Transition is the ‘danger zone’ for dairy calving

CN-MR-1-Dairywebinarby T.W. Burger

The period just before and after calving can be a very dangerous time for a dairy cow, says Gustavo M. Schuenemann, DVM, MS, PhD, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State, and OSU Extension veterinarian.

“That transition period, especially during delivery and the week before and after, are critical point in the cow’s life, he said. “That will dictate how a cow performs later on, if they get sick or develop metabolic diseases.”

But with knowledge and focused analysis on the part of owners and workers, the cow’s odds can be improved and the owners’ profitability enhanced, said Schuenemann. [Read more…]

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…]