Responding to demand at Manning Hill Farm

CN-56-3-Unusual-cows1by Kathleen Hatt

Sam Canonica and Sarah Costa chose their Dutch Belted cows not only for their milk but also for their small size, longevity, fertility, friendliness and forage efficiency. The Dutch Belteds are well suited for rotational grazing on 126-acre Manning Hill Farm in Winchester, NH.

From feeding to milking to bottling in glass to sales in their farm store, nearby farmers’ markets and grocery stores, Sarah and Sam handle all aspects of Manning Hill Farm’s production and sales themselves. Their priorities are healthy cows and clean milk. The herd’s somatic cell count (SCC) is consistently between 80,000 and 110,000. [Read more…]

Vegetable crop pests you need to know

by George Looby

Recently the UConn Extension team of Jude Boucher, Extension Educator and Joan Allen, Assistant Extension Educator serving as plant pathologist presented informative sessions designed to bring growers up to speed regarding the latest in control measures against the wide range of pests.

The common spotted asparagus beetle was the first pest covered. One rule that applies across all species and varieties is to maintain a high level of sanitation in the garden. Old plant material and debris should be cleaned up and disposed of. Depending on the particular plant material involved, some may be composted, but if it is infected with a pest with a long life cycle it is important not to compost. It is important to know the life cycle of the pest being discarded. If you’re not familiar help is available through the staff of your local extension. [Read more…]

Large fowl breed preservation

by Paul Burdziakowski

Large fowl varieties of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys have been an important part of New England farming for generations. Breeds such as the Rose Comb Ancona have played an important role in sustaining farms by providing a source of food and income. Unfortunately the last several decades have been highlighted by improper breeding, frequent cross breeding and bad practices in large scale production have led to the loss of the original defining characteristics of these large fowls. [Read more…]

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…]