Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, January 29, 2000, Image 21

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    NEWARK,DeI.-Robert Hutch
ison and his brothers run a
choose-and-cut Christmas tree
business on their farm in
Cordova, Md. It’s a good sideline
on the farm that grows corn,
soybeans, barley and wheat, he
said, but it’s “a lot of hard work.”
To stay afloat in the 21st centu
ry, he thinks farmers will have
to be proactive and move toward
strategies that take advantage
of the needs of population
around them, such as Christmas
tree, turf or recreational farm
Bruce Lambertson of Lam
bertson Farms, Inc. in Stockton,
v ,
best possible grass and broadleaf control. All season, every season. For more information, see your
dealer, call our hotline at 800-759-2500 or visit our web site at
Corn/Soy Confab to Focus on Ups, Downs In Agriculture
Md., would like to retire some
day, “at least on paper,” he said
with a chuckle. In the meantime,
he and his brother, Curtis, have
no time for growing specialty
crops, but he’s very interested in
learning more about GPS-glo
bal positioning systems-as a
way to maximize his planting
efforts and keep feed and fertil
izer costs down.
Pat and Temple Rhodes al
ready use GPS on their com
bines and tractors and credit
new technologies with their abil
ity to stay competitive in busi
ness. They’re not ready to give
up one particular low-tech prac-
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tice, though: their whole fami
ly-four daughters, one son, 14
grandchildren and assorted in
laws-all pitch in when needed,
which keeps labor costs down.
All three families are multi
generation farmers on Delmarva
and all three agree: changes are
coming quickly in agriculture,
and with these changes, prob
lems and challenges their par
ents and grandparents could
never have imagined. It’s not
just drought, lack of markets or
labor problems that face farmers
in 2000. It’s federal regulations,
genetically enhanced crops and
risk management that hold their
attention as they are confronted
with serious decisions, including
the most serious of all; can we
afford to continue farming?
Bruce Lambertson, Robert
Hutchison, and Pat and Temple
Rhodes will share their history,
experiences and concerns on the
future of farming in personal
conversations with local farmers
at the 20th Annual Delmarva
Com and Soybean Technology
Conference. This year’s theme is
“Beyond 2000-Remaining Pro-
Lkfii ,
fitable in Agriculture in the New
Using a new format featuring
roundtable discussions on some
of the questions and issues chal
lenging farmers today, confer
ence sessions will be held at
three locations across the
Delmarva peninsula
•Thursday, Feb 10: Asbury
United Methodist Church, West
Mount Vernon Street, Smyrna,
Del. Guest speakers' Pat and
Temple Rhodes
•Friday, Feb 11 Carolina
County 4-H Park, Decatur Road
off Highway 16, Denton, Md
Guest speaker; Robert Hutch
•Saturday, Feb 12: Pocomoke
High School, off US. Route 13,
Pocomoke City, Md. Guest
speaker; Bruce Lambertson
All sessions will run from 9
a.m. to 3 p.m., with a one-hour
break for lunch. Roundtable dis
cussion topics are “Shaping the
Farm Business Strategy”;
“Grain Marketing-Adding To
Your Bottom Line”; “Biotechnol
ogy and the Consumer”; and
“Managing Risk Through
Government Programs.”
“We’re planning a very inter
active meeting this year so
farmers can participate in the
discussions as much as they
like,” said Gordon Johnson,
cooperative extension agricul
tural agent for the University of
Delaware and chair of the Corn
and Soybean Conference plan
ning committee. Instead of a
trade show, the conference will
center on roundtable discussions
featuring guests from the farm
ing community, agribusiness
community and consumer
groups as well as experts from
the universities of Delaware and
The conference is sponsored
by Cooperative Extension at
land-grant universities in Dela
ware, Maryland and Virginia
and by agribusinesses serving
the Delmarva peninsula. How
ever, there will be no commercial
or educational exhibits at this
year’s event.
The $5 registration charge for
each meeting includes refresh
ments and lunch. For more
information, contact your county
cooperative extension office.
Register early-seating is limited
at each location.
(Continued from Rage A2l)
But to be successful, the right kind of crops
have to meet the needs for the right buyers,
and the quality has to be high to compete with
southern produce, noted Leinbach.
“Everything has to be done right, from A to
Z,” he said.
Most auctions, including Weaverland Auc
tion in New Holland, begin the auction season
in late March or early April with flowers, bed
ding plants, and baskets and operate until
about Thanksgiving. Several auctions also
have Christmas trees.
Neil A. Courtney, manager of Buffalo
Valley Produce Auction in Mifflinburg, sells
wreaths and Christmas trees. The Christmas
tree auction is a “vital part” of the auction,
and will be conducted over two days this year,
he noted.
The auction has about 1,700 consignors
from central Pennsylvania, Florida, Connect
icut, and other areas. The auction hosts up to
900 buyers.
Courtney pointed out that growers should
learn the concept of produce auction. The
auctions are strictly a business of “averages,”
he pointed out in the convention’s proceed
ings. Growers must use the auction consist
ently and not be concerned about day prices,
but prices over a long term. “No price is too
low and none too high at the auction,” he
Most of the auctions use produce, including
cantaloupes and watermelons, from southern
Weaverland auction, according to spok
esperson Moses Sensenig, has 400 regular
growers and about 75-100 buyers, operating
in its second year, located three miles north of
New Holland.
Farmers in the area are gradually changing
from growing tobacco to vegetables, accord
ing to the report supplied by Daniel Martin of
the auction in the proceedings.
Commissions are the same at most, includ
ing eight percent at Leola, Weaverland, and
Leinbach, and 10 percent at Buffalo Valley.
Buffalo Valley charges an extra two percent
for services, Courtney noted.
Leinbach said all charge about eight per
cent because “Leola and others charge eight
percent,” he said. But it’s a lot cheaper than
the terminal market, which charges 15 per
cent and additional service charges.
Though some of the auctions have handled
organic produce, there was minimal success,