In North Carolina, the 2014 growing season stretched well past the state fair

CM-MR-3-GrowingNC2by Chris Bickers

The topsy-turvy 2014 North Carolina growing season came to an almost-complete end the first weekend in November, when many crop-producing areas experienced a killing frost that brought an end to growth in the field.

The end came later than expected. Over the past century, the first killing frost in North Carolina has usually fallen somewhere close to the beginning of the North Carolina State Fair, in the third week of October. In fact, North Carolina farmers have traditionally regarded the fair as celebration of the end of the harvest season. [Read more…]

PA Center for Dairy Excellence hosts Financial & Risk Management Conference

CEW-MR-2-CDE7by Jon M. Casey

While it might seem tedious and boring to some, for others, the desire to excel at financial risk management for dairy producers is becoming an essential component of a well-rounded farm management plan. Because the world of Ag finance is constantly changing, Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) has recognized the need for keeping the Ag finance and banking community informed of the latest in state and federal pricing policies. Accordingly, they have worked to help develop risk management strategies to help producers plan more effectively for unforeseen changes in the forces that affect dairy producers. [Read more…]

Paradigm shift leads to grass-fed philosophy

CM-MR-3-Braeburn32432by Sally Colby

Charlie Sydnor has been involved with beef cattle for as long as he can remember, starting from his time growing up in Montana. He raised cattle in what he calls a rather conventional method until the late 1990s, which is when he looked at the scientific data on grass-fed beef.

“It dawned on me that that’s what we ate when I was growing up — grass-fed beef,” said Sydnor. “Then I looked at it from a historical perspective, and realized that most of our beef prior to 1945 was grass-fed.” [Read more…]

Agricultural mediation

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Agricultural mediation programs can significantly reduce resolution costs and personal angst for conflicts between agricultural producers, their creditors, neighbors or others directly affected. Benefits of mediation include significant savings over litigation, bankruptcy hearings and administrative appeals. Mediation can help repair relationships between parties, while the traditional legal process often leaves all parties financially burdened and emotionally drained. [Read more…]