Preventing fires in baled hay and straw

CW-MR-3-HAY-FIRES1Most hay fires occur within the first six weeks after baling. Understanding the causes of fires in stored hay and learning how to reduce fire hazards will protect your feed supply and could prevent the loss of time and money associated with a fire.  [Read more…]

Diversifying works for Red Gate Farm

CN-MR-12-1-RED-GATE-FARMby Laura Rodley
Nigerian Dwarf goats frolic and school children get a chance to gather eggs, plants seeds, put up fencing, and drive Joe the Milking Shorthorn ox at Red Gate Farm in Ashfield, MA. Like many other farms that diversify, the farm also hosts wedding receptions in its three story circa 1870 barn. Recently, owner and Farm Director Ben Murray went over his things to do list to be ready for hosting the reception of his neighbor, Naomi Clark, who was married two days to Craig Richter.

“We’re honored she would choose us,” said Murray. [Read more…]

Cows always tell the truth

CEW-MR-2-Cow-signals17by Sally Colby

Veterinarian and certified CowSignals® trainer Dr. Hue Karreman wants to help farmers do a better job with their animals under established organic rules. But what he teaches organic farmers applies to herds of all kinds.

Karreman explains the Cow Signals® concept, developed in Holland by veterinarian Jan Hulsen. “It bridges conventional, biological, organic, biodynamic and whatever you’ve got,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you have one cow, 10 cows, 100 cows or 1,000 cows. [Read more…]

Quality of life change at Law’s Holstein Dairy

CE-MR-2-Law's-Holstein-Dairy4by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“Our quality of life and the cow’s quality of life is 100 percent better!” remarked Kip Law, when explaining how the transition from a tie stall barn to a free stall barn had improved not only his herd, but also his family’s life.

Law is the third generation to be on the farm, which is located in Sherburne, Chenango County, NY. [Read more…]

More for less in pastures

CN-RP-26-1-more-for-less-alfalfaMultispecies pastures show productivity, drought tolerant promise

Getting more for less is an attractive concept. But it isn’t that easy when it comes to producing more food on less land with fewer resources.

  1. Howard Skinner has been researching this idea of more for less in agriculture. Skinner is a physiological plant ecologist and member of the USDA-ARS-Pasture System and Watershed Management Research Unit. He’s been looking into how to increase the amount of forage (grasses and plants that animals eat) pastures can grow. If a piece of land can produce more forage, it can feed more cows. More cows mean more beef and milk.

[Read more…]