Agriculture, Horticulture & Land Resources

Dr. Stephen Brown is the Agriculture/Horticulture Agent for the Mat-Su/Copper River District.

Click here to visit Steve's online curriculum vitae.

News, Upcoming Events & Announcements

Upcoming 2015 Events

Alaska Produce Growers Conference, February 21st, 8-5 pm.  Will take place at the Matanuska Experiment Farm, 1509 S. Georgeson Dr., Palmer.


USDA Reminds Alaska Farmers of Crop Insurance Dates

Contact: Jo Lynne Seufer(509) 228-6320


March 16 Sales Closing Date Near for Crop Insurance in Alaska

Options for Farmers with Insurable Spring-Seeded Crops


SPOKANE, Wash., Jan. 26, 2015 – USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) reminds Alaska farmers of the March 16 sales closing date for federal crop insurance. This includes the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy, as well as policies for spring-seeded insurable crops (barley, cabbage, potatoes, oats and wheat).


“Alaska farmers have the option of purchasing an individual policy for each insured crop or the whole-farm revenue protection option to cover multiple crops under one policy,” said Ben Thiel, Director of RMA’s Spokane Regional Office.


Whole-Farm Revenue Protection is tailored for any farm with up to $8.5 million in insured revenue, including specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock). The new insurance policy provides premium discount incentives for crop diversification and protection against low revenue due to unavoidable natural disasters and market fluctuations that affect income during the insurance year. Most farm-raised crops, animals, and animal products are eligible for protection. Coverage also includes replanting payments, provisions that increase coverage for expanding operations and the inclusion of market readiness costs in the coverage.


Farmers are encouraged to visit their crop insurance agent soon to learn specific details for the 2015 crop year. Crop insurance coverage decisions must be decided on or before the sales closing date.


Crop insurance is sold and delivered solely through private crop insurance agents. A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers and online at the RMAAgent Locator. Producers can use the RMACost Estimator to get a premium amount estimate of their insurance needs online.




USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (toll-free customer service), (800) 877-8339 (local or federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (relay voice users).

Plant Hardiness Zone Information

Here is a link to the new and improved USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. Just enter a Zip Code into the query box and the website will determine the approximate plant hardiness zone. Go to the Interactive Map tab and  zoom into a particular location on the map. Maps are available for download under the Map and Download tap. Explore the site and enjoy!

Areas of Interest (Click each heading to view more info)

* Commercial Agriculture

* Commercial Horticulture

* GPS Program

* Precision Agriculture

Soil Testing and Nutrient/pH Amendment Recommendations Information (Click to open)

Introduction to Alaska Gardening video series

Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a newbie looking for your green thumb, you probably know gardening in Alaska is different than anywhere else. Introduction to Alaska Gardening will teach you what you need to know to start gardening in the Last Frontier. Taught by Master Gardener and organic farmer Marie Roop (Domer), topics include starting plants, season extension using raised beds and ground/row covers, soil preparation, soil sampling, fertilization and much, much more. 

Click for more about video series (parts II - part VI)

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