Will dairy margin insurance be for you?

CEWN-MR-1-Dairy Margin Insuranceby Steven E Smith

By Sept. 1, the U.S. dairy industry should have an entirely new USDA dairy policy in place. Once the new program rules of the Agricultural Act of 2014 are in place, gone will be decades old milk price support programs, the Dairy Exports Incentive Program and the limited MILC program. Without the weighty coexistence of the SNAP and other domestic food assistance, the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the “Farm Only Bill” includes the provision of federal margin insurance program for the U.S. Dairy industry in this era of global marketing expectations and a shift from disaster payments to risk management. [Read more…]

Fighting the scab battle

CEW-MR-2-SCAB 2by Sally Colby
Dr. Christina Cowger, who conducts scab research at the ARS laboratory in North Carolina, says scab is the trickiest and most intractable fungus that affects grains. But organizations are fighting back in the form of initiatives, informational websites and online tools for farmers.

“The U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative is funded by the USDA through our budget,” said Cowger. “It started when scab became a huge problem in the upper Midwest in the 1990s. There were devastating scab epidemics of wheat and barley, and it really changed the face of the local communities. Some local towns were shut down because people lost their farms.” [Read more…]

Ten reasons not to grow tomatoes in high tunnels

This article was reprinted with permission from Penn State Extension Vegetable and Small Fruit Gazette.

Every good reason to grow tomatoes and other high return vegetables and small fruits in high tunnels has a compelling argument to counter it. These potential pitfalls of tunnel culture are seldom mentioned in the rush to put a high tunnel on every farm.

While there are many excellent reasons to grow tomatoes and other high dollar return vegetables and small fruit in high tunnels, there are some very compelling arguments against them too. These are seldom mentioned in the rush to put a tunnel on every farm. These are some of the more important negative aspects of tunnel culture. [Read more…]

The New England Dairy Conference

CN-MR-3-The New England 3by George Looby, DVM

Once again the Tolland Agricultural Center in Vernon, CT played host to the Annual Dairy Conference co-sponsored by the Department of Animal Science and UConn Extension at the University of Connecticut. There was a hint of spring in the air as close to 90 people registered to receive an update on what is new in udder health management and good milking procedures. Dr. Sheila Andrew, professor of animal science and extension dairy specialist, opened the conference with words of welcome. She then introduced speaker Tom Herremans who is the Udder Health Management Consultant for IBA. [Read more…]

GMO legislation is in Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee

CN-MR-3-GMO legislation 1by Bethany M. Dunbar

IRASBURG, VT — Farmers who don’t want to see a mandatory GMO labeling law passed in Vermont were encouraged recently to call Senator Dick Sears of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

A law requiring labels on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food has passed the Vermont House and is under discussion in the Senate.

Dairy farmers at a legislative breakfast sponsored by the Orleans County Farm Bureau March 3 said they don’t see the point of banning GMOs. [Read more…]