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Question of the Week

Answer: Copper fungicides can be highly effective against disease and can extend the growing period, especially if applied before plants are infected with pathogen spores. However, copper fungicides can accumulate in the soil and cause health-related…...

Answer: Controlling poison ivy is a difficult task, and it may take a long period of time to get a handle on it. Here are a few options for controlling poison ivy without the use of chemical herbicides.1. Control poison ivy by constantly mowing or…...

J.S. New YorkAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information on sources for business plans for greenhouse production. Here is a list of resources on planning a greenhouse business, including links to sample business plans.Greenhouse business…...

C.O. MaineAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information about starting a fiber business.Like you, I am very interested in natural fibers. I am glad there are businesses (and I see that Maine has several) who process and sell yarn and…...

C.D. PennsylvaniaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on spading machines.The Spading Machine is a tillage tool…...

B.C. MinnesotaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information about cutworm and organic/ biorational control methods.…...

D.S. North CarolinaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on movable high tunnels.A moveable high tunnel offers…...

T.C. TennesseeAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on controlling thorny locust.Brush Control Practices…...

R.B. MinnesotaAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information about achieving recognition of your fertilizer products as allowed for use in organic production. I state it that way, because input materials are not actually "certified", but…...

A.S. MississippiAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service regarding energy self-audits for your farm.Understanding the energy required and consumed by your farm is…...

G.F. WisconsinAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on design plans for hoop houses. Below is a brief…...

C.Z. VirginiaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on flame weeding.Flame weeding is a non-chemical weed control…...

S.H. MarylandAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on permanent raised bed systems.Permanent raised bed systems…...

R.D. New YorkAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information regarding evaluating an enterprise for your prospective farm…...

G.C. WashingtonAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with technical information resources on aquaculture methodologies and system…...

R.G. Florida Answer: Thank you for requesting information from ATTRA on field production of rosemary in Florida?as raw material for your nutraceutical extraction facility and for sales to the herbal and spices industry. Referenced below are some…...

B.S. New YorkAnswer: Thank you for your question on snail and slug management. This letter provides information about control options for both snails and slugs. Snails and slugs are one of the more common and serious pests in the vegetable…...

J.B. MontanaAnswer: These are some of our favorite resources on the subject of vegetation management with goats. Two chapters from the Targeted Grazing Manual (available on-line and by ordering from the American Sheep Industry) regarding…...

V.C. OhioAnswer: A quick search on the Cornell Ornithology website revealed that black-oil sunflower seeds are most preferred by birds. While you can also include the larger, striped sunflower varieties, the smaller, oilseed varieties are enjoyed by…...

D.S. West VirginiaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service regarding blossom end rot in your tomatoes.Blossom end rot is a physiological disorder of tomatoes and…...

B.J. CaliforniaAnswer: Thank you for requesting information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, regarding organic poultry production. Regarding the source of organic poultry, the national organic standards are as…...

F.W. KentuckyAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on the application of compost.There are several different…...

F.E. New MexicoAnswer: Thank you for your question about rearing ladybugs. I have pasted an excerpt from the book, BENEFICIAL INSECTS - HOW TO MASS-REAR FOR A PROFIT because is addresses your question rather well. As this excerpt notes, most…...

K.A. New JerseyAnswer: Thank you for your request to ATTRA regarding fresh vs. frozen poultry.The advantage of fresh over frozen poultry to the consumer is that of convenience since there is no need for the product to be thawed before cooking. It…...

K.K. WisconsinAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information about commercial sprouts production. Please read the on-line sprouts publication available on the ATTRA website.Here is the link:…...

P.M. ArizonaAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA, I am pleased to provide you with information on systems for dryland gardening. This case letter will address information and resources for dryland gardening.Your experience with the three…...

B.C. MinnesotaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information about cutworm and organic/ biorational control methods.…...

T.H. KansasAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information on pricing cuts of beef. The following resources will allow you to determine yield and price for retail beef cuts.University of Vermont Meat Yield Calculation Spreadsheet You…...

W.S. North CarolinaAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. I am pleased to provide you with information on water buffalo.The water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)…...

T.G. WisconsinAnswer: Thank you for calling ATTRA to request information about elderberry production. Elderberry, Sambucas Canadensis, is a native plant throughout much of the U.S. The fruit and flowers are edible, and are traditionally used…...

Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information on crop rotation. The following resources should be helpful to you. First of all, here is a good website from UW Extension on rotations prior to 1940 (pre-herbicide era). The article contrasts the…...

E.H. Wyoming Answer: I am pleased to provide you with information on constructing a Walipini-style greenhouse. The Walipini is an underground or pit greenhouse that utilizes nature's resources to provide a warm, stable, well-lit environment for…...

W.K. Oklahoma Answer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA with your request for information on composting poultry litter. I understand you are interested in composting existing poultry litter in empty broiler houses. I've compiled some information on…...

M.M. South CarolinaAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA with your request for information on the production of French guinea fowl.Please refer to Raising Guinea Fowl (PDF/1MB), a publication by the USDA. The publication dates back to 1976 when…...

Answer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service regarding growing hot peppers for market.Before growing hot peppers for market, I recommend evaluating your clientele to see…...

N.K. IndianaAnswer: Thank you for requesting information from ATTRA on growing saffron.In my saffron file, I have notes on a follow-up report by phone from a Texas farmer who, in the mid 1990s, had been very excited about growing saffron. He had…...

A.K. New YorkAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information regarding greenhouse production, budgeting, and marketing.In general, in is important to consider growing higher value products in greenhouses to offset the labor and cost of setting…...

E.B. WisconsionAnswer: I am pleased to provide you information on tomato diseases; in particular, late blight and blossom end rot. Late blight is caused by the fungus Phytophthora infestans. A fact sheet from Ohio State University is referenced…...

P.C. MichiganAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA with your request for information on the addition of ducks into a rotational grazing system. Ducks can be raised in similar production systems as chickens, and be included in a rotational…...

D.M. FloridaAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information on grass-fed beef certifications. There are a few opportunities nation-wide to certify beef operations to a standard and obtain a label for grass-fed and other management practices.…...

J.N. WashingtonAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information on wheel line irrigation operation and maintenance.You may be interested in requesting a copy of The NCAT Guide to Efficient Irrigation, which is a 158-page take-to-the-field…...

B.S. CaliforniaAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information on gopher control.An important first step in any pest management strategy is to understand the life cycle, burrowing and tunneling habits, and damage patterns of the rodents that…...

G.H. Idaho Answer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service regarding weed management in your newly planted asparagus.As you are finding out weed management is critical…...

H.J. HawaiiAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information from ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service regarding organically approved management alternatives for "pickleworm." Pickleworm is a tropical insect and…...

D.G. MarylandAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information and ideas for pricing meat goats for on-farm selling.Although online information is scarce on the going rate for on-farm direct-marketing of slaughter-ready goats, there are good…...

D.W. OregonAnswer: Thank you for your recent request for information on organic alfalfa rotations.Rotations(1) The Noble Foundation in Oklahoma does research and education on forages and livestock management, and makes the following…...

D.G. OhioAnswer: Thank you for requesting from ATTRA a list of all available varieties of lavender. Please see our publication Lavender Production and Marketing. Refer to The Big Book of Herbs, by Arthur O. Tucker (Delaware State University) and…...

T.P. New JerseyAnswer: Thank you for requesting information from ATTRA on what qualifications you must meet as a farm intern mentor. You also ask about any state or federal programs and other aspects of having interns work on your farm. Your state…...

E.H. MissouriAnswer: Flies of concern may include members of the family Muscidae that includes house flies, stable flies, horn flies and face flies. The habits of these are summarized in the chart below. Although certain flies favor barns or…...

C.A. New YorkAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information regarding spelt production. The following articles provide descriptions of the agronomic requirements for growing spelt. One is titled "Spelt" from the Alternative Field Crops Manual…...

G.H. New HampshireAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information regarding basic information about mycorrhizae and soil health and plant nutrition. Mycorrhizae are the symbiotic fungi that surround and penetrate plant roots. Studies have…...

A.W. VirginiaAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information on composting paper.Paper is considered a good carbon source for compost and can be included in a compost pile. It is best to talk to the farmers who may be taking your paper to see…...

A.H. OregonAnswer: I'm listing below a few of the sustainable agriculture videos I found that may be useful to you. Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) Virtual Farm Tours Southern SAWG's video series titled Natural Farming…...

S.R. Rhode IslandAnswer: I am pleased to provide you with information regarding sub-acreage orcharding. Information on Sub-acreage orchards and dwarf fruit trees: Permaculture orchard design might fit into your ideas for a sub-acreage orchard, as…...

P.B. TennesseeAnswer: Thank you for contacting ATTRA for information about growing specialty cut flowers to sell at farmers' markets. I understand you are especially interested in sunflowers and dried flowers. Please refer to the ATTRA publications…...