The USDA recently announced that organic farmers are eligible to enroll land utilized as conservation buffers in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP). Buffers include windbreaks, pollinator strips, riparian buffers, filter strips and field borders planted with native vegetation. Grass strips, wetlands restoration, and living snow fences are also eligible practices. These types of conservation practices promote biodiversity, encourage farmers not to grow crops on marginal lands, provide waterways and soils with protection from contaminants, and create wildlife habitat. [Read more…]
H2A workers are not an inexpensive source of labor. “The visa fee is $190 per worker, paid across the border, and you’ll need to budget about $250 per worker for transportation direct to your farm,” said Kerry Scott of MAS Labor, who specializes in the H2A program.
“Plan to reimburse your workers for their travel soon after they arrive,” added Scott, “They most likely will arrive stone broke, either because they are very poor, or because their money was taken from them.” [Read more…]
If you are having difficulty finding enough help for summer and fall farm work for this year, the H2A program is definitely an avenue to consider. Despite the paperwork, which an agent can assist you with, most farmers tend to be happy with the quality of the workers they receive through H2A. These workers are hoping to return next year so they are generally productive and looking to please their employer. [Read more…]
by Tamara Scully
Adequate ventilation can increase the health of dairy cows, no matter their life stage. Providing ventilation, via natural measures or enhanced with fans or tube systems, allows producers to mitigate negative environmental factors.
Ventilation enhances air quality by moving stagnant air — carrying disease-causing germs, gases, or unhealthy particles — away from animals. Circulating air can keep cows cool. [Read more…]
Recently the NRCS hosted a webinar discussing the benefits and risks of unconventional grazing systems. Leading the discussion was Jess Jackson, a longtime conservationist with NRCS who has an expertise in grazing.
An unconventional grazing system typically involves some combination of unusual management strategies, unusual types of livestock, or multi-species grazing. [Read more…]