HP Hood plants meet increased consumer demand for dairy products

CEW-MR-2-HOOD PLANT 1cby Pat Malin

ONEIDA, NY — When Ross Hasty proudly showed off the robotic machines that are used in the warehouse at the HP Hood milk processing plant in Oneida, he spoke of them fondly in a paternal manner.

“We’ve come a long way,” said Hasty, who has been the Hood operations manager for 30 years. The robotic palletizers were first introduced to the plant 18 years ago and now there are four second-generation machines that spend their days and nights effortlessly lifting heavy bulk cartons of milk and placing them neatly on pallets. Then they can be stacked up in the warehouse and later loaded into refrigerated trucks.
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Hey, this cheese tastes woody…

by T.W. Burger

On June 10, the federal Food & Drug Administration said it may be backing down from a policy that cheese-makers would no longer be able to age their cheese on wooden boards.

The policy change was announced in Forbes Magazine and other media outlets:

“The FDA does not have a new policy banning the use of wooden shelves in cheese-making, nor is there any FSMA requirement in effect that addresses this issue,” the announcement read. “Moreover, the FDA has not taken any enforcement action based solely on the use of wooden shelves.”
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Through a vet’s eyes: your parlor at milking time

C4-MR-2-Teatsby Bill and Mary Weaver

Extension veterinarians like Dr. Ernest Hovingh get to see a lot of milking parlors over the years, and come to expect certain problems crop up. Dr. Hovingh has seen ways milkers could, but often don’t, prevent parlor-acquired mastitis. Let’s look at this potentially costly problem. [Read more…]

A society of Dorpers

CEW-MR-3-Dorper2by Steve Wagner

Where have Dorpers been all our lives? And now that they’re here, what can we do with them?

“Dorpers are a breed of sheep that have been in this country for about 20 years,” according to Doug Gillespie, executive secretary for the American Dorper Sheep Breeders’ Society, “and they are growing by leaps and bounds.” Dorpers are meat sheep originally bred in South Africa. Their most familiar trait is a totally black head on an otherwise white body. The Dorper breed is a successful crossing of Dorset and Persian sheep, using the first three letters of each to coin the name. “You’re seeing a huge Dorper influence in the lamb industry in this country today,” Gillespie continued. “They are extremely fast maturing sheep and they are easy keepers. They don’t have to be sheared because they are what we call a shedding breed. They do grow some fuzz, but they shed it off as the weather warms up, which saves the cost of shearing.” Parenthetically, Gillespie notes that wool is so depressed in the American market that it hardly covers the cost of shearing. And shearers are hard to find. Gillespie also says Dorpers are the future of the sheep business. [Read more…]

Joleanna Dairy hosts Delaware Co. Soil Health and Winter Forage Field Day

CE-MR-3-Soil health1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Soil health is one of the most important factors that crop-growers face and an educational clinic about soil health and the role that winter forage cover crops can play, was recently presented by Delaware County’s Soil and Water Conservation District, Delaware County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension and Joleanna Dairy Farm in Unadilla, NY.

“We’ve been using cover crops on our farm for several years and have been growing corn using strip-till for the last six years,” said Derek Johnson of Joleanna Farm. “We feel that by doing this we are able to improve our overall soil health and achieve greater yields.” [Read more…]