Making Hay: Best Practices from seeding to cutting ~ Part 1

by Tamara Scully

Making quality forage means growing a quality crop, harvesting the crop at its optimal level of energy, minimizing the loss of that energy, preventing spoilage, and reducing feeding loss. While the process involves a lot of variables, getting it done right is worth it. High quality hay, haylage or baleage not only provides better nutrition, it saves money. Getting the most from your forages requires attention to detail, and proper selection, care and handling, from seed to feed.

“Forages are the basis of the dairy and the beef industry,” Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin Forage Agronomist, said. “You cannot make up for low quality forage.” [Read more…]

Milk marketing

CM-MR-1-Milk-marketing1by Tamara Scully

Commodity milk pays the bills – or is supposed to pay the bills – on most dairy farms today. Selling milk from the bulk tank to the dairy processors is how most milk and milk products travel from the farm to the consumer. Raw milk, on-farm pasteurization and direct fluid milk sales, or production of farmstead cheese, yogurt and ice cream, sold directly from the farm, is a rarer breed. [Read more…]

Barberic Farm

by Laura Rodley  

Up at Barberic Farm, Baguette, dressed in the finery of her silky brown fleece, greeted visitors in the sheep barn.  She was one of a set of Finnsheep quintuplets.  Quintuplets are not unusual for Finnsheep, or Finns, according to her owner, Barbara Goodchild, who owns the farm with her husband Eric.

Finnsheep, a heritage breed, are known for having multiple births. Sets of triplets and quadruplets are born regularly, according to the West Clarksville, NY based Finnsheep Breeders Association (FBA), with records of septuplets and octuplets. It is not uncommon for yearling ewes to have twins or triplets. Finnsheep have plentiful milk and make excellent mothers. “I truly believe that with proper nutritional management and shepherding, the Finnsheep can meet any goal that the shepherds aim them for,” said FBA secretary Mary Tucker. [Read more…]

The Wood Thrush’s role in Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE)

CN-MR-2-The-wood-thrush's1by George Looby

In their never ending quest to find answers to all of the questions regarding Eastern Equine Encephalitis researchers continue to study all of the contributing factors in the ever-changing picture. EEE has long been recognized as one of the most deadly insect borne diseases affecting man, horses and game birds in the eastern U.S. In much of the region it appears in mid-summer extending on into late fall coming to an end with the first killing frost. Conscientious horse owners for many years have incorporated yearly vaccinations into their horse health programs with good to excellent results. The symptoms in infected animals can best be described as that of a mental stupor progressing on to death in a large percentage of cases. Those that may survive are often left with significant neurological deficits. In the horse there is no specific treatment except that of a supportive nature. Since 2003 the CDC reports that there have been 55 human cases of this disease resulting in 23 deaths. [Read more…]

From chicks to charity

by Lorraine Strenkowski    

Having an agriculturally related job is so rewarding. I am fortunate enough to work at Lyman Memorial High School in Lebanon, CT — my alma mater and home to the Lebanon Regional Agricultural Science & Technology Center. As a paraprofessional I work alongside students and teachers as needed, and am currently assigned to a freshman Ag-Science class. In a first year class the students are introduced to the FFA Program. “As stated on our website,” says Animal Science teacher Brenda Wildes, “The mission of the Agriculture Science program is to provide instruction leading to a career in agriculture upon completion of high school or to prepare students for entrance into a two or four year college.” [Read more…]