The healthy, profitable business at Green Pastures Farm

CN-MR-1-Greg Judyby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Greg Judy runs a profitable, managed grazing operation at Green Pastures Farm. He uses pasture stockpiling so his livestock collect their own winter feed.

Judy manages his pastures for healthy soils, drought resistance and diversified forage. His ruminants improve land, soil and water quality without the use of fossil fuels. Judy explained his pasture management practices in the keynote address at the 2015 Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts Winter Conference. His presentation was called “Managing Our Farms In Sync With Nature Heals Land And People.” [Read more…]

Direct marketing of local foods

by Tamara Scully

Annual sales of direct-marketed local foods has decreased by at least $123,000 during the 2007-2012 period, in northern New Jersey, New York City, and in many portions of New England, particularly along the coast, according to a recently released USDA report. Eastern Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier region of New York State were a part of this trend as well. While the majority of the country saw no major changes in direct-to-consumer local food sale dollars, a few pockets of very large increases were scattered across the nation, including in the northernmost regions of Maine.

“Foods sold through direct or intermediate marketing channels” are defined as local food for the purpose of the USDA’s Economic Research Service study, Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: Report to Congress, which was released on Jan. 28, 2015, Sarah Low, ERS Economist, said. Farms selling via these distribution channels are considered to be local food farms, for the purpose of the report. [Read more…]

Letter to the Editor: What a shame

Order I pay price $17.57 per hundred-weight (cwt.)

Despite warnings that we and others issued, many dairy farmers are now facing reality when they received official word that the pay price for the milk they delivered to milk handlers in the Northeast Federal Order was $17.57 per cwt. for January 2015. One must remember that all dairy farmers are suffering these devastating prices and unfortunately there is more to come. [Read more…]

VA State Feed Association holds annual meeting in anticipation of new growing season

Ed Ebert, Bunge North America, presented a forecast for grain markets in 2015.by Karl H. Kazaks

ROANOKE, VA — During an unusually cold spell in late February, with snow on the ground and snow squalls in the air, the Virginia State Feed Association held its 69th Annual Feed Convention and Cow College. Members of the feed industry, dairy producers, animal nutritionists, and other interested parties attended the three-day event.

For grain producers, the forecast Bunge’s Ed Ebert gave for the coming year was as bleak as the weather outside The Hotel Roanoke.

The prices of corn, soybeans, and wheat, Ebert said, will “remain constrained.” In the U.S., he expects an increase rather than a reduction in acreage planted, have canvassed hundreds of growers at several states around the country at meetings this past winter. Couple that with an increase in projected yields and you get a picture of likely record levels of production, likely leading to an increase of grain stocks, which already are at high levels. [Read more…]

Keynote address

CM-MR-2-PA-KEYNOTE-096by Bill and Mary Weaver

“I would like to speak today about a question that keeps me awake at night,” stated Russell Redding, Keynote Speaker at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, PA, who was recently nominated to become the next PA Secretary of Agriculture. “Our biggest challenges in agriculture today aren’t consumer preferences or a proper shelf life. What keeps me awake at night is how to bring enough human capital into agriculture,” Redding said. [Read more…]