Farm safety: Recent news

2019-05-17T15:56:17-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

With no formal comprehensive data collection system for farm injuries in the United States, nonprofit agencies and university researchers throughout the nation collect data and compile statistics on injuries and fatalities related to agriculture. AgInjuryNews.org, run by the National Farm Medicine Center, is a database for farm-related injury reports, both from the U.S. and abroad. (more…)

African swine fever prompts cancellation of World Pork Expo

2019-06-03T08:55:24-05:00May 14, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

The National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors has announced its decision to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo in Iowa out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. The World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions. ASF affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

The above paragraph came from a recent press release issued by the NPPC, and was forwarded to me by Penn-Ag Industries’ Assistant Vice President Jessica Darr. While attending Penn-Ag’s annual meeting, Darr, and Debbie Reed-Harry, casually mentioned ASF, something I was hearing about for the first time. “How serious is this?” I asked. (more…)

Monitoring for metritis

2019-05-14T11:02:20-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Dr. Andrew Barragan, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science at Penn State, said uterine diseases are among the most prevalent diseases in dairy cows – as high as 50% in some herds. These diseases can cost between $106 and $360 per case, and cows suffering from uterine disease are more likely to get sick with other diseases. (more…)

Optimizing Grazing: NEPC

2019-06-03T08:55:53-05:00May 14, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

The Northeast Pasture Consortium’s annual meeting brought together agricultural professionals, researchers, industry representatives and stakeholder farmers dedicated to improving pasture management in the region. Grass-fed milk, organic dairy farming, and pasture forage management were some of the topics explored. (more…)

Crop Comments: Five second flash to bang

2019-05-13T09:07:26-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Monday afternoon I took 13 soil samples. Immediately upon returning home, I spread out each of the samples on newspapers on card tables on our front porch. Early this afternoon, all samples appeared to have dried sufficiently overnight to screen successfully. After screening, the separated soil was returned to the sandwich bag in which it left its field. The sealed baggie was placed in a small cardboard box to be sent with other samples to the soil lab in Ithaca. (more…)

Understanding heterosis and breed complementarity

2019-05-16T15:26:37-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Part 1: heterosis

by Sally Colby

EPDs are a great tool for cattle breeders, but there’s more to developing a breeding system than looking at numbers.

For years, beef cattle breeders have taken advantage of crossbreeding and the resulting hybrid vigor to develop good cowherds. Dr. Megan Rolf, assistant professor of genetics at Kansas State University, said the benefits of crossbreeding can be summarized by two main categories: heterosis and breed complementarity. (more…)

Economic outlook for ag

2019-05-17T15:56:42-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

CLYDE, NY — It’s easy to get nearsighted with the activities on one’s own farm and lose touch with industry trends. That’s why David M. Kohl, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, presented “Economic Radar Screen 2019-2020” at a recent open house at A.N. Martin Systems, LLC. (more…)

Antibiotic use and resistance on dairy farms

2019-06-03T15:48:01-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

Hayley Springer cut to the chase by answering the question “What is antibiotic resistance?” It is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic that would otherwise kill it or stop its growth. This is due, she said, “to a change in the bacteria. People think it’s a change in the animal or a change in the drug, but it’s a change in the bacteria that causes the disease.” (more…)

Livestock welfare and silvopasture

2019-05-16T15:27:11-05:00May 6, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

When livestock are grazing, providing shade keeps them cool and productive. Shelter, to protect from precipitation or extremely cold temperatures, is sometimes needed. Pasture forages must provide the needed nutrition, in enough abundance, to promote daily gain and animal health. Silvopasture systems can meet all of these needs while producing another crop from the land and enhancing resiliency in livestock farming systems. (more…)

Youth prominent at the 2019 Spring Dairy Carousel

2019-05-06T14:18:14-05:00May 6, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

The prestigious 2019 Spring Dairy Carousel, hosted by the New York Holstein Association (NYHA), took place in Syracuse, NY, attracting folks from far and wide to exhibit their best dairy cattle. The annual, four-day international show took place at the New York State Fairgrounds and featured seven dairy breed shows, sales and showmanship classes. (more…)

A new twist on a family farm

2019-04-16T15:17:45-05:00April 16, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Sally Colby

Andrew and Annie Hubbard are breathing new life onto a multi-generational farm in Princeton, MA. Andrew explained his great-great-grandfather started the farm as a dairy farm, and the dairy operation continued until it reached Andrew’s father. After Andrew’s parents sold the milking herd in 2000, the family kept the farm and started selling wood pellets and bark mulch. (more…)