Making Hay: Best Practices from seeding to cutting ~ Part 1

by Tamara Scully

Making quality forage means growing a quality crop, harvesting the crop at its optimal level of energy, minimizing the loss of that energy, preventing spoilage, and reducing feeding loss. While the process involves a lot of variables, getting it done right is worth it. High quality hay, haylage or baleage not only provides better nutrition, it saves money. Getting the most from your forages requires attention to detail, and proper selection, care and handling, from seed to feed.

“Forages are the basis of the dairy and the beef industry,” Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin Forage Agronomist, said. “You cannot make up for low quality forage.” [Read more…]

Milk marketing

CM-MR-1-Milk-marketing1by Tamara Scully

Commodity milk pays the bills – or is supposed to pay the bills – on most dairy farms today. Selling milk from the bulk tank to the dairy processors is how most milk and milk products travel from the farm to the consumer. Raw milk, on-farm pasteurization and direct fluid milk sales, or production of farmstead cheese, yogurt and ice cream, sold directly from the farm, is a rarer breed. [Read more…]

The new normal

CEW-MR-2-The-new-normal2by Steve Wagner

Ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was once asked a hypothetical question by a member of the media, and answered, “I don’t do hypotheticals!” But as hypotheticals go, some are necessary. Penn-Ag’s Executive Vice President Chris Herr rightly noted in discussing steps being taken to cope with High Pathogenic Avian Influenza, “what you’re seeing is the new normal.” Jennifer Reed-Harry, speaking at an earlier seminar on emergency preparedness, said because HPAI has not been identified yet in Pennsylvania, we are theoretically on emergency stand-by. [Read more…]

Entrapment risk due to flowing grain

Summarized by Linda M. Fetzer, Pennsylvania State University

Farmers and ranchers use bins to dry and store grain and to feed their livestock. For the most part, augers are used to transfer the grain to and from bins. Some machinery and augers now used in production agriculture have increased in size and power, resulting in less time for farmers and ranchers to react in dangerous situations. It is therefore important to understand fully the hazards and risks associated with flowing grain and to follow safety guidelines to avoid a potentially fatal injury incident. There are four main situations that pose entrapment risks when you work with stored grain: flowing grain, grain bridge collapse, grain wall avalanche, and use of a grain vacuum. Each of these situations and its entrapment risks are described below. [Read more…]

2nd annual Hudson Valley Value-Added Grain School ~ part 2

CW-MR-1-Grain-School-part2-61by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Gene L’Etoile of Four Star Farms, MA, spoke to attendees at the 2nd annual Hudson Valley Value-Added Grain School and Trade Show, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) and CCE Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program.

He described how he and his wife began a turf operation for sports fields, home lawns and other landscaping needs in 1976. Then, as their family expanded, they added a hops operation on less than an acre of land and started small grains on 8 acres in 2008. Today they have expanded to 110 acres of turf, 17 acres of hops and over 120 acres of grain and heritage corn, on both their own and rented land. [Read more…]