Archive of ‘Agriculture’ category

Subsurface irrigation is researched at Warrington Farms

The benefits and efficacy of subsurface irrigation, an alternative to the more common Center Pivot system, is being evaluated by researchers and scientists at the University of Delaware. At the 18-acre Warrington Farm in Harbeson, James Adkins, UD irrigation scientist, has overseen the installation of 44 different zones of irrigation tape placed under the soil 16 inches deep and 30 inches apart on the farm. One row of subsurface irrigation tape will irrigate two rows of crops. The irregular shape and different soil compositions at the farm make it an ideal subject for subsurface irrigation research. Corn and soybean are grown on the farm.

View our slideshow to watch as this innovative system is put in place. Note, opening and playing the slideshow in Flickr and selecting Show Options, will provide captions.

UD Extension short course on Pest and Beneficial Insects – June 26, 2012

June 26      6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.    Cost:  $10
Sussex County Extension Office, 16483 County Seat Hwy., Georgetown, DE 19947
Using Integrated Pest Management (IPM )in your business?  Correct I.D. is key to control of pests in the landscape.
Enhance your skills at identifying both beneficial insects and pests in the landscape.

Instructors: Brian Kunkel and Tracy Wootten

 

To Register: Any County Extension Office

         302-831-2506; cjmurphy@udel.edu

         302-730-4000;carolm@udel.edu

         302-856-7303; wootten@udel.edu   

 

                     Hope you can join us!

 

  2 Pesticide, (Categ. 03,02, 06), and 1 CNP Credits

Cooperative Extension to hold Weed Science Field Day on Wed. June 27

Anyone with an interest in weed management is invited to  this year’s Weed Field Day at UD.  A variety of herbicide programs for conventional tillage and no-till production are being evaluated.  Many of the registered corn and soybean herbicides are being tested, herbicide evaluation for watermelons, weed control programs for snap and lima beans, and a number of studies with traditional soybean herbicide programs are included.  We have been fortunate with the weather to have all of the postemergence treatments applied to our corn and most soybean trials.  We will have more to view this year than we have had in the recent past.

 

The 2012 Weed Science Field Day will be held Wednesday, June 27, at the University of Delaware Research and Education Center, Route 9 (16483 County Seat Highway), Georgetown,.  The day will begin with registration at 8:15 at the Grove near the farm buildings and new office building on the north side of the road.  We will start to view the plots at 8:45 a.m.  Coffee, juices, and donuts will be provided.  We will also provide sandwiches for lunch.

Continuing education credits for Pesticide Applicators and Certified Crop Advisors will be available.

Here are some images from 2011 Weed Science Field Day

 

UDel offers produce food safety training – good agricultural and handling practices

2012 Produce Food Safety Training Session 2012

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP’s) – Good Handling Practices (GHP’s)

All produce growers who did not attend voluntary produce food safety (GAP/GHP) training sessions in 2011 or previous years are encouraged to do so in 2012.  This training program is offered by the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, and the training certificate is issued by the Delaware Department of Agriculture.

The textured skin of cantaloupes requires careful handling and processing

Training covers microbial food contaminants, outbreaks associated with produce, how produce becomes contaminated, Good Agricultural Practices in the field (water sources; animals, manures, and compost; field sanitation; and worker hygiene) and Good Handling Practices from harvest to sales (packing area sanitation, worker hygiene, storage, handling, and shipping).  For wholesale growers, this training certification program satisfies some wholesale buyer requirements that growers attend GAP/GHP training.

For those expecting to go through an audit this year, this program will help you to know what is covered in an audit and how to develop your farm food safety plan.  Smaller growers who market locally are also encouraged to become trained and learn about best ways to keep produce safe from foodborne pathogens.

TRAINING CERTIFICATION SESSIONS IN SUSSEX COUNTY 2012

March 21, 2012, 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.  All growers large and small.  Sessions at the University of Delaware, Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown 19947.  Call Karen Adams at (302) 856-2585 ext. 540 to register.  Contact Tracy Wootten or Cory Whaley (302) 856-7303 for more information.  A second session to fulfill requirements for wholesale growers will be scheduled as needed.

By: Gordon Johnson, Extension Vegetable and Fruit Specialist, University of Delaware

 

UDel Extension to hold Agricultural Solar Workshop

The University of Delaware in cooperation with the Delaware Department of Agriculture invites the agricultural community to a Delaware Agricultural Solar Workshop on Wednesday Feb.29, 2012 at the Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, (Route 9) in Georgetown. Two identical sessions will be offered, the first, from 2 to 4 p.m. and the second, repeated from 6 to 8 p.m.

The program will highlight findings from a 2011 DDA study and report titled SOLAR TECHNOLOGY GUIDE & RESOURCES V 1.10. Workshop participants were involved with this study and will be presenting up-to-date information about solar technology. Topics will include facts about the current solar regulatory environment, financial incentives, site evaluations, technology & financing options. The program will conclude with a panel of two poultry growers explaining their operations and their experiences with solar followed by a question and answer period.

To register, please email Karen Adams or call Karen at 302-856-2585 ext.540 Seating is limited and will be on a first call basis. There is no cost for attending.

UPDATE: Agenda

 

Agenda

2:00 p.m. Welcome – Cory Whaley ag agent, Sussex County

Opening Remarks – Ed Kee, Delaware Secretary of Agriculture

2:10 p.m. Introduction of Speakers – Bill Brown, state poultry Extension agent

Solar Technology Basics – Dr. Jim Glancey, UD

2:30 Overview of Solar Technology in Delaware – Brian White

Feasibility Considerations – Barry Yerger

Determining if Solar is Right for Your Operation- Brian Yerger,
Dale Davis

3:15 Experiences with Solar (Grower Panel) – Robbie Isaacs,
Dan Heller

3:35 Questions & Answers

Session One 2 – 4 p.m.

Session Two 6 – 8 p.m.

 

Delaware Cooperative Extension awards excellence at annual conference

Mary Argo, 2011 Director Spirit of Extension Award

Cooperative Extension professionals from University of Delaware and Delaware State University met on Tues. Oct. 18, for their annual conference in Dover, to celebrate their unique partnership and excellence in Extension outreach programing that serves Delaware’s families and agricultural constituents.

The conference’s keynote speaker was Linda Kay Benning, executive director of Northeast Cooperative Extension Director and associate director for Extension and Outreach at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, located in Washington D.C. Benning remarked on Extension’s rich history, the value of its current programming and the future of Extension funding at regional and national levels in the 21st century. Benning addressed the importance in raising awareness of the diverse programming that Cooperative Extension delivers to families, farmers, businesses and industry.

In recognition of Delaware’s Extension contribution the past year, the 2011 Cooperative Extension Awards of Excellence were announced:

Integration of Extension and Research Award:

  •  Gordon Johnson, Maggie Moor-Orth, Richard Taylor, Phillip Sylvester, Rose Ogutu, Brigid McCrea, Megan, John Clendaniel, Dahlia O’Brien, Mike Wasylkowski, Lakhe Paudel, and Joann Walston.

Positively Outrageous Service Award for Innovative Marketing of Extension – Individual:

  •   Carol Scott – 4-H Educator Afterschool program “Moving Youth Ahead.”
  •   Mary Argo – 4-H Educator in Sussex County.

Positively Outrageous Service Aware for Innovative Marketing of Extension – Team:

  • Tracy Wootten, Maggi Moor-Orth, and Sussex County Master Gardeners:  Brent Marsh, Jessica Clark, Jane Casazza, Susan Trone, Tracy Mulvaney, Mary Perkins, Mary Noel, Mary Hall, Marge Lewis and Linda Peters for:  “Peter Rabbit’s Adventure in Farmer McGregor’s Vegetable Garden,” a mobile theatrical presentation for children.

Outstanding Programming Award:

Bill's program, The Resourceful Leader, was recognized as an Outstanding Extension Program

  • Tracy Wootten, Laurie Wolinski, and Maria Pippidis – for “Annie’s Project” which supports and empowers women in agriculture.
  •  Maggie Moor-Orth, Tracy Wootten, and Brian Kunkel – “How Do You Like Me Now – Insects and Their Damage” and;
  • Gordon Johnson, Maria Pippidis, Kathleen Splane, Phillip Sylvester, Anne Camasso, Tracy Wootten, and Cory Whaley – “Food Safety on the Farm”
  • Karen Johnston, Michelle Ernst, and Amelia Uffelman – “4-H Health Rocks Program – Youth tobacco prevention program.”
  • Bill McGowan, “The Resourceful Leader”-Community development and economic gardening initiative.

 

 

 

 

Recipients of the Director’s Spirit of Extension Awards: Ernesto López, Rhonda Martell, Kathleen Splane and Albert Essel.

Ernie Lopez recipient of the 2011 Director's Spirit of Extension Award and Dr. Jan Seitz

Epsilon Sigma Phi (ESP) the association of Extension professionals presented the following awards:

  • Adult Outstanding Volunteer Award- Hetty Francke.
  • Youth Outstanding Volunteer Award- Terra Tatman.
  • Group Outstanding Volunteer Award- Emerson Farms.
  • Friend of Extension- Agilent Technologies.
  • Meritorious Support Service Award- Sharon Webb.

Delaware State University recognized two Extension professionals:

  • Brigid McCrea – “1890 Administrator’s Award” for Extension Agriculture and Youth. Development.
  • Andy Wetherhill – “1890 Administrator’s Award for Diversity” in Agricultural Extension programs.

Earlier in the morning, the conference’s 100 attendees separated into agriculture, family and consumer science and 4-H youth development groups and discussed initiatives and exchanged new ideas on how to effectively reach their constituents’ future needs.

The ag group focused on how to enhance an $8 billion agriculture industry given current economic challenges.  Items of note included the ability to understand and anticipate the needs of the ag community, the capacity to engage those needs in a timely fashion and development, and implementation of a strategy that creates an understanding and support for the value of Cooperative Extension.

Family and consumer science and EFNEP agents discussed what they see as emerging issues in nutrition, food safety, financial management and family well-being and how best to effectively communicate revised guidelines and research to local constituencies.

Through their diverse programming, 4-H reaffirmed that effective outreach to Delaware’s youth must rest on eight principles: a positive relationship with a caring adult, a safe emotional and physical environment, an inclusive environment, engagement in learning, opportunity for mastery, opportunity to see oneself as an active participant in the future, opportunity for self-determination and opportunity to value and practice service to others.

Tuesday’s gathering marked the last Extension Conference under the tenure of Associate Dean and Director of Cooperative Extension, Janice Seitz, who is retiring in the spring, 2012. The ninth conference however, will not be Seitz last. In 2003, Seitz established the Lighthouse Award as a special honor bestowed to an Extension professional who “lights the way for others.” Each year, the holder of the Extension beacon has the sole responsibility to pass the award onto a deserving colleague. Doug Crouse, 2010 recipient, carefully considered his many options, but concluded on one obvious choice, Dr. Jan Seitz, the founder of the award.

The award assures Seitz’s  return to next year’s conference to once again confer the award. But Seitz’s future participation with Delaware Extension was never in doubt.  Though stepping out of her leadership role, Seitz plans to lend support and resources whenever needed.   “This is the greatest job I have ever had,” Seitz said. “I love Extension so much.”

 

Images of the conference are available on UD Flickr site:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/carvel/sets/72157627800614733/

AgrAbility celebrates 20 years providing accessible support to the farming community

The National AgrAbility Program celebrates its 20th Anniversary this year in supporting farmers and their families with disabilities. USDA currently supports more than 25 states and regional projects including the Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project (MAAP) which supports farmers in Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey.

The vision of AgrAbility is to enable a high quality lifestyle for farmers and farm workers with disabilities. Through education and assistance, AgrAbility helps to eliminate obstacles that blocks success in production agriculture or agriculture-related occupations. AgrAbility helps farmers tackle the health challenges that sometimes come with farming like: arthritis, chronic back pain, respiratory problems, hearing and visual impairment and more serious challenges such as amputations, paralysis, head injuries, and other disabling conditions.

The Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project is a partnership of the land-grant institutions – the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, University of Maryland and Rutgers University working with non-profit disability partners – Easter Seals of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Resources for Independence in Maryland, and Goodwill in New Jersey. The project targets farmers, watermen, loggers and poultry growers who want to continue making their livelihoods in agriculture despite a physical limitation or health condition.
AgrAbility offers the following services at no cost to farmers:

• Conducts on-site assessments to identify barriers
• Recommends appropriate assistive technologies (equipment, tools and devices), modified work practices, and other possible solutions to overcoming disability-related limitations  
• Provides educational and training opportunities and informational materials
• Refers customers to service providers for potential assistance (financial support and rehabilitative services, etc.) to meet the clients’ needs
• Offers expert advice on equipment modifications, home modifications and adaptive equipment
• Provides peer support opportunities

Since it began in 1991, AgrAbility has impacted the lives of thousands of farmers through direct services. The Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project is in its 14th year and it is estimated that we have serviced approximately 300 first-time farmers and their families and reached more than 10,000 with training, educational programs, and outreach activities.

The Mid-Atlantic AgrAbility Project provides solutions, removes barriers through assistive technology, is about no-limit thinking and preserves a way of life. Please visit our website at http://www.mid-atlanticagrability.com or contact Ron Jester at the Sussex County Extension Office (302)856-2585, Ext 584 to learn more about the program.

UD researchers share weed, crop trial info at annual Weed Day in Georgetown

On Wednesday, June 22, Mark VanGessel, University of Delaware’s extension’s specialist and professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, his team of weed science researchers, Barbara Scott and Quintin Johnson, and Mark Isaacs, director of Carvel Research and Education Center, welcomed growers and those serving in the agricultural industry to tour their research plots at the Carvel Center in Georgetown. Weed Day has become an annual agriculture tradition at UD’s experimental station.

Mark VanGessel explains how a roller/crimper is used for mechanical weed control in organic crop production. Photo:M.Walfred

Throughout the year UD Extension and research staff conducts unbiased studies on more than 70 trials (which amount to more than 700 plots) most are devoted to key agronomic crops, and evaluate their effectiveness of weed management. Chemical, mechanical and cultural practices are evaluated. Their findings are published in an annual guide of trial results that is made available to attendees and the results serve as the basis for educational programs throughout the year and provide the experience to answer questions from farmers and the agricultural industry. More than 50 attended Wednesday’s weed session.

The goal of Weed Day is to deliver the latest research. Communication to the industry is a key component in Delaware’s continued agronomic success and is part of Cooperative Extension’s outreach mission. Many of the plots are identified by signage indicating the particular study and methodology.

The trial studies included a variety of herbicide programs for conventional tillage and no-till production.  Included in the 2011 Delaware Weed Field Day publication are studies in field corn and sweet corn, soybean, watermelon, cantaloupes, winter wheat, peppers, lima beans and snap beans. VanGessel also introduced the tour group to a trial on organic production of corn, soybean and winter wheat. Weed management relies on cover crops and mechanical weed control. A roller/crimper is used to kill the cover crops prior to planting corn or soybeans by crimping the plant stems and rolling it down on the ground so it dies. A high residue cultivator is being used to control weeds after the corn and soybeans have begun to grow.

Kevin Ryan, a planner with the Sussex Conservation District and also a Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) attended the tour to keep informed and maintain his CCA accreditation. Ryan feels the tours provide a valuable visual experience. an important complement to what is shared in printed materials. “Book learning is one thing, but we learn a lot by seeing what does and doesn’t work in Delaware,” Ryan says.  Ryan appreciates the efforts and accessibility of UD Extension staff and researchers.  “They are always available to help any time, and what is learned here can be shared with our customers. It’s great,”  Ryan says of Weed Day.

According to a recent UD study, The Impact of Agriculture on Delaware’s Economy, agriculture in the First State contributes nearly $8 billion to the local economy.  As the study points out, production efficiency is vital keeping Delaware agriculture in the forefront of what is a very competitive sector.

Weed Day began inside Carvel’s meeting rooms with a brief overview of UD’s trials, what methods or herbicides have shown promising results, and weeds that remains challenging- morningglory, speedwell, annual ryegrass, herbicide-resistant pigweed and Palmer-aramanth. VanGessel also acknowledged the valuable contribution of student interns and the Carvel’s farm and administrative staff for the continued success and relevance of Weed Day. Later in the morning, Weed Day visitors were chauffeured on haystacks for a firsthand look at several field trials. View photos of Weed Day 2011 here.

 

Article and photos by Michele Walfred

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