The first biennial Southern New England Shepherd’s Forum was held March 5 at the Norfolk County Agricultural High School in Walpole, MA. A total of 108 attendees from all over New England came together for the opportunity to network with each other and learn about a wide range of topics within the sheep industry. The event offered plenty of activities to take part in for both adults and children including informative lectures, hands-on workshops and industry vendors. [Read more…]
New England Farm Weekly
by Diana Mendes
A new USDA processing facility, The Livestock Institute of Southern New England (TLI) will break ground late spring 2016. The Institute will include a slaughterhouse, butcher shop, smokehouse and retail store to be centrally located in Westport, MA. TLI Board member David Brownell stated, “There is a huge demand for locally raised meat and the lack of local processing is holding the growth of livestock producers back. Farmers don’t want to drive four and a half hours to have livestock processed”. [Read more…]
JOHNSON, VT — For 4-H members enrolled in the poultry project, March 5 was an “egg-citing” day as they competed for prizes at the annual University of Vermont (UVM) Extension 4-H Poultry Quiz Bowl and Skill-a-thon at Johnson State College in Johnson.
The youths competed in groups based on their level of poultry knowledge. The top four finishers in each division received awards and prizes including poultry magazines and educational materials. [Read more…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]
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…]