Organic farming

by Jane Primerano

The term “organic farming” was coined by J. I. Rodale back in the 1940s. The institute he founded and the farms he started continue, now under the direction of Mark Smallwood.

The institute is housed at Kutztown University, not far from the Emmaus, PA, publishing company (think Organic Gardening) operated by members of the family, but a separate entity.

Smallwood was invited to be the keynote speaker for the 25th annual Winter Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association — New Jersey held at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. His address was a call to good stewardship and a delineation of the work being done at Rodale. [Read more…]

How now brown cow: small family dairies still exist

CM-MR-2-SLOOP-DAIRY-2by Karl H. Kazaks

MT. ULLA, NC — “Of everything I do, this is my favorite,” says Ryan Sloop as he walks down a stock lane, leading a group of Brown Swiss from his family’s dairy to one of the farm’s many grazing pastures. The herd follows behind him, eager to get to a fresh stand of grass. Zealous though they are, all of them are trained to follow Sloop’s lead. When he reached the entry to that morning’s paddock, Sloop steps aside and let the cows stream into the pasture. When they settle down to graze, Sloop appraises the action. “That’s a good sound,” he says, “Heads down – grass going in, milk coming out.” [Read more…]

Planning for pigweed control- Part 1 – know the enemy

CM-MR-2-Pigweeds-pt1-4767by Sally Colby

The name of nearly any weed is a dirty word to both crop and vegetable farmers, and one weed group will be particularly challenging in the coming years.

Pigweeds have been around for a while, and have been fairly manageable until they started to exhibit signs of resistance to available herbicides. Herbicide resistance is a serious problem, defined as ‘when a labeled rate of a herbicide, which previously killed target species, will no longer control the target species.’ [Read more…]

New York farmers dodge a bullet on minimum wage increase

CEW-MR-1-Minimum wage1by Pat Malin

EAST SYRACUSE, NY — The New York Farm Bureau’s Fusion Forum on March 20-21 allowed plenty of time for networking and discussions with other farmers and ranchers.

Whether they operate a dairy farm or a cattle ranch or a farm that grows vegetables, the farmers shared a unanimous opinion (or more precisely, gripes) that the New York State Legislature does not give enough weight to the concerns of agriculture. [Read more…]