Most farmers in the northeast aren’t doing much baling in April, but because of the early winter and persistent snow cover in the winter of 2013/2014, it was impossible for Andy Bater to harvest his crop until just a month ago. Bater’s crop is switchgrass, a native, warm-season grass that is gaining recognition as a crop suitable for marginal ground. Switchgrass can be used as a ground cover for erodible soil, as cover for game or for mine reclamation, and is often harvested green for hay or after frost kill for livestock bedding. There is also considerable research into using switchgrass as a renewable energy source, or biofuel. [Read more…]
The Sane Energy Project, a non-profit organization that supports renewable infrastructure, has released details of a Stanford University study on renewable energy indicating the state of New York could be entirely renewable by the year 2030.
According to Sane Energy Project founder Clare Donahue, Stanford University’ Mark Jacobson and Mark Delucchi had already published a 2009 study, showing how the entire world could run on renewable energy by 2030. Now, Professor Jacobson has published — together with Robert Howarth, Mark Delucchi, Jannette Barth, and others — a new study that outlines how New York State can convert solely to wind, water and solar power by 2030. A video summary of the study can be viewed by visiting the following link: http://saneenergyproject.org . [Read more…]
Lorin Hosteter’s family has been dairying for years — as far back as anyone in his family can remember. Although Lorin wanted to continue in the dairy business, he decided to take a different approach.
“In 2009, I was working on the dairy and had to decide what to do,” said Lorin. “I really liked working with my dad here, but at that point, milk prices were bad and the farm couldn’t support two families. My family has been interested in making and selling a product from the farm for quite a while, and producing cheese was a way we could add value to our product and support more people on the farm.” [Read more…]
by JAY GIRVIN, Esq., Girvin & Ferlazzo. P.C., Albany, NY
Q. If I’ve received an agricultural assessment exemption in the past, what are the consequences if I convert the property to a nonagricultural use going forward?
A. As local assessors are working to complete their final assessment rolls for the coming year, this is a good time to review agricultural assessment exemptions and to address what happens if land previously afforded an exemption is converted to a nonagricultural use. [Read more…]
Mastitis costs. On the basis of both his own experience and studies, and an extensive review of recent research, Penn State Professor and Extension Veterinarian Dr. Robert VanSaun stated that one way to significantly reduce mastitis cases is to bump up the levels of several key nutrients in the dairy cow’s diet. VanSaun spoke on “Nutrition and Udder Health” at the recent Mastitis and Milk Quality Conference.
These key nutrients “beef up” the cows’ immune systems, and are particularly important at two points: at drying off and during the period from just before calving through the first several weeks into milk, when cows are more vulnerable to mastitis infections. [Read more…]
In early 2013, Joy Hess, the herdsman for her family’s JoBo Holstein Farm, decided it would be a good idea to start a Facebook page for the farm. Nearly every evening, Joy posts photos and tidbits of information about the farm, including new calves, planting and harvest, cow management, general dairy farm life and the accomplishments of the youngest family members at shows and sales.
Joy is somewhat surprised that more than 1,000 followers are interested in what happens on the family farm, but not as surprised as when she was contacted by someone in the Czech Republic expressing interest in visiting the farm as part of a farm tour. [Read more…]
Farmers from around New York attended an informative meeting addressing farm equipment and New York State updated traffic safety laws, during a clinic held at Al and Linda LaRue’s Farm Shop Facility in Charlton, Saratoga County.
Trooper Christine Bornmann of the New York State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit informed attendees about the use of farm tractors and implements and towing of farm wagons on New York State roads. Large farm truck information was also discussed. [Read more…]
An invited guest at the 2014 Belleville Henderson FFA Annual Awards Banquet in Belleville, NY, New York State Dairy Princess Casey Porter offered a moving presentation that spoke about the impact of the Christian, agricultural and local communities on her life following the July 30, 2013 accident in which her dad was run over by a cattle truck.
“I was getting ready to leave for the St. Lawrence County Fair to practice my dairy judging skills when my mom phoned to say my father had been in a terrible accident,” Casey told the FFA students, their parents and families, and community members in the southern Jefferson County farming community. [Read more…]