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Get the Most Out of Trade Shows This Year

Farm trade shows can be a fun way to network, expand your knowledge, and learn ways to improve your farm operation.

CropCare offers the following tips to help you get the most out of the 2017-18 lineup of trade shows. Go prepared so you get the most out of it.

mobile app trade show image
Use trade show mobile apps to locate exhibitors and plan your schedule.

Research & Mobile Apps

Look online for the trade show event(s) you plan to attend. See if there is an event map available, especially one that includes a list of participating trade show vendors and their display locations. Plot your course.

Some events have mobile apps specifically designed for trade show events, which can help you view a show map, mark booths to see, view the contacts/sales reps who will be at each booth, and get contact information for vendors. You can also learn about workshops and discounts more easily.

SE Regional 2017, the official mobile app for the 2017 SE Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference, lets attendees explore sessions, develop their own personal schedules, access speaker information, and post and view popular discussion topics and show-related photos.

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Farmer’s sore back leads to new farm equipment

Here’s a fun look at the timeline of the PA1600:

farm equipment picking and planting fruit vegetables
The prototype of the PA1600 is shown, built in 2008.
PA1600
The PA1600, 2015 model.
  1. Originally developed in 2008 by Keith Zimmerman to help alleviate a local farmer’s sore back. The machine allows farmers to pick produce while lying down.
  2. The Picking Assistant was added to the CropCare product line when there proved to be a potential market. It’s manufactured by PBZ LLC of Lititz, PA.
  3. The Picking Assistant has undergone several small updates over the past 7 years.
  4. Introduced the first major new model in the fall of 2015. It gained national attention in August after a news broadcast by WGAL News 8 reporter Meredith Jorgensen, operating the PA1600 at Plum Creek Farm, was syndicated.
  5. This latest model includes wider, more aggressive tires for better traction in muddy conditions, a gear drive motor system, variable speed controls, and solar panels to eliminate the need to bring the machine in from the field for charging. Large rear produce trays on each machine hold 5 strawberry flats to minimize trips to and from the field.
  6. Many updates to the picking/planting assistant were based on customer feedback.
  7. Plum Creek Farm in Berks County, PA., used three machine last year, which played a critical role in refining the new model in preparation for release to the market. The farm continues to use the PA1600 to harvest strawberries for sale at its farm market stand.
  8. Sales of the picking assistant have increased more than 200% since September 2015.

See the PA1600 in action here.

Is Your Sprayer Nozzle the Right Material?

poly nozzle sprayer tip
Poly Sprayer Nozzle

Sprayer tips can be made from various materials, mainly soft metal (aluminum or brass), polypropylene, stainless steel, hardened stainless steel, or ceramic.

When choosing the nozzle for your sprayer application, think about the nozzle’s cost, its longevity/durability, and its performance/accuracy. (See Tips For Choosing The Right Sprayer Nozzle.)

The material it’s made of will play an integral role in meeting your needs.

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Tips For Choosing the Right Sprayer Nozzle

Your sprayer nozzles should provide safe, adequate coverage while avoiding product waste.

It’d be great if one nozzle type covered all applications sufficiently, but that’s just not the case.

“That is why we offer so many different spray angles, droplet sizes, and flow rates,” said Bryan Fowler, regional sales manager at TeeJet Technologies. “Spraying is quite varied and has many different requirements.”

With all the choices, it can be overwhelming.

Fowler and Lowell Graybill, sales and technical support at CropCare Equipment, offer some guidance: Continue reading ..

Truck Disinfect System Can Help Prevent HPAI Spread

prevent avian flu and protect your chickens with CropCare's Truck Disinfect System for biosecurity and bird safety
As part of controlling the spread of HPAI, the USDA has issued its 2015 Fall HPAI Preparedness and Response Plan. Part of its message? Biosecurity is vital.

Millions of farmers are approaching this season with apprehension, hoping their farm isn’t affected by the highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Millions will wait to take action against it until a farm nearby is struck.

But Gregory Hostetter, Deputy Secretary for Animal Health and Food Safety with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture, met one farmer who put things in sharp perspective:

“He said, ‘I’m not going to wait until it’s around me; I’m going to make sure I’m not the first farm struck.’”

Avian Flu truck disinfect system on video
Click HERE for a demonstration of the CropCare Truck Disinfect System.

Having a biosecurity plan in place can help ensure that. CropCare’s Truck Disinfect System can play a major role in a better standard of biosecurity.

Nearly 50 million birds have been affected by avian influenza since December, 2014. More than 200 poultry operations in the upper Midwest were hit with an avian flu outbreak this spring.

Several cases of HPAI have been confirmed in migratory bird paths. That current fall migration is of particular concern as it increases the risk of the disease spreading.

Because millions of egg-laying birds were destroyed, egg prices have risen. Consumer pockets have been hit.

As part of controlling the spread of the disease, the USDA has issued its 2015 Fall HPAI Preparedness and Response Plan. Part of its message? Biosecurity is vital.

“Biosecurity is our first line of defense,” said Hostetter. “Any tool available to use as preventative measures, to prevent movement or spread of foreign animal disease, is golden.” Continue reading ..