Robbing the soil bank

by Paris Reidhead

Recently, I ran into a farmer named Pat at a farm supply dealership I work with. Pat was going over soil test results with the co-owner. He wanted a fertilizer and weed control recommendation for a 3-acre field of pumpkins. Upon examining the soil test results, Buddy wanted to avoid custom blending (which they don’t do themselves), and proposed a standard formulation. Thus he recommended 300 pounds per acre of 19-19-19. I asked Pat if I could look at the soil test results. He said yes. I saw the 1.9 percent organic matter and asked him what had caused this problem.

Pat said the previous cropman had rented the field, planting only corn the last five years, with no manure or cover crop — just commercial fertilizer and herbicide. [Read more…]

Fresh air swine

CM-MR-1-Fresh-Air-Swi1neby Tamara Scully

Hog operations aren’t normally associated with fresh, outdoor air. The industrial swine industry has had its share of critics, due to air quality and water pollution issues, as well as welfare issues concerning the raising of livestock in enclosed, close quarters, the use of farrowing pens and more. [Read more…]

Limiting pathogens in irrigated manure

CF4-MR-38-3-Limiting-patho1gens6180by Sally Colby

When farms have an irrigation system in place for crops, they can often use the same system for distributing liquid manure. Manure application via an irrigation system result in less time on the road, rapid uptake of nutrients by crops, and less risk of runoff and groundwater contamination. Manure distribution through irrigation also helps reduce volume in storage facilities when levels are close to the top. [Read more…]

New England Dairy Conference

CN-51-1-NE-Dariy-confer1enceby George Looby, DVM

In late winter of each year dairyman in the six New England States are treated to an update on the latest trends in dairying presented by one or more leaders in the field. This year’s guest speaker was Dr. Gabriella A. Varga, Professor Emeritus in the Dept. of Dairy and Animal Science at Penn State University with Dr. Sheila Andrew of the Dept. of Animal Science at UConn acting as moderator. [Read more…]

Selecting a boarding facility

CEW-MR-1-Horse-Boarding82538by Sally Colby

Not every horse owner can or wants to keep a horse on their property. For them, a boarding facility may be the next best option.

Boarding barns vary widely as far as what they offer their clients, but the number one consideration for most potential boarders is cost. As you visit different barns, keep in mind that cost doesn’t always reflect the level of care. [Read more…]