Dairy’s Net Zero Initiative sees big boost from Nestlé

2020-10-23T11:00:26-05:00October 23, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Big news was announced in the dairy world earlier this month, with Nestlé offering its support – in the form of $10 million over a five-year period – for the Net Zero Initiative, a new industry-wide effort that will help U.S. dairy farms of all sizes implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices. The initiative ties into the dairy industry’s environmental stewardship goals of achieving carbon neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality by 2050. (more…)

Construction: Barn entrances

2020-10-23T10:58:41-05:00October 23, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

Entrances to livestock barns can get quite messy. Depending on how often and how many animals are utilizing it, plus any heavy equipment accessing the entryway, the area can become dangerous and dirty. As with other heavy use areas, proper planning, construction and maintenance can go a long way in mitigating cow comfort and safety issues. (more…)

Cover crops do double duty

2020-10-23T08:20:56-05:00October 23, 2020|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

Ben and Sharon Peckman are experienced farmers, successfully operating their Franklin County, PA, dairy farm. Sharon manages the herd of 160 milking cows and 130 replacement heifers in a free-stall system. The Peckmans grow crops on about 1,000 acres for dairy rations and cash crops. (more…)

Good handling, BRD and antibiotic use

2020-10-23T11:02:52-05:00October 16, 2020|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

It’s a fact: Consumers are several generations removed from the farm and don’t understand agricultural production. While farmers have worked hard to garner consumer trust, there’s still a gap between what happens on the farm and what consumers believe. Despite education campaigns and increased farm transparency, many consumer distrust issues are centered on animal welfare and antibiotic use. (more…)

Organics: Influencing conventional agriculture

2020-10-23T07:51:14-05:00October 16, 2020|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

The purpose of farming organically is to protect natural resources to produce an agricultural product. Organic growing requires farmers to work with the natural environment to promote a healthy biome – one where the balance of beneficial elements outweighs the presence of any detrimental ones and keeping disease and pests in check by creating nutrient-rich soils in which nutrient-dense, healthy crops can thrive. (more…)

Wild habitat as part of field conservation

2020-10-23T11:02:27-05:00October 16, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

While most farmers seek to keep animals away from their crops, Nathan and Sarah Anderson work at ways to integrate wildlife into natural habitats on Bobolink Prairie Farms, their Aurelia, Iowa, farm, to increase overall profitability. Practical Farmers of Iowa offered “Using Conservation to Improve Farm Profitability” as a recent webinar in which Nathan Anderson spoke about their edge-of-field conservation on marginal lands to provide water quality and wildlife benefits while improving return on investment on farmed acres. (more…)

Grass finishing cattle adds value

2020-10-23T11:00:01-05:00October 9, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

If you want to finish your beef cattle on grass, Jamie Hostetler of Rolling Meadows Farm in Bellevue, Iowa, offered some expert insights during “The Art of Grass Finishing Cattle,” a recent shared learning call hosted by Practical Farmers of Iowa. Hostetler profits $500 per acre from selling his beef cattle. (more…)

More ammo in the FMD vaccine bank

2020-10-16T09:37:40-05:00October 9, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Between thinking about crop yields, weather and commodity prices, farmers sometimes ponder the unthinkable: the possibility of a foreign disease reaching the U.S.

One such disease is foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), which was in the news in the early 2000s when it hit Great Britain. Throughout that outbreak and to this day, the USDA works tirelessly to ensure that FMD and other disastrous diseases don’t enter America. (more…)