Benefits of cover crops

by Sanne Kure-Jensen

More and more growers are planting cover crops to improve soil moisture, reduce erosion and maximize profits. Cover crops can include grasses, legumes and forbs planted for seasonal cover. Over time, using cover crops improves yields, organic matter and soil water conservation. This change is most noticeable with diverse crop rotation. [Read more…]

Researching best practices for grazing farms

CEWN-MR-1-Researching best pracby Tamara Scully

While grazing practitioners use a variety of management tools to care for their land and animals, it can be difficult to quantify exactly how much benefit different practices make. Juan Alvez, PhD., of the University of Vermont’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture, has launched a three-year research study designed to see what differences, if any, a variety of farm management practices actually do make.

Quantifying management practices

The basis of grazing systems is grass. The quality and quantity of forage available to the animals is enhanced by a variety of management techniques designed to build soil health. Alvez is studying approximately 20 practices, on three very different grass-based Vermont farms, to determine the impact they have on soil health. [Read more…]

Walk through milking

CN-MR-3-Walk through 2by Laura Rodley

Imagine a dairy farmer didn’t wake early to milk his cows at 3:30 a.m. or not have to return to milk again in the afternoon. Imagine cows getting milked when they want to, 24 hours a day, and if there is a problem with milking on the night shift, the herdsman receives a phone call at home alerting him to exactly what that problem is.

These advantages occur at Hill Lawn Farm LLC in Lee, MA, where the farm’s milker is neither milkman nor milkmaid, but a robot — two Lely Astronauts from Holland-based Lely company utilized since late September to milk the farm’s niche Jerseys. [Read more…]

New slaughterhouse and meat processing plant will open soon

CN-MR-1-New slaughterhouse 1by Bethany M. Dunbar

LYNDONVILLE, VT — The Northeast Kingdom will soon have a new slaughterhouse, butcher shop, retail local meat store, and meat processing plant in the industrial park in Lyndonville.

Scott Oeschger of Derby is the owner of Northeast Kingdom Processing. The general manager will be Denis Royer of Irasburg. Oeschger has bought Spring Hill Angus from Dan Maclure, and Bob Butterfield of Barton will be the general manager of the beef farm. [Read more…]