Markets for bioenergy crops

CEWM-MR-1-Bioenergy2by Tamara Scully

With the increased focus, over the past several years, on growing crops for the bioenergy sector, producers who opted to pursue this market may now be seeing crops, such as perennial grasses or woody crops, reach full maturity. But they may have yet to develop a reliable, stable market for these crops. Perennial grasses and woody biomass crops such as shrub willow, poplar or eucalyptus take several years to establish, and may require specific equipment for harvesting, leaving a farmer with a negative return on their investment if he hasn’t developed a viable market. [Read more…]

Demonstration reminds audience of historical significance of oxen in U.S. agriculture

CDM-MR-3-Oxen578by Bill and Mary Weaver

Dr. Darwin Braund, the proud owner of a beautiful pair of Jersey oxen, created a fascinating demonstration at Ag Progress Days on why, after draft horses were imported to America, they quickly replaced oxen in use for heavy work.

The oxen were no match for the speed and strength of a team of Percheron draft horses owned by Dave Rohrbach of Bee Tree Percherons. The oxen had a top speed of 3 miles per hour, and considerably less pulling power. To add insult to injury, Dr. Braund had to walk beside his team of oxen while they hauled a log, while Rohrbach’s horses not only pulled the log, but also Rohrbach, who rode comfortably on a forecart behind them. Braun did point out, however, that all the walking tended to keep owners of oxen in better shape. [Read more…]

Tom and Kim Nixon named recipients of the Farmer of the Year award

CM-MR-1-TomKimBLACKSBURG, VA — Virginia Cooperative Extension has recognized Robert T. “Tom” Nixon II and his wife, Kim, of Glenmary Farm in Rapidan, VA, as recipients of the 2014 Virginia Farmer of the Year Award.

The award commends individual contributions to the commonwealth’s agricultural industry.

Beef cattle, turkeys and row crops are major enterprises at scenic Glenmary Farm overlooking the Rapidan River. The Nixons, who own the farm, are focused on flexibility in growing and marketing cattle and crops. [Read more…]

Hard work brings international showring success to Berks County, PA’s Younker brothers

CM-DY-1-HardworkHARRISBURG, PA — On the show circuit, every farm family wants its animals to be the first to walk out of the ring, blue ribbon pocketed or purple banner in hand. Even with the competitive spirit that generates, it fosters a sense of family who cares about each other’s successes, cow families and relationships. That camaraderie is evident at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA. [Read more…]