The new normal

CEW-MR-2-The-new-normal2by Steve Wagner

Ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was once asked a hypothetical question by a member of the media, and answered, “I don’t do hypotheticals!” But as hypotheticals go, some are necessary. Penn-Ag’s Executive Vice President Chris Herr rightly noted in discussing steps being taken to cope with High Pathogenic Avian Influenza, “what you’re seeing is the new normal.” Jennifer Reed-Harry, speaking at an earlier seminar on emergency preparedness, said because HPAI has not been identified yet in Pennsylvania, we are theoretically on emergency stand-by. [Read more…]

Entrapment risk due to flowing grain

Summarized by Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University

Farmers and ranchers use bins to dry and store grain and to feed their livestock. For the most part, augers are used to transfer the grain to and from bins. Some machinery and augers now used in production agriculture have increased in size and power, resulting in less time for farmers and ranchers to react in dangerous situations. It is therefore important to understand fully the hazards and risks associated with flowing grain and to follow safety guidelines to avoid a potentially fatal injury incident. There are four main situations that pose entrapment risks when you work with stored grain: flowing grain, grain bridge collapse, grain wall avalanche, and use of a grain vacuum. Each of these situations and its entrapment risks are described below. [Read more…]

The Wood Thrush’s role in Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

CN-MR-2-The-wood-thrush's1by George Looby

In their never ending quest to find answers to all of the questions regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis researchers continue to study all of the contributing factors in the ever-changing picture. EEE has long been recognized as one of the most deadly insect borne diseases affecting man, horses and game birds in the eastern U.S. In much of the region it appears in mid-summer extending on into late fall coming to an end with the first killing frost. Conscientious horse owners for many years have incorporated yearly vaccinations into their horse health programs with good to excellent results. The symptoms in infected animals can best be described as that of a mental stupor progressing on to death in a large percentage of cases. Those that may survive are often left with significant neurological deficits. In the horse there is no specific treatment except that of a supportive nature. Since 2003 the CDC reports that there have been 55 human cases of this disease resulting in 23 deaths. [Read more…]

From chicks to charity

by Lorraine Strenkowski    

Having an agriculturally related job is so rewarding. I am fortunate enough to work at Lyman Memorial High School in Lebanon, CT — my alma mater and home to the Lebanon Regional Agricultural Science & Technology Center. As a paraprofessional I work alongside students and teachers as needed, and am currently assigned to a freshman Ag-Science class. In a first year class the students are introduced to the FFA Program. “As stated on our website,” says Animal Science teacher Brenda Wildes, “The mission of the Agriculture Science program is to provide instruction leading to a career in agriculture upon completion of high school or to prepare students for entrance into a two or four year college.” [Read more…]

2nd annual Hudson Valley Value-Added Grain School ~ part 2

CW-MR-1-Grain-School-part2-61by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Gene L’Etoile of Four Star Farms, MA, spoke to attendees at the 2nd annual Hudson Valley Value-Added Grain School and Trade Show, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) and CCE Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program.

He described how he and his wife began a turf operation for sports fields, home lawns and other landscaping needs in 1976. Then, as their family expanded, they added a hops operation on less than an acre of land and started small grains on 8 acres in 2008. Today they have expanded to 110 acres of turf, 17 acres of hops and over 120 acres of grain and heritage corn, on both their own and rented land. [Read more…]