions to make. “I hung in,” he said, “but it got worse and worse. I thought, I have the farm and it’s a tight economy, so I’ll grow food and sell it for less than it would cost at the supermarket.” But food wasn’t the first crop Jim grew. [Read more…]
WASHINGTON, DC and COLUMBUS, OH—April 6, 2015—The Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) is pleased to announce it is accepting scholarship applications for the 2015-2016 school year.
You may not have heard much about it lately but . . . Keep an eye out for symptoms of Phytophthora ramorum, which causes the devastating disease Sudden Oak Death (SOD).
P. ramorum is not endemic to the Northeast but parts of NYS are considered to be at moderate to high risk for this disease. The most likely source would be infected nursery stock imported into the state. Do you know if the source of your plants has been evaluated for P. ramorum? Ask!
As interest in growing hops in Ohio increases among potential hops growers as well as brewery industry insiders, a workshop on how to get into the hops business will be held Aug. 14, designed for both beginning and experienced growers.
The Hops Production Twilight Tour will feature detailed information on the ins and outs of hops production, including trellis construction, drip irrigation and how to evaluate which variety of hops growers are interested in producing, said Charissa McGlothin, program assistant with the Ohio State University South Centers at Piketon. [Read more…]
OLYMPIA —The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is now accepting proposals for innovative projects to support the state’s fruit, vegetable and nursery industry through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Proposals are due to WSDA by 5 p.m. Feb. 28.
by William McNutt
World food supplies have been improving for nearly 50 years, bringing better nutrition to formerly impoverished areas. The so-called Green Revolution with its better seed and cultural practices, has replaced food shortages by nearly half in the past 50 years, while also improving the health of former food short areas. But this has also helped cause world population expansion, now expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, when we could once more find some third world countries in food crisis mode. Ohio Food Dialogues, cosponsored by Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Soybean Council, and U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance hosted a conference on this upcoming need in the U.S. and the world, with particular emphasis on biotechnology and sustainability. If expanded effort to meet future food needs is to be carried out successfully without harm to the soil, both will have to be considered, according to Dialogue resource speakers. [Read more…]
by Sally Colby
Tom Childs was looking for an alternative method to heat his greenhouses, and the answer came in the form of a new building, a new tractor and a very large boiler equipped with electronic controls.
“I’ve always been interested in energy,” said Childs, of Twin Springs Fruit Farm in Orrtanna, PA. “Mike Palko, the biomass energy specialist for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, told me that the project would take at least two years. In reality, it took about three years.” But after several years of planning, visits to other operations with wood chip boiler systems and many meetings with various specialists, Childs’ vision came to fruition.
The project was possible with the help of grants from the USDA Conservation and Innovation Grant (CIG) and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development. Childs talked about the complex process of working through the various permits during the planning phase. “We had to put in a firewall because of the stored fuel,” he said. “It’s all one foundation, all under one roof; but part of the building is agricultural and the other section is commercial. There are very rigid definitions of an ag building because it’s taxed differently.” Because the large section of the building is used to store an agricultural product, it’s considered an ag building. However, even though the boiler is being used to heat greenhouses, it’s considered commercial. [Read more…]
LANSING, Mich. – Michigan plum producers are being asked to vote on continuation of the Michigan Plum Industry Development Program in a referendum conducted by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development September 16 through 27. [Read more…]
New York, NY— Greenmarket, a program of GrowNYC, is soliciting proposals from fruit and vegetable
producers in Orange County, NY for a funding opportunity to build new or improve existing produce
washing stations. The aim of this funding program is to improve labor efficiency, enhance food safety and
increase profitability through enhanced on-farm infrastructure. Examples of eligible projects include
installation of shade coverage and lighting, drainage improvements, enhanced spray options, increased [Read more…]