Mother Nature deals farmers an unpredictable hand of “climate poker”

CEW-MR-1-Mother-Nature11by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY – The weather was unusually mild, yet not unwelcome, for the 184th annual gathering of the New York State Agricultural Society and Forum.

The mild winter didn’t surprise keynote speaker Dr. Art DeGaetano.

The professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Cornell University and director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center came armed with enough statistical data about upstate New York’s weather in the last century to make the earth spin. He shared his insights during the keynote address on the theme of climate smart farming. [Read more…]

Antibiotics: impact of production use

by Tamara Scully

Depending on what livestock you raise, and how you raise it, antibiotic use for anything other than treating a disease may not even be on your radar. But antibiotics are utilized for purposes other than disease control across livestock industries to varying degrees.

In livestock production, antibiotics are utilized for more than disease treatment. They are also used to prevent existing illness from spreading through the population, as well as prophylactically, to prevent illness from arising in the population. They are also used for production purposes. [Read more…]

Climate change addressed at Ag Society’s Annual Meeting

CEW-MR-3-Ag-Society1114by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — Everyone on earth has a stake in the planet’s increasingly unpredictable climate.

It especially impacts the agricultural industry and farmers’ livelihoods, from the supply, the use or lack of natural resources, the length of the growing season, to weather-related disasters, the impact on our food chain and the rising cost of production. [Read more…]

Cattle breeding class, part 2

CM-MR-1-Cattle-breeding128wby Judy Van Put

After a noontime complimentary lunch, the second part of the Cattle Breeding Class — reported in the Jan. 25 issue of Country folks — covered calving protocol.

Dr. Kimberly Crowe, Catskill Veterinary Services, PLLC, discussed when to move cows into the maternity pen, whether a dry cow pack or calving/sand pen, and during which stage of labor. She said dry pack was easier — but does get crowded in August and September. She suggested checking to find those cows that are close to calving, and then moving them to 10 by 10 or 10 by 12 calving pens. [Read more…]

Dealing with animal rights activists ~ Part 4

Part 4: Are employees performing their jobs properly?

by Sally Colby

Kay Johnson Smith, president and CEO of Animal Agriculture Alliance, says that good animal welfare begins with taking a good, hard look at your farm business.

“Take a look at animal care handling and if there are issues there,” said Smith. “Make sure equipment is in good working order and will help you perform routine animal care safely and humanely.” Smith suggests if a farmer is experiencing problems with equipment (or lack thereof) or in working with livestock, it’s worth seeking expert help. [Read more…]