Does cow comfort impact your farm’s overall production? ~ Part 2

CE-MR-1-Dairy-Day-part2-4bby Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Inadequate tie stall design — or lack of stall comfort — contributes to a loss in cow comfort, thus a loss in productivity; as was discussed by Penn State Agriculture Engineer Dan McFarland during CCE Central New York’s 2016 Dairy Day.

McFarland, an advocate of tie stalls, emphasized providing larger stalls in tie stall barns to accommodate the cow’s need to lay with her legs out-stretched and accommodate her posture when lunging low and forward to regain her feet for standing. [Read more…]

Everything has to be somewhere

CM-51-3-Manure-Digester-2-copyby Sally Colby

Managing manure on a dairy farm can be challenging, especially with ever-changing regulations about when, how and where to put it.

Dr. Robert Graves, Penn State professor emeritus of Ag and Biological Engineering, says that methane digesters are a good option for handling manure on some dairy farms, but producers should be well informed about what a digester does, the cost of establishment and upkeep, and how to keep a digester healthy. Graves added that having an on-farm digester means that the farmer must acquire skills in wastewater treatment, electric power and organic materials management. [Read more…]

Does cow comfort impact your farm’s overall production? ~ Part 1

CE-MR-2-Dairy-Day-Part-1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Can your cow’s environment and comfort have an impact on her production and milk components?

Researchers and animal scientists are saying a resounding, “Yes!”

Ongoing studies have shown remarkable increases in production and components in herds that have been shifted from overcrowded, small stalls and co-mingled herds to herds grouped by lactation number (first lactation, second lactation, etc.), are not overcrowded and have larger stalls. [Read more…]

Beginner poultry class

CEW-MR-1-Beginner-Poutry2by Katie Navarra

Spring has arrived at farm supply stores. Peeping young chicks serenade visiting customers.

Whether you’re looking to add farm raised eggs to your market offerings or are simply interested in having fresh eggs for your family, chickens are relatively easy to integrate on any farm. [Read more…]

Plant nutrition: key to crop health

by Tamara Scully

“Every living organism has very specific nutritional requirements,” John Kempf, keynote speaker at the NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference, and founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture, said. “Managing plant nutrition is the fundamental tool in yield and quality.”

No matter whether the crop is grass, grain or vegetables, healthy plants not only have immunity to disease and pest pressures, they also enhance the soil environment.” [Read more…]