Why are Healthy Plants Bug-Resistant?

We all know that healthy plants are resistant to bugs. Unfortunately, we all too often forget to ask ourselves why this is true. In nature, weak organisms are typically attacked first. In the animal kingdom, predators see and smell the weakness of their prey. Gardeners have long suspected that diseased or dying plants put out…… Continue reading Why are Healthy Plants Bug-Resistant?

5 Free Farm-Related Unit Studies

If your children are interested in farm-related topics, you may be looking for ways to feed those hungry minds. DIYHomeschooler.com offers free—but high-quality—units on a wide range of subjects. Each unit is packed with information, activities, notebooking pages, and books to read. Below we have picked out five units and activities of particular interest to…… Continue reading 5 Free Farm-Related Unit Studies

Alfalfa Production Handbook

If you plan to grow alfalfa in Kansas, K-State has just the guide you need.  The Alfalfa Production Handbook is available online for download as a free PDF. Topics include: Choosing a variety. Planting times and methods. Stand renovation. Nutrient needs. Irrigation. Common pests and diseases. Cutting and storing hay. Harvesting alfalfa with livestock. Alfalfa…… Continue reading Alfalfa Production Handbook

What is Integrated Pest Management?

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a difficult concept to define because of its complexity. The idea is to use multiple tactics, both proactive and reactive, to keep crop damage below the economic injury level (EIL). Proactive Tactics Much of IPM focuses on preventing pests from becoming a major problem in the first place: Keeping growing…… Continue reading What is Integrated Pest Management?

USDA Releases Final 2012 Census Results

On Friday, May 2, the United States Department of Agriculture released its final report on the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Several trends were revealed nationwide which put a new spin on the preliminary report released in February: As mentioned in the preliminary report, sales of agricultural products in 2012 reached a record high of $394.6…… Continue reading USDA Releases Final 2012 Census Results

USDA Releases Preliminary 2012 Census Results

On Thursday, February 20, the USDA released the preliminary results of the 2012 Census of Agriculture.  The census shows that while the number of farms in America continues to gradually decline, the value of farm products sold in the United States has increased by 33% from 2007. Here are a few of the highlights of…… Continue reading USDA Releases Preliminary 2012 Census Results

How Does No-Till Farming Work?

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS

Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS First, a little background. Farmers have plowed and tilled the soil for thousands of years. Sometimes they debated how often to plow, or how deep to plow, or what tool to use to plow. But they always plowed. Ancient Egyptian artwork portrays oxen pulling plows; many large breeds of horses…… Continue reading How Does No-Till Farming Work?