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Showing posts from September, 2018

Join Us for the Local Foods College

I hope you're able to join us for this fall's Local Foods College. These one hour webinars start at 6pm for each session. The first week has passed and covered fall tillage strategies, you can watch the recording here . Upcoming webinars include; 9/25: Growing Great Garlic in MN 10/9: Fall Vegetables: Storage and Preserving Tips 10/16: Growing Pains: What the bug is this? 10/23: FSMA and Food Safety Introduction Get registered and learn more about the series here .

Grazing Crop Residue

by Melissa Runck, UMN Extension Educator, Pipestone and Murray Counties As the days get shorter, the temperatures get cooler, and pastures are being grazed down, cattle producers are starting to look for alternative feeding methods to get them by until they start feeding winter feed stuffs.   In any beef-cow operation feeds costs tend to be the largest expense, which makes finding alternative and low-cost feed options a great opportunity to save money and increase profits.   So what makes a feed source more economical than your stored feed source at home?   Typically one that is grazed and the producer didn’t have to harvest or transport.   If livestock can do the work themselves by grazing and there are few additional labor requirements needed from the producer, then grazing some type of forage or plant residue makes sense.   Having cattle graze crop residue, or the remaining biomass left over after a planted crop has been harvested, can prolong one’s stored feed resources.

Keeping Produce Safe – GAPs, FSMA, and upcoming training options for you

What is the FSMA Produce Safety Rule? You may have heard of new federal food safety legislation called the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA. FSMA is the first major overhaul to the US food system since 1938. The goal of FSMA is to shift away from responding to outbreaks toward prevention of microbial contamination. The FSMA is comprised of 7 rules which apply to the entire food system, including growers, processors, shippers and foreign suppliers. The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) is the rule within FSMA that applies specifically to farmers who grow fresh fruits and vegetables .   These standards are based on a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and understanding on-farm risks, but the PSR is mandatory (for some farms), while GAP certification is buyer-driven and voluntary. In short, you get a GAP audit to fulfill a requirement from a buyer like a wholesale distributor, but the new Produce Safety Rule now mandates some of these practices for some farms. Tr

What's Killing My Kale? Episode 12 - Japanese Beetle

How Much Do We Really Know About Japanese Beetles? Everyone is talking about Japanese beetles this season, but how much do we actually know about how to control them? In this episode, Extension Educator Jeff Hahn and Entomology graduate student Dominique Ebbenga help me bust some myths about Japanese beetle control. We break down the ins and outs of this invasive pest, and they reveal some fascinating facts about what makes them such a tough foe for fruits and vegetables in Minnesota. Listen to this episode here , or on iTunes . Produced by: Annie Klodd,