For farmers who’ve been watching wildlife activity on pastures or hayfields during the past 10 years, a decline in the number of grassland birds won’t come as much of a surprise. For those who’ve been watching for the past 40 years, the change is even more significant. Grassland birds — bobolinks, Savannah sparrows, Eastern meadowlarks and others — have suffered a decline of 75 percent over the last four decades. At that rate, they will soon be extinct. Unless something changes. Continue reading
Continued from last week’s coverage on the Connecticut Agriculture Commission Conference.
John Waite, Executive Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation, greeted afternoon attendees following the lunch break at the the Third Annual Connecticut Agriculture Commission Conference on Saturday, April 5 in Hampton, CT. Waite manages the New England Food Processors in western Massachusetts, which processes raw ingredients from local farms to create value added product. Working agreements are made with each farmer selling to the processor. In season, this plant processes 2000-3000 lbs. of produce daily. Continue reading
It’s a given that manure application has the potential to cause conflict with neighbors, but it can also cause conflicts between the farm’s nutrient management plan and its conservation plan.
Doug Beegle, who conducted manure research at Penn State University, says nutrient management plans often recommend manure incorporation, but the conservation plan for the farm will often recommend no-till. Continue reading
Competing in market lamb and showmanship classes is hard work, but that work pays off. Proper fitting of a market lamb for the show ring involves a sound feed and exercise program as well as grooming preparation before the show.
Start the season with a calendar — mark down the dates of every show you plan to attend, from local to regional or even national. Select lambs that have the frame and growth potential that will keep them gaining steadily until show or market time. When you purchase the lamb, request a record of the lamb’s health, including the dates of immunizations and dewormings. Ask which product was used for deworming so that you can switch to a different product if necessary. Most club lambs require a CD&T booster as well as regular deworming. Watch withdrawal dates on all medications, and use clean needles and proper technique when administering vaccines. Continue reading