Vermont 4-H’er earns third place in national essay contest

CN-RP-10-Vermont-4-H'er-ear1nsBURLINGTON, VT — A Grand Isle 4-H’er has earned national recognition for her essay on bees.

Madeline Chairvolotti, a member of the Champlain Shamrocks 4-H Club, took third place in the National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest, sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. Participants were asked to research and write 750 to 1,000 words on the topic, “Bees and Pollination: How Important is it?” [Read more…]

Soil erosion and tillage equipment

CM-MR-1-Soil-erosio1n1by Tamara Scully

Plowing, tilling, harrowing, fertilizing and all the other things farmers do cause soil disturbances. Calculating the impact of the disturbance can assist conservation planners and farmers in designing management strategies that protect the soil from erosion.

Five main types of soil disturbances exist: inversion with some mixing; mixing only; mixing with some inversion; lifting and fracturing; and compression. Different tools will cause different disturbances. The severity of disturbance is related to the depth of the soil involved, as well as the speed of the equipment. [Read more…]

Crop Comments: Old country gets ornery

In an article “Glyphosate Most Heavily Used Herbicide in History,” Mike Mozart stated that although enthusiasts for genetically engineered crops preach that this technology reduces herbicide use, the reverse is true. With the arrival of glyphosate-tolerant crops in 1996, use of that herbicide has increased by almost 2,000 percent in the U.S. and 1,500 percent worldwide. (More and more weeds have developed their own herbicide tolerance, resulting in the need for even more weed-killer applications.) Moreover, that between 1974 and 2014 over 3.5 billion pounds of this herbicide were applied in the U.S., with two-thirds of that amount being sprayed between 2004 and 2014. [Read more…]

Will New York dairies survive?

CW-MR-2-NY-Dairies-surviv1e2by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

If you listen to what dairy farmers are saying, you may conclude that New York State’s status as a “Dairy State” is unlikely to continue.

Small farms and large alike are being negatively impacted by the low milk prices and the numbers are staggering.

“We lost $3,000 in one month,” reports Terri Phillips of Dellavale Farm, Montgomery County. “I can’t imagine what it is on a bigger farm!” Dellavale milks about 50 cows.

Sandie Prokop co-owner of Schoharie County’s Crossbrook Dairy Farm, is milking nearly 400. “The main point is that at the end of the week, after 80-plus hours of work, my son — the daily manager — has zero dollars for all his work! Every penny that can be scraped up is spent for expenses.” [Read more…]

Recent developments with right-to-farm laws

CM-MR-50-2-Recent-de1velopments-0075by Steve Wagner

In 1911 the Spur family began to farm about 15 miles west of Phoenix, AZ. In 1956 Spur’s successors began to develop feedlots, and in May of 1959 developer Del Webb started planning a retirement community to be known as Sun City, about 10.5 miles north of the Spur feedlot. By 1965, the Del Webb community had expanded to within 500 feet of those feedlots. The proximity of the feedlots to the retirement community was bound to cause issues, and did. Some tenants had already moved in, but the fragrance of manure and accompanying flies started to inhibit housing sales. [Read more…]