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…]

Dairy settlement denied in federal lawsuit

by Bethany M. Dunbar

BURLINGTON, VT — United States District Court Judge Christina Reiss has denied a proposed $50-million settlement in an anti-trust case filed by dairy farmers against their cooperative.

In a decision filed Friday, March 31, the judge notes that 35 farmers objected to the settlement, while 10 supported it. Objections noted that the settlement per farm would be about $4,000 per farm, an amount described by one of the farmers in a letter as “functionally irrelevant” as it is about “the cost of one tractor tire.”

One of the plaintiffs, Richard Swantak of Kortright, NY, said in a telephone interview he is hoping Judge Reiss will decide the plaintiffs can dismiss their attorney. [Read more…]

Mark your calendars for the April 25 SUNY Cobleskill 2015 Livestock Sale

CE-MR-2-Cobleskill-Sale1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Folks looking for well raised small livestock will definitely want to attend the livestock auction at the SUNY Cobleskill campus on April 25.

Technically known as the ‘3rd Colby Commencement Sale’, the sale will include hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, poultry, Bob White quail and possibly a few fall born Angus calves. [Read more…]