Fly control on organic dairy operations

by Katie Navarra

Without fail, flies arrive with summer heat and increased grazing time. Controlling flies is a common management issue among farmers, especially organic farmers who have fewer options for control. In a webinar hosted by eExtension and eOrganic, Roger Moon, Ph.D. and Brad Heins, Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, discuss two control options that were researched at the university through a project funded by the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative.

Before a method of control can be established, you have to know your enemies. Flies originate from different places and cause specific problems. When asked to name flies, most people first list mosquitoes, horse flies, black flies and biting gnats. [Read more…]

The Famacha Method

CE-MR-1-Famacha-method8527Important innovation for managing barber pole worms in small ruminants

by Ellen Wren

As anyone raising small ruminants knows, gastrointestinal parasites are a serious threat to the health of their animals. Haemonchus Contortus, more commonly known as Barber Pole worm or Wireworm can cause a healthy lamb to be near death within a week. It is a dangerous blood-sucking roundworm. Hosts experience anemia and protein loss that can progress alarmingly fast, leading to death. Young and highly stressed animals are most vulnerable. [Read more…]

Happy cows are productive cows

CE-MR-3-Tafel-Dairy7by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“We believe this is the ultimate in cow comfort!” 32-year-old Adam Tafel remarked. “Bunk space is not issue, lunge room is not an issue, footing and comfortable bedding is also not an issue.”

Tafel and his wife, Margaret, operate a grass fed, organic dairy in Laurens, NY, where intensive, rotational grazing, sunshine and fresh air, May through October, keep their 230 head herd happy and healthy. “Udder health is better, as well as hoof health.” [Read more…]

Umbilical hernia repair in calves: the sooner the better

CEW-MR-16-2-Umbilical-hernia1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“You really want to get this taken care of as soon as possible,” commented Midvale Veterinarian Lisa Tobler. She was referring to calf hernia repair surgery and was prepping a two-month-old heifer calf in the field. Assisting Tobler were two other Midvale veterinarians, Jill Greisman, D.V.M. and new comer to the large animal clinic, Jessie Bolster, D.V.M. “You can’t wait until much after four months,” Tobler said. “Two months is good.” [Read more…]

Small-grains workshop

by Katie Navarra

Imagine harvesting a wheat field that yields more than 200 bushels per acre. Chances are you’d need additional equipment and ample storage. It’s not a wild dream, it’s a reality. In 2015, a farmer in England harvested 245 bushels per acre on his farm in Lincolnshire Wolds. The new record beat the previous record from 2010 by 5 percent.

“It takes a lot of inputs like fertilizer, fungicide and foliar nutrients along with near ideal weather conditions to achieve that kind of yield,” said Aaron Gabriel, senior extension resource educator, agronomy for Cornell Cooperative Extension, during a workshop held May 26. [Read more…]