A change of philosophy leads to efficiency

CW-MR-3-Cold-Spring6401by Sally Colby

Eighth generation farmers Dan and Steve Gross have been farming for as long as they can remember, but growing demand for fed Holstein steers took the brothers’ Manchester, PA, cattle operation to a new level.

Dan recalls that for many years, the family’s Cold Spring Farms was home to about 130 calves at a time. Calves were housed in a variety of calf hutches and pens on the farm, but feeding and handling was inefficient. [Read more…]

Winter care for farm animals, large and small

by George Looby, DVM

Each year when the maples have dropped the last of their leaves the time arrives when we begin to look around our homesteads and begin the seasonal task of buttoning down for winter. It is an age-old ritual that never changes but as we check down the list of things to be done it is easy to slip and overlook one or more important tasks. High on the list should be insuring that all of the animals in our care are well provided for as winter approaches. [Read more…]

Fresh cow feeding

by Tamara Scully

Fresh cows are typically maintained on a slightly modified high-production cow diet. Unlike dry cow diets, where much of the research on transition cow nutrition has been focused, the postpartum period dietary requirements have been overlooked. But that will be changing, as researchers focus on fresh cow feeding strategies over the next few years, predicts Dr. Tom Overton, Cornell University, Professor Director, PRO-DAIRY. [Read more…]

PFB: Budget deal good for agriculture, fails to yield meaningful property tax relief for farmers

CM-RP-1-PAFB-MEETING-011Unveils new partnership to identify uncounted farm practices improving Chesapeake Bay

HERSHEY, PA — Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says the overall state budget agreement reached between Governor Wolf and Republican leadership appears to include necessary funding increases to support the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and positive steps toward reforming an out-of-control pension system, but it falls woefully short in providing property tax relief for farm families. [Read more…]

What I now know about turkeys

CN-MR-2-TURKEYS11by Hope Holland

My agricultural background rests firmly in the equine area. However, with the impending Thanksgiving holiday and the looming threat of bird flu I was pressed into service to find a turkey breeder willing to allow a stranger onto their farm to take a picture of a turkey for a cover.

I learned very quickly that in the face of not only the avian flu outbreak but also the possibility of animal rights activists, the breeders of turkeys, whose main crop after all will be greatly in demand at this time, are not welcoming of strangers. I can’t say that I blame them, come to think of it. I know that if I had a crop of fancy sales yearlings headed for a major horse sale I would be cautious too. But it did mean that I couldn’t just hit the Internet, call a few of the listed turkey farms and expect a welcome mat to be laid out at the end of the farm driveway. [Read more…]