The Attend The Cocalico Agricultural Forum

On November 16, 2019

The Attend The Cocalico Agricultural Forum

The ELANCO Source Water Collaborative and the Cocalico Creek Watershed Association are planning an ag forum, December 9, 2019, 9 AM – 3:30 PM at Shady Maple Banquets & Conference Center, East Earl. This event will focus on soil health & water quality, featuring a keynote address by Jim Hoorman, Soil Health Specialist at USDA-NRCS, from Ohio. There will also be several panels of local farmers addressing topics like no-till, cover crops, and stream buffers. A panel of local Lancaster County farmers will discuss the economic benefits of no-till and cover crops and what they learned. A second farmer panel will discuss the advantages of stream buffers. 

Penn State Extension educators will discuss protecting and managing your private well and septic system. There will also be a free water testing opportunity for the first 50 persons who request this when you register. If you get registration confirmation you will receive water testing information on how to take a water sample. Bring the water sample to the event and Penn State Extension Staff will test it for pH, Total Dissolved Solids, and Nitrates. Please note that these results will be for educational purposes to help you make further decisions about testing your water at a PA DEP-accredited laboratory. A list of local DEP-accredited laboratories will be provided at the event. 

To register for the event, please call (717) 842-4195 or call West Cocalico Township at (717) 336-8720 or email: Don’t forget to request a water test opportunity when you register. You can also register online at: Please RSVP by December 2, 2019. The event is a free farmer educational event that will feature a smorgasbord lunch with ample time to visit with exhibitors.

To Participate In The Private Pesticide Applicator Short Course in Spanish

Prepare for Pesticide certification by attending Penn State Extension’s Private Pesticide Applicator Short Course in Spanish. The Spanish version of the national core manual and the two-day training course will be provided at no charge thanks to support from a Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant. In addition, the Adams County Fruit Growers Association’s Agricultural Human Resource Management Committee will cover the cost of meals.

Attendees will participate in exam practice sessions throughout the short course in preparation for the private applicator certification exam at the Fruit Research and Extension Center on Thursday, December 19, from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Taking the exam is free, but it will be conducted in English. The exam practice sessions will be in both Spanish and English.

Topics covered include Pest management, Federal pesticide laws, Pesticide labeling, Pesticide formulations, Pesticide hazards and first aid. Other topics include Personal protective equipment, Transportation, storage, and security, Emergency or incident response, Planning the pesticide application, and Pesticide application procedures. Taught by educators Maria Gorgo and Carlos Quesada, this free short course is a tremendous learning opportunity for those involved or interested in spray operations.

This will be held December 4-5, 2019 at the Penn State Fruit Research and Extension Center (FREC), 290 University Drive, Biglerville PA. To register Contact our customer service team at 1-877-345-0691 for assistance over the phone.

To Finish Planting Cover Crops

The recent cold weather brought a clear end to the growing season in Pennsylvania and has folks wondering if it is too late to plant cover crops? The answer is no, there is still time within some limits. The first limit is the species you choose to plant. Cereal rye is one good option for late planting and another species that could do well is triticale.

Rye is very hardy and can germinate in temperatures as low as 34 degrees F. Growth will require temperatures of 38 degrees or higher. When the ground freezes overnight enough to hold the weight of the tractor but warms enough in the morning sun for the no-till drill to break through is an ideal time to get the rye in the ground. Aim to plant the seed from ¾ inch to 1.5 inches deep.  When planting late it is best to increase your seeding rate to the two to three bushel per acre range.  

Rye is the best cool-season cereal cover for absorbing unused soil N according to the SARE publication Managing Cover Crops Profitably. It has no taproot, but rye’s quick-growing, fibrous root system can take up and hold as much as 100 lb. N/A until spring, with 25 to 50 lb. N/A more typical. Early seeding is better than late seeding for scavenging N. A Maryland study credited rye with holding 60 percent of the residual N that could have leached from a silt loam soil following intentionally over-fertilized corn. A Georgia study estimated rye captured from 69 to 100 percent of the residual N after a corn crop.

Rye increases the concentration of exchangeable potassium (K) near the soil surface, by bringing it up from lower in the soil profile. 

Rye is one of the best cool season cover crops for outcompeting weeds, especially small-seeded, light-sensitive annuals such as lambsquarters, redroot pigweed, velvetleaf, chickweed and foxtail. Rye also suppresses many weeds allelopathically (as a natural herbicide), including dandelions and Canada thistle and has been shown to inhibit germination of some triazine-resistant weeds.

Rye reduced total weed density an average of 78 percent when rye residue covered more than 90 percent of soil in a Maryland no-till study and by 99 percent in a California study. Don’t expect complete weed control, however. You’ll probably need complementary weed management measures.

Quote Of The Week: “If you don’t have time to do a job right, you going to have to make time to do it over.” Suzanne Woods Fisher Amish Proverbs