Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, November 15, 1986, Image 145

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vironmental Resources Secretary
Nicholas Deßenedictis this week
announced receipt of a $2 1 million
federal Environmental Protection
Agency grant for the third year of
the Commonwealth’s program to
help improve the environmental
quality of the Chesapeake Bay.
“The EPA grant, matching the
Commonwealth’s $2.1 million
NEWARK, Del. - Alfalfa fields
established in the fall of 1985 or
spring of 1986 struggled all season
in southern Delaware. “This has
been a long, frustrating season for
many crops and even a deep
rooted perennial crop like alfalfa
had problems - especially stands
less than a year old,” says
University of Delaware extension
agricultural agent Bob Hochmuth.
In most cases, he says, alfalfa
planted last fall or spring got off to
a fairly good start, and plant stand
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a Model HM-101
Extra Strength for Extra Use
EPA Adds $2.1
commitment in this year’s state
budget, brings Pennsylvania’s
1986-87 Chesapeake Bay program
to $4.2 million,” Deßenedictis said.
Since 1984-85, more than $lO
million has been committed by
state and federal governments for
Pennsylvania’s efforts to help in
the bay cleanup working jointly
with Maryland, Virginia and the
District of Columbia.
Drought Causes Nodule Loss In New Alfalfa
counts were acceptable. Then they
were zapped by hot, dry weather.
Even with adequate moisture
during August and early Sep
tember, these new stands have not
responded. What’s the problem?
Through Cooperative Ex
tension’s alfalfa integrated pest
management program, scouts
visited many Delaware fields
weekly during the growing season.
They noticed that new stands
weren’t regrowing quickly even
after the rain came in August.
jb mm ■ a RD 3 Muddy Creek Chun h Ro.icl
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Million To Bay Cleanup Effort
“Pennsylvania’s participation in
the Chesapeake Bay cleanup is
vital to its success," EPA Region
111 Administrator James M Seif
said. “Half the nutrients and a
great deal of the sediments enter
the bay from Pennsylvania’s
portion of the Susquehanna,
particularly from the southern
counties where farming and
livestock are concentrated ”
“Most of these problem fields
had high soil test levels, so we
didn’t think lack of fertility could
be the cause,” Hochmuth says.
“Diseases weren’t a factor
either-most crowns and stems
were healthy and disease free. But
when we carefully dug the stunted
plants out of the ground and
examined their root systems, the
cause of their poor and yellowed
regrowth was obvious. These new
stands had lost their nitrogen
fixing nodules.”
Alfalfa is a legume, a plant type
that uses rhizobia bacteria
growing in association with its root
system to acquire nitrogen. These
rhizobia form nodules on the roots,
and through the nodules convert
atmospheric nitrogen to a plant
available form.
Lancaster Farming Saturday, November 15,1986-025
Fifty percent of Pennsylvania’s
program funds improved nutrient
management practices on farm
land in the Susquehanna River
Basin To date, more than 300
farmers have expressed interest in
the cost-sharing program, with
design or construction of facilities
underway on 100 farms in Adams,
Chester, Dauphin, Lancaster and
“Since the rhizobia bacterium is
a living organism, it too suffers
during extremely hot, dry
weather,” Hochmuth explains.
“Early last spring these new
stands were well-nodulated. But
during the period of drought this
summer, the nodules were forced
into dormancy. When the rains
finally came, the alfalfa plants had
to become re-nodulated naturally
in the field. With a young stand,
there are only a few bacteria in the
root zone, so it takes longer for
plants to form nodules. As a result,
the alfalfa becomes stressed and
deficient in nitrogen.
“These plants are slowly
becoming re-nodulated, and stands
are recovering. But to get the roots
off to a quicker start and hasten
the nodulation process,” the ex
tension agent continues, “in some
cases this fall we recommended
applying a little nitrogen-about 20
pounds per- acre—from a com
mecial source.”
Farmers who suspect they have
had or continue to have this
problem in alfalfa should contact
their county extension agent for
assistance in checking nodulation,
Hochmuth says. Extension agents
can be reached in Newark (451-
2506), Dover (736-1448) or
Georgetown (856-7303).
York counties,
“Earlier this fall, Lt. Gov
Scranton announced expansion of
the cost-sharing program to
counties in the upper Susquehanna
River Basin-,” Deßenedictis said
“Upon completion of watershed
assessments, the cost-sharing
program will be extended to
Northumberland, Union,
Lycoming, Centre, Montour and
Snyder counties.”
Under the cost-sharing program,
farmers may receive 80 percent of
the cost of implementing an ap
proved nutrient management
program, up to $30,000. Approved
practices include reduced tillage
systems, animal waste handling
and storage facilities, contour
farming and stream protection
Pennsylvania’s bay program
also includes extensive
educational programs for the
agricultural community and
general public and technical
assistance for county conservation
Pennsylvania’s Chesapeake Bay
program is administered by DER
in cooperation with the State
Conservation Commission and
conservation districts.
Bred Holstein heifer due
Nov. 25 Dehorned,
vaccinated, have health
charts Clinton Co. 717-
MF 42 mower, used 10
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Susquehanna Co. 717-
1979 Chevy Impala
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miles, AC, auto., PS, PB,
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Lebanon Co. 215-589-
Comptote Walls Cargo
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