Hemp: what’s the big deal?

CM-MR-44-2-Hemp8322by Sally Colby

Hemp has been grown as a crop for more than 12,000 years. “It’s one of the oldest cultivated species,” said Jeff Graybill, Lancaster County extension. “Most recently, it was a major crop in Kentucky before and during World War ll. During the war, it was difficult to get rope-type materials, so it was grown for fiber.” [Read more…]

Highland Cattle: Love at first sight

CM-MR-44-3-Scottish-Highland-cattleby Bill and Mary Weaver

Gary and Caralyn Van Horn, owners of Hickory Meadow Farm, prize the Highland cattle they have been raising for the past 12 years on their farm in Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA. “I’ve never seen one sick. They thrive entirely on grass. I’ve never had to call a vet for a calving, or assist in a calving myself. I’ve never lost a cow during calving or had a stillborn calf. The only medicine they need is worming once a year. I’ve never had to advertise to sell them,” commented Gary. [Read more…]

Penn State Dairy Science Club named Outstanding Chapter at ADSA

CM-DY-25-1-dairy-science-clubFor the fourth consecutive year, Penn State’s Dairy Science Club was named the Outstanding Chapter at the American Dairy Science Association Student Affiliate Division (ADSA-SAD) annual meetings held in Salt Lake City, Utah, from July 18-21. The award is based on an annual report of chapter activities, participation in the ADSA Student Affiliate Division, club publications and website. [Read more…]

Potomac Horse Fever detected in Maryland: Horse owners encouraged to monitor horses

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Potomac Horse Fever has been confirmed in two Maryland horses, one of which has died from the disease. The Maryland Department of Agriculture is urging horse owners – especially those with horses that graze near rivers, streams and creeks – to watch their horses closely for signs of the disease. Clinical signs include mild to severe fever, diarrhea, loss of appetite, laminitis and mild colic. Potomac Horse Fever is most commonly contracted by horses that ingest infected aquatic insects such as caddisflies and mayflies. [Read more…]

More for less in pastures

CN-RP-26-1-more-for-less-alfalfaMultispecies pastures show productivity, drought tolerant promise

Getting more for less is an attractive concept. But it isn’t that easy when it comes to producing more food on less land with fewer resources.

  1. Howard Skinner has been researching this idea of more for less in agriculture. Skinner is a physiological plant ecologist and member of the USDA-ARS-Pasture System and Watershed Management Research Unit. He’s been looking into how to increase the amount of forage (grasses and plants that animals eat) pastures can grow. If a piece of land can produce more forage, it can feed more cows. More cows mean more beef and milk.

[Read more…]