Not your father’s growing season

2019-06-04T10:53:08-05:00June 3, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

During a drought, farmers hope for rain. When there’s too much rain, farmers wish they could just turn off the spigot.

“In drier conditions, people can get on the fields,” said David Balbian, Cornell Cooperative Extension regional dairy management specialist. “The fiber digestibility is typically better. In dry conditions, we don’t get a lot of feed, but we do get high quality because the lack of moisture reduces the lignin content in the plant, which increases fiber digestibility.” (more…)

Determination, perseverance and help from friends: The formula for Derrick Austin’s path to full-time farming

2019-06-03T10:50:20-05:00June 3, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

by Karl H. Kazaks

OLIVE BRANCH, NC – “I would be drilling wheat until one, two in the morning,” said Derrick Austin, “freezing my tail off. Then get up and go to my grading job. It was the start of where I’m at now. If it hadn’t been for those late nights then I wouldn’t be where I am now.” (more…)

Gaining confidence

2019-06-03T09:22:38-05:00June 3, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

A wall full of ribbons is an impressive sight, but is it a confidence booster or a reminder of failure?

When she was 12, Jessica Rupp, of Aspers, PA, started participating in local shows in English classes. But her heart was set on barrel racing. (more…)

ADA accessibility extends to farm websites

2019-06-03T15:35:40-05:00May 20, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

The doorways at your farm market are wide enough. You have ramps at entrances and designated parking spaces and restroom stalls. You think you’re completely accessible. But you could find yourself sued for lack of accessibility if your website isn’t compatible with software that reads text for those who are visually impaired. (more…)

Going mobile with pigs

2019-05-20T07:52:53-05:00May 16, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

When pasturing pigs, there are always valid concerns about damage done to soil through their rooting behaviors. Frequently moving pigs to prevent them from damaging the soil structure once the vegetation is cleared is one of the key aspects of keeping pigs on pasture. Pigs love to graze, and utilizing their ability to do so, while enjoying a wide range of fodder, is a quick way to clear new ground for planting. (more…)

Profitable direct-market farming

2019-06-03T15:48:58-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

One might think that farming is all about growing a great crop – but it’s selling that crop that brings in the profit. In today’s agricultural marketplace, dominated by large corporations competing on price, the small farmer, selling directly to customers, can find it challenging to find and retain customers. It’s this part of selling – the marketing – which Charlotte Smith, of 3 Cow Marketing, specializes in teaching. In a recent webinar, sponsored by On Pasture, Smith shared the first three essential steps to profitable farming. (more…)

Farm safety: Recent news

2019-05-17T15:56:17-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

With no formal comprehensive data collection system for farm injuries in the United States, nonprofit agencies and university researchers throughout the nation collect data and compile statistics on injuries and fatalities related to agriculture. AgInjuryNews.org, run by the National Farm Medicine Center, is a database for farm-related injury reports, both from the U.S. and abroad. (more…)