Dangerous manure moves to a higher level

C4-MR-3-MANUREDEMO1by Steve Wagner

“If you drop your monkey wrench, you could bend down to pick it up, and be in a dangerous place.” With that statement, Rob Meinen, senior extension associate at Penn State’s Department of Animal Science, essentially described the tone of the seminar this day at Pleasant View Dairy Farms LLC in Pine Grove, PA. Looking at a soon-to-be-filled lagoon surrounded by cyclone fencing, he further cautioned heightened awareness to match an increasing threat. “We need to be aware that an outdoor storage like this should be considered a confined space. Confined spaces are not designed for normal worker occupancy.” [Read more…]

Schaghticoke Fair wrap-up

CE-MR-3-Schaghticoke713by Katie Navarra

Alpacas, sheep, cattle, goats and horses, oh my!

It must be the annual Schaghticoke Fair, which ran Aug. 27 to Sept. 1. Featuring 4-H and open competitions youth and adult exhibitors alike hauled livestock of all breeds and types into the Fair.

Exhibitors had their animals on display for both competition and to engage the general public in learning about the farming way of life. [Read more…]

Low-key approach paves the way for Luckman Farms’ Supreme Female Champion

CEW-MR-4-Supreme female1by Pat Malin

SYRACUSE, NY — Lizzy Luckman of Lucky Lane Farm in western New York knows what it takes to show beef cattle, but it doesn’t mean she is overconfident.

“I didn’t expect to win this show,” Luckman commented after the judges at the New York State Fair bestowed the Supreme Champion Beef Female title on her homebred heifer Lucky Lane Eloise on Aug. 26. [Read more…]

The Maryland High School Rodeo Association holds its first rodeo

SONY DSCby Hope Holland

The one-year-old Maryland High School Rodeo Association put on its first-ever rodeo at the Brice Ridgely Live Events Arena during the Howard Country Fair in August. The rodeo was very well attended and was a showcase for the talents of the admittedly fledgling rodeo contestants. [Read more…]

Moldy hay holds multiple hazards for horses

by Bill and Mary Weaver

Dr. Robert Van Saun, a Penn State University Extension veterinarian and professor, was called to a farm to investigate why the horses became colicky after eating. The hay in their diet appeared to be quality orchard grass hay. Van Saun’s suspicions were aroused, however, when he noticed a musty smell. An analysis showed that the hay contained over 25 percent moisture — a dead giveaway to the problem.

“To prevent mold growth,” Van Saun explained, “hay must be dried to below 15 percent moisture. Thirteen percent is safer.” He took a mold culture, and found more than a million colony forming units (CFUs) per gram of penicillium mold — a potential mycotoxin-producing mold — on the hay. [Read more…]