Maryland Farm & Harvest: Episode 605

Premiere air date: Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 7pm on MPT-HD

Program preview

Episode Description

  • We take a look at Perdue Farms’ research into how to grow the best chicken possible. This includes comparing a variety of different breeds, like slower-growing chickens that would cost more to raise but would meet growing consumer demand. The segment begins at Perdue’s Westover Research Farm before moving to the Perdue Innovation Center in Salisbury where volunteers have a chance to taste—and rate—the new birds.
  • Hidden amongst Raemelton Farm’s 300 plus varieties of ornamental trees in Frederick County, special sensors help measure weather conditions and soil moisture levels to determine how much watering is necessary. University of Maryland scientist John Lea Cox is testing this new irrigation sensor control as a way to reduce water use and lessen the environmental impact of the farm. Plus, as farmer Steve Black explains, the technology is good for the farmer’s bottom line.
  • First established in the 1940s, the Wye Angus Herd, housed at the Wye Research and Education Center in Queenstown, is a “closed-herd”—meaning no new genetic material (i.e. outside breeding stock) has been introduced to the herd in half a century. For buyers at the annual Wye Angus Auction, this means a consistently high-quality animal with a well-documented pedigree. But the herd’s real value lies in what it means for scientists, like Jiuzhou Song, and his ongoing research into grain-fed vs. grass-fed beef.
  • The Local Buy: Al Spoler visits 78 Acres, a fruit and vegetable farm in Washington County, which despite its name is actually 100 acres. Farmer Matt Harsh explains the name, as well as their unique style of harvesting that they believe contributes to a fresher product at the grocery store.
  • Then & Now: Harvest Technology

Production stills



Chicken Catcher

This tool was used to catch chickens, whether they needed medical attention or were on their way to becoming a fresh chicken dinner. Farmers hooked the chicken’s leg in the crook of the wire hook to catch them.

Thingamajig provided by the Historical Society of Baltimore County.