Growing canola as a component of dairy feed

CM-CN-MR-2-Growing canola1766by Sally Colby

A field of bright yellow canola is a pretty sight, although most people don’t know what it is when they see it. The terms canola and rapeseed are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same crop.

Canola is essentially improved rapeseed. Rapeseed contains high levels of certain compounds that make it unpalatable to livestock. In the early 1970s, after improving the palatability, oil quality and protein level, the crop became known as canola. To be called canola, the crop must test below established levels for erucic acid and glucosinolates; the two undesirable compounds in rapeseed. The term ‘canola’ comes from the term ‘Canadian oil’. [Read more…]

Tall spindle apple trees

CE-MR-1-Tall spindle apples933by Tamara Scully

Row after row of wires stretch across the field, into the distant horizon. The wires run horizontally, forming a four-wire trellis, with the tallest wire at about 10 feet, the lowest around two feet off the ground. Thin, tall trees grow vertically in rows, spaced a mere few feet apart, with bent branches, sloping down towards the ground. Small fruits line the branches, hinting at the season’s yet-to-be apple crop.

“I really don’t know anything about growing apples,” said farmer Greg Donaldson, who is primarily a vegetable grower. [Read more…]

Northern VA cattlemen see their gift return hope in western South Dakota

CEWM-MR-3-SDHeiffers3by Sherry Bunting

In the agriculture community, it’s not hard to find examples of folks “giving forward” in ways that make America great. One such example was to be found in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley this past winter and spring. The Rockingham Feeder Calf Association organized two cattle drives through the Heifers for South Dakota (HSD) project to help replenish losses and lift the spirits of fellow ranchers nearly 2,000 miles away after the unexpected pre-season Winter Storm Atlas devastated ranches along Highway 34 into the Black Hills region during the first week of October. [Read more…]

Weed control for vegetable crops

CEW-MR-1-WeedControlby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Good weed control leads to stronger plants, higher crop yields and higher farm profits. “Effective weed control starts with proper identification,” said Dr. Richard Bonanno, UMass Extension and GAP Educator, at a recent pesticide-training workshop held in Warwick, RI. He recommended growers verify weed ID using the “New England Vegetable Management Guide” or a good a field guide.

Growers should note weeds, treatments and weather each season and use past years’ notes to determine likely locations and times for outbreaks. Scout potential trouble sites to verify the need for treatment. For peak effectiveness, apply just enough of the right treatment at the weed’s most vulnerable life stage. [Read more…]

A “Giant” win for cheese contest champs

CEW-MR-1-Giant win 1cCorning East High School, in Corning, NY, won the American Dairy Association’s “Just Say Cheese” school menu recipe contest with their entry, Kickin’ Buffalo Mac & Cheese. For their efforts, the school received a recent visit  from Sean Landeta, two-time Super Bowl champion and former National Football League player for the New York Giants.

Getting children to eat can be challenging at home, let alone at school. To get more children to participate in school meals, American Dairy Association asked school districts to get creative with cheese in its “Just Say Cheese” contest. The versatility and nutritional value of cheese helps schools serve meals that are healthy, appealing and popular with students — and sells more cheese for dairy farmers. [Read more…]