Sprouted grains for grazing dairies

CW-MR-1-Sprouted-gr1ains1by Tamara Scully

Sprouted grains have become a “very controversial” and a “very hot topic” in dairy grazing, Dr. Kathy Soder, Animal Scientist, USDA-ARS, said in the recent eORganic webinar “Evaluating Sprouted Grains on Grazing Dairy Farms.”

“You’re taking a grain, and you’re sprouting it.” [Read more…]

Mitigating the effects of a hard spring at The Big Apple

CN-39-4-Mitigating-the4by Kristen M. Castrataro

About 70 people gathered at The Big Apple in Wrentham, MA on April 20, 2016 for a joint Twilight Meeting of the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Fruit Growers Associations. Growers and Extension professionals from both states participated in a wagon ride and walking tour of the orchards followed by dinner and presentations by Extension Educators from both states. [Read more…]

Can modified tillage help our climate?

CM-CN-MR-Modified-tillage1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Does the way you till your land impact our climate?

According to Dr. Robert L. Thompson, visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the answer is, “Yes!” [Read more…]

Automatic Dairy Farming: Part 1

CE-MR-1-Automatic-dairy-pt1229by Tamara Scully

While dairymen traditionally have been tied to the farm to feed and milk the animals at regular intervals, the newest technology allows dairy farmers some escape from the clock. A recent workshop on dairy automation demonstrated that dairy farming has gone hi-tech. [Read more…]

Robbing the soil bank

by Paris Reidhead

Recently, I ran into a farmer named Pat at a farm supply dealership I work with. Pat was going over soil test results with the co-owner. He wanted a fertilizer and weed control recommendation for a 3-acre field of pumpkins. Upon examining the soil test results, Buddy wanted to avoid custom blending (which they don’t do themselves), and proposed a standard formulation. Thus he recommended 300 pounds per acre of 19-19-19. I asked Pat if I could look at the soil test results. He said yes. I saw the 1.9 percent organic matter and asked him what had caused this problem.

Pat said the previous cropman had rented the field, planting only corn the last five years, with no manure or cover crop — just commercial fertilizer and herbicide. [Read more…]