Field day showcases demonstration project to measure the benefits of non-toxic fescue

CM-59-3-Fescue-field-day2by Karl H. Kazaks

WEYERS CAVE, VA – In northeastern Augusta County, adjacent to the sinuous Middle River, a long, straight fence line splits a field at Bud Shaver’s Lucky Charm Farms. On either side of the fence you find similar topography and cattle of similar genetics.

Fescue grows on both sides of the fence, thick and green. On one side of the fence, the cattle are grouped together, not moving much, not grazing. The fescue on that side of the fence shows signs of uneven grazing. [Read more…]

Beef cattle disease

by Tamara Scully

The Veterinary Feed Directive, going into effect fully in Jan. 1, 2017, will change the way producers handle some common treatments for diseases. Any medically important antibiotics will have to be prescribed by a veterinarian. But before cattle get sick, vaccination is a preventative step available for many diseases.

Dr. Heidi Ward, DVM, of the University of Arkansas Department of Animal Science, recently discussed common cattle diseases, prevention and treatments. The top disease concerns, ranging in severity, are: bovine respiratory disease; diarrheal disease; reproductive disease; and muscoskeletal disease. Vector diseases, transmitted by a bite, typically from a fly or tick, are also of concern. [Read more…]

Early spring freeze leads to total loss of barley stand

CM-MR-29-2-Early-spring-fre1eeze2by Karl H. Kazaks

PORT ROYAL, VA – Stephen Ellis walked through a field of barley, some of it green, some of it yellow — almost none of it heading like it should have been.

“Basically we’re killing this crop and going into early beans,” he said. “There’s not going to be enough to run a combine through.”

It was late April, and that afternoon Ellis would spray the crop, with the goal of getting in early beans by the end of the month. Earlier in the month, cold weather had sealed the fate of these 65 acres of barley. Ellis estimates freeze damage to the stand to be over 80 percent. [Read more…]

Three generations at Windermere Farms Percherons

CM-MR-39-3-Three-generatio1ns-3bby Hope Holland

For a man who got off to an admittedly rather freewheeling start in the world, Gerald Allebach of Windermere Farms Percherons in Spring Mills, PA has done pretty well for himself, his family and his farm. He has the absolute backing of his wife, Melissa, whom he refers to as “just about the best draft horse trainer in the country”. He also has a darn good back up in his son, Abraham, who carries a man’s load of work without being told what to do or when it needs doing. Abraham is named for his grandfather, Abe Allebach, who with his wife Mary, started what has become three generations of Percheron horse breeders back when the farm also had dairy cattle. [Read more…]