One of the many delights of traveling the back roads of the northeastern states is the sight of the many old barns that dot the countryside. Each one is a testimony to the families who built and worked in them for decades, each unique in its own way but all filling the basic need for livestock shelter and the storage of fodder. For those children fortunate enough to have grown up familiar with such structures, memories of jumping in the hay mow is long remembered and the scent of new mown June hay lingers for a lifetime. Perhaps less nostalgic are the memories of mowing away that same hay on a sweltering June afternoon, a 5 ft. tall, 10 year old frame wrestling with a 6 ft. pitch fork handle, hoping that the arrival of the next load from the track high up on the ridgepole might be delayed for just a few minutes. That seldom happened. [Read more…]
by Tamara Scully
When it comes to milk production, dry matter intake is key. Learning to balance the quality and availability of pasture forages with the protein and energy needed in the dairy cow diet is one of the challenges when grazing. Many variables occur when grazing that affect the nutritional quality of the pasture forages. Managing a grazing program can be rewarding, but challenging, for dairy producers.
“No matter if a cow is grazing or totally confined, her milk production will be largely based on the total amount of dry matter consumed,” Mike Thresher, dairy specialist with Morrison’s Custom Feeds said. “The more a cow can consume, the more that gets turned into milk production.” [Read more…]
Like all seasons, winter comes with its own set of obstacles. In most cases, farmers deal with winter weather fairly smoothly, but this winter has been particularly challenging for many producers who have dealt with frustrations from extreme cold and broken pipes to making equipment repairs in frigid temperatures. [Read more…]
When Sean Stanton started improving the pastures surrounding his small farm in Great Barrington, MA, his efforts not only benefited the natural resources of this scenic southwest corner of Berkshire County, but also diners at a Manhattan restaurant. [Read more…]
Global warming aside, the winter of 2013-2014 is shaping up to go on record as one of the harshest in decades and all domestic creatures exposed to its rigors need help in making adjustments to survive the elements. Animal owners are generally well tuned to the precautions necessary to help insure that their pets and livestock are comfortable during the heat waves of summer but are perhaps less concerned during the winter months.