Canola meal in dairy cow diets: A new perspective

by Tamara Scully

With “millions of metric tons” of canola meal going into the dairy industry, there must be some value to the product. Farmers, by observation, have for years claimed that canola meal is a good source of protein, and readily replaces soy in the dairy cow diet, according to Dr. Essi Evans, of Technical Advisory Services, Inc, in a presentation at the recent 2015 Cornell Nutrition Conference. [Read more…]

Giant pumpkins and watermelons compete at State Fair

CM-NC-2-GIANTS-STATE-FAI#CC1RALEIGH, NC — A 948-pound pumpkin grown by Gail Newsom in Pinnacle and a 302-pound watermelon grown by Chris “Superman” Kent from Sevierville, TN took the top prizes in the Great Pumpkin and Watermelon Weigh-Off at the NC State Fair. This event is sanctioned by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth, an international organization that promotes growing giant vegetables. [Read more…]

A dismal fall for crops in the Carolinas and Virginia

CM-MR-NC-3-DISMAL-SEASON#C31by Chris Bickers

As farmers gathered at the North Carolina State Fair, there was much bemoaning of the bad weather that has characterized this season right up until fair time. In fact, the Sunday after the Fair began on Oct. 16, a killing frost set in, followed by another the following morning.

The frost varied in its severity from north to south, with the growing season for cold-sensitive crops essentially coming to an end. The continuous rains had already marred the late season at the beginning of October. [Read more…]

Turning a profit with Jersey milk

CM-MR-3-JERSEY-CHEESE_011by Sally Colby

When Karen Mickler and her husband Bruce DeGroot purchased a remote 50-acre mountain farm in Robbinsville, NC in 1980, they planned to produce as much food for themselves as they could. Part of that plan included a Jersey cow by the name of Rosebud.

“We didn’t buy this land with the intention of having a dairy farm,” said Karen. “We bought one milk cow, Rosebud, but she gave so much milk that we learned to make cheese. We had so much cheese and then another cow, so we got a license to sell our cheese.” [Read more…]

NC State Fair’s Jr. Sale of Champions

CM-MR-1-NC-SALE-OF-CHAMPIONS_011by Chris Bickers

In 2014, the North Carolina State Fair’s Junior Livestock Sale of Champions was moved from the small sales arena in the Jim Graham Building out onto the main floor, which was set up to be audience friendly.

The timing was changed too, so that what had been a midday sale conducted while many other livestock activities were going on now took place in “prime time” when distracting activities were minimal. [Read more…]