How does a plant pest whose existence was not chronicled before 1858 in England, cross the Atlantic Ocean 158 years later to land on a farm in Lancaster County, PA? That is the travel history of the allium Leaf Miner. This pest, native to Poland and Germany, first spread across Europe into Turkey, Russia and Asia during that time span. “One possibility is someone bringing garlic over,” says Penn State Extension Specialist Tim Elkner. “The pupa might have been down amongst the cloves. Certainly, it could have been brought in with leeks or onions. It’s just that this is not typically the kind of thing that would be transported around. Probably it was not an insect — most likely a group of them in order to start the population. You need male and female in a bunch, so it might have been like an infected shipment of garlic or something was sent over.” [Read more…]
by Katie Navarra
Traditionally, production and yield were a farmer’s primary focus. Today, the environmental impact of farming practices is also among the top priorities for many farmers. “We only used to look at the production of our fields,” said Donn Branton, owner of Branton Farms, LLC in LeRoy, NY, “today our goals include leaving the soil a little better than when we started working it.” [Read more…]
“A lot has changed since we came back home in 2009!” said Rob Dygert of Dygert Dairy, Nelliston, NY.
Dygert had come back as the 13th generation farmer with his wife Shannon to take over the farm he had grown up on; a farm that has been in the family since 1723.
“We started out milking 60 cows in the original tie stall,” Dygert recalls. [Read more…]
Dairy producers who use pasture-based systems want to see healthy animals with good growth from the start. One aspect of managing cattle on pasture is managing their internal parasites.
Penn State extension veterinarian Dr. Robert Van Saun says that although internal parasites haven’t been a problem for most dairy herds in the past, they’re becoming more of an issue. Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to parasite management. [Read more…]
by Tamara Scully
The dairy industry has been selectively breeding for specific traits for many years. Yet even today, it finds itself in need of new genetics, such as those for polled animals, or for producing milk on pasture. Some traits which selective dairy breeding has focused on have included: birthing ease; ketosis; mastitis and lameness.
“We can’t lose that to get new genetics,” Jen Burton, Veterinarian for Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative, speaking at the recent NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference, said. [Read more…]