Mike Phillips adds grazing of cover crops in move to year-round grazing

CM-MR-1-Mike Phillips 1by Karl H. Kazaks

ATHLONE, VA — People throughout the Mid-Atlantic remember about the winter of 2009-2010 for the abundance of snow that was visited upon the region. Most places received three to four times their average annual amount of snowfall. Once it fell the snow remained, with some localities reporting the longest period of consecutive snow cover since the early 1960s.

Mike Phillips remembers the winter for other reasons: that was when he was inspired to try grazing cattle on a multi-species cover crop.

As part of his efforts to improve the soil quality of his farm here in northeastern Rockingham County, he had planted a mix of grasses, legumes, and Brassica following a summer annual crop. [Read more…]

Corn and soybean growers have banner year

CEWM-MR-1-Corn and 1by Sally Colby

With nearly ideal growing conditions in many segments of the Mid-Atlantic region, 2013 was a record year for production. According to Dr. Greg Roth, Penn State Extension, Pennsylvania corn growers averaged an outstanding 237 bushels/acre.

At the Professional Crop Growers Conference held recently in Lancaster, PA, awards were given to growers who achieved top yields. Because the measurement of crop yields over a period of years is a better accurate indicator of overall performance than just one year’s yield, participants in the state’s Corn Club are recognized for three-year average performance. [Read more…]

Casey Porter crowned 2014 New York State Dairy Princess

ADA_Pageant 2-18=14“I’m so thankful and so honored to represent New York dairy farmers,” said Casey Porter of Jefferson County, as she was crowned and titled “2014-2015 New York State Dairy Princess” by American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. (ADADC). The 51st annual New York State Dairy Princess Coronation, was held Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, NY. Pageant emcee Dale Sweetland brought humor and laughter to a roomful of 368 people, mostly dairy farmers and their families. [Read more…]

Celebrating the green-up and the underground livestock

CEW-MR-1-Winter green up1by Troy Bishopp

ALBANY, NY — This year’s robust installment of Albany County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension Winter Green-Up Grass-Fed Grazing Conference highlighted burgeoning grass-fed markets, grazing management and the little guys under the soil. As guest speaker, Missouri’s NRCS State Soil Health Conservationist and Beef Farmer Doug Peterson put it, “It’s all about the soil biology.”

The theme throughout the two-day event resonated well with farmers from around the Northeast who continue to hone their skills and minds on how to improve their operations. And lest we forget knowledge is better taken with food, graziers enjoyed “the best conference meals in the region.” [Read more…]

New SUNY Cobleskill Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources update

CE-MR-1-SUNY Cobleskill5by Brad Johnson, SUNY Cobleskill, Assistant Professor of Animal Science

At the SUNY Cobleskill School of Agriculture faculty meeting on Jan. 16, John Rose, Project Manager for the new, $38.766 million Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, reported that the expected completion date for the building is June 11.

The 98,000 square foot facility will house the Animal Science, Fisheries and Wildlife, and Plant Science departments, featuring a USDA inspected meats lab, cold and warm water fish hatcheries, and 18,000 square feet of gutter-connected greenhouse space. [Read more…]