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Harvesting crops
Agriculture & Commercial Horticulture Resources

This section presents informational and educational resources for agricultural producers and commercial horticulture professionals.

View a listing of services from UMass Extension of interest to producers.

Best Management Practices (BMPs)

Sets of voluntary practices for agricultural and horticultural operations designed to maximize productivity and sustainability.  

Nutrient Best Management Practices

These recommended practices are intended to assist agricultural and horticultural operations in Massachusetts in staying up to date with changing nutrient management requirements. 

Management Guides

Seven comprehensive guides on management practices for topics including pests, soils, and nutrients in Massachusetts and New England.

Pest Alerts/ Messages

Brief periodic communications from Extension agricultural and horticultural programs on timely issues of interest.

Newsletters

Online newsletters from Extension agricultural and horticultural programs intended to keep producers up-to-date on issues affecting agricultural businesses.

The Green Directory

An annual comprehensive guide to educational resources for Massachusetts agriculture and horticulture industry professionals.

Food Safety for Farmers

Information resources on good agricultural practices to ensure that risk of on-farm microbial contamination is minimized. Information on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), USDA’s Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification and the Massachusetts Commonwealth Quality Program certification.

Business Resources for Farmers

A comprehensive guide to business resources for all farmers—both existing and beginning—in Massachusetts. Sections on: Starting to Plan; Finances and Taxes; Regulations and Laws; Other Resources.

Beginning Farmer Resources

This section provides information on educational resources and programs at UMass Amherst and through other organizations especially geared toward beginning farmers. Beginning farmers can also consult the “Business Resources for Farmers” section just above.

Pesticide Education Training

The Pesticide Education Training Program helps prepare applicants for state licensure examination as pesticide applicators. Massachusetts law requires that all persons who apply pesticides for commercial, agricultural or professional purposes in public areas and private places used for human occupation and habitation must be in possession of a valid license or certification issued by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. 

Farms Specific FAQs

Find answers by Extension agricultural experts to common questions specific to different types of farms. These include: apple orchards; bees and honey; Christmas trees; field grown cut flowers; forest management; goats and sheep; greenhouse crops; horses; maple sugaring; nursery production; vegetable production; vineyards.

Commonwealth Quality

Information for farmers on becoming part of the state’s Commonwealth Quality Program. The Commonwealth Quality Seal serves to identify locally sourced products that are grown, harvested, and processed right here in Massachusetts using practices that are safe, sustainable and don't harm the environment.

Massachusetts Agricultural Data

This section presents the results of the U.S. Census of Agriculture for Massachusetts in readable and understandable formats. Every five years, the USDA conducts a census of U.S. agriculture to obtain a complete picture of agriculture in the nation.

Additional Agriculture Resources

There are many agricultural resources for beginning and existing farmers in Massachusetts that may be accessed through the following UMass Extension program sub-sections: