African swine fever prompts cancellation of World Pork Expo

2019-06-03T08:55:24-05:00May 14, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

The National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors has announced its decision to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo in Iowa out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. The World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions. ASF affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

The above paragraph came from a recent press release issued by the NPPC, and was forwarded to me by Penn-Ag Industries’ Assistant Vice President Jessica Darr. While attending Penn-Ag’s annual meeting, Darr, and Debbie Reed-Harry, casually mentioned ASF, something I was hearing about for the first time. “How serious is this?” I asked. (more…)

Fine Family Farm has your goat (yoga)

2019-05-14T12:01:52-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

by Tina L. LaVallee

On April 20, the Fine Family Farm of Denton, NC, opened its doors to nearly 50 enthusiastic yoga students, eager to experience one of the hottest trends in their discipline – caprine vinyasa, better known as goat yoga. Cindy Purser of the Yoga Pilates Barre in nearby Albemarle, NC, guided students through basic yoga poses in the presence of eight curious Nigeria Dwarf kids. Precious moments abounded as the kids interacted with students, delightfully interrupting moments of focus and concentration. (more…)

Monitoring for metritis

2019-05-14T11:02:20-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Dr. Andrew Barragan, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science at Penn State, said uterine diseases are among the most prevalent diseases in dairy cows – as high as 50% in some herds. These diseases can cost between $106 and $360 per case, and cows suffering from uterine disease are more likely to get sick with other diseases. (more…)

Optimizing Grazing: NEPC

2019-06-03T08:55:53-05:00May 14, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

The Northeast Pasture Consortium’s annual meeting brought together agricultural professionals, researchers, industry representatives and stakeholder farmers dedicated to improving pasture management in the region. Grass-fed milk, organic dairy farming, and pasture forage management were some of the topics explored. (more…)

Crop Comments: Five second flash to bang

2019-05-13T09:07:26-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Monday afternoon I took 13 soil samples. Immediately upon returning home, I spread out each of the samples on newspapers on card tables on our front porch. Early this afternoon, all samples appeared to have dried sufficiently overnight to screen successfully. After screening, the separated soil was returned to the sandwich bag in which it left its field. The sealed baggie was placed in a small cardboard box to be sent with other samples to the soil lab in Ithaca. (more…)

Driving for the basics

2019-05-13T09:01:09-05:00May 13, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

  by Sally Colby

Eager to learn about driving, a group of women gathered at Grey Horse Stables in Gettysburg, PA, for a two-day clinic with Pam Kister, an accomplished trainer. But before they got their hands on harnesses, bridles and horses, the women learned about the seemingly endless choices for carts and carriages, and what to look for when purchasing second-hand equipment. (more…)

Understanding heterosis and breed complementarity

2019-05-16T15:26:37-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Part 1: heterosis

by Sally Colby

EPDs are a great tool for cattle breeders, but there’s more to developing a breeding system than looking at numbers.

For years, beef cattle breeders have taken advantage of crossbreeding and the resulting hybrid vigor to develop good cowherds. Dr. Megan Rolf, assistant professor of genetics at Kansas State University, said the benefits of crossbreeding can be summarized by two main categories: heterosis and breed complementarity. (more…)

Economic outlook for ag

2019-05-17T15:56:42-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

CLYDE, NY — It’s easy to get nearsighted with the activities on one’s own farm and lose touch with industry trends. That’s why David M. Kohl, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, presented “Economic Radar Screen 2019-2020” at a recent open house at A.N. Martin Systems, LLC. (more…)

Antibiotic use and resistance on dairy farms

2019-06-03T15:48:01-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

Hayley Springer cut to the chase by answering the question “What is antibiotic resistance?” It is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic that would otherwise kill it or stop its growth. This is due, she said, “to a change in the bacteria. People think it’s a change in the animal or a change in the drug, but it’s a change in the bacteria that causes the disease.” (more…)

Livestock welfare and silvopasture

2019-05-16T15:27:11-05:00May 6, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

When livestock are grazing, providing shade keeps them cool and productive. Shelter, to protect from precipitation or extremely cold temperatures, is sometimes needed. Pasture forages must provide the needed nutrition, in enough abundance, to promote daily gain and animal health. Silvopasture systems can meet all of these needs while producing another crop from the land and enhancing resiliency in livestock farming systems. (more…)

Can a surgical tool predict lamb flavor?

2019-04-16T14:53:15-05:00April 16, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Those who raise sheep and sell lamb hope every customer will enjoy the unique, mild flavor of lamb. But when some consumers think of lamb, it isn’t always a pleasant association. Perhaps they had lamb that was overcooked, or smelled like a wet sweater in the oven. Many lamb consumers insist on having mint jelly with lamb, perhaps to disguise strong flavor or simply due to tradition. (more…)