The Virginia Forage and Grassland Council held its annual series of winter meetings at four locations: Blackstone, Wytheville, Weyers Cave, and Brandy Station. The Wytheville event was even more well-attended than it had been in previous years, with over 200 people from Lebanon to Floyd present to learn about strategies for improving soil health. [Read more…]
Dr. Greg Martin has had training in emergency preparedness, has taken FEMA classes, and periodically trains and updates himself on animal rescues. He imparted some of what he has experienced to a full room interested participants at the Penn-Ag 2014 Pork Expo and Poultry Progress Day at the Shady Maple complex in East Earl, PA. [Read more…]
by Sally Colby
Anyone involved with food production has likely heard about the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most comprehensive makeover of the nation’s food safety laws. With numerous listening sessions in the books and the comment period for the livestock feed rule drawing to a close, numerous questions remain unanswered. [Read more…]
There are many who attend the annual Cattle Feeder Days at Lancaster’s Farm and Home Center to hear retired Penn State economist Lou Moore’s fairly close to unerring predictions about what to expect in the coming year. When Cheryl Fairbairn, Penn State Extension Livestock Team, stepped to the microphone this year to say that Lou would not be in attendance, an audible groan from the audience aptly reflected the collective mood at Moore’s absence. Only on the previous night did he communicate that his wife and sons persuaded him not to make the two hour car trip alone, that his 80-plus years could prove to be a liability. But Fairbairn read what Moore would have told his audience had he been there in person: It’s going to be a good year overall. [Read more…]
by Sherry Bunting
HARRISONBURG, VA — When Jim Lam read the accounts after Storm Atlas hit South Dakota last October, he was moved in a way that was hard for him to explain. “It broke my heart to see this,” said the longtime cattleman and Rockingham County Feeder Cattle Association president.
The freak early autumn blizzard came without much warning. It started with rain, followed by four feet of snow Oct. 4-6 and resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of cattle. Not only was part of the calf crop lost just weeks before fall roundup and sale, affecting ranch income for the whole next year, the loss of more cows than calves will affect ranch income for the next two years. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time for a rancher to rebuild given the beef herd is the smallest in 60 years and western breeding stock is in short supply. [Read more…]
by Sanne Kure-Jensen
More and more growers are planting cover crops to improve soil moisture, reduce erosion and maximize profits. Cover crops can include grasses, legumes and forbs planted for seasonal cover. Over time, using cover crops improves yields, organic matter and soil water conservation. This change is most noticeable with diverse crop rotation. [Read more…]
Do you have more meat in your farm freezer that you can sell? Do you have trouble reaching customers or getting the prices you should to keep your farm viable?
“Most farmers go into farming because they love farming, not because they love marketing,” said Matt LeRoux, an agricultural marketing specialist with Cornell’s Cooperative Extension. At a recent workshop offered by the Rhode Island Raised Livestock Association, he coached livestock farmers to offer messages that resonate with customers and grow product sales.
Pennsylvania soybean growers working toward higher yields can compete regionally for individual as well as regional awards in the state’s growing contest.
In presenting the Pennsylvania Soybean Board awards for the 2013 growing season, Penn State Extension Educator Del Voight noted that the average yield for 2013 was 76.8 bu/acre, which he says reflects the trend toward an overall increase of one bushel/year.
Average seed drop among growers was 167,000 plants/acre, which is close to the recommended rate in Penn State’s agronomy guide. [Read more…]