Unconventional dairy farming

CEW-MR-2-Unconventional-dairy2by Tamara Scully

It isn’t unusual for dairy farmers to call it quits. With a move toward larger dairies, small farmers often feel the pinch, and opting out is sometimes the sensible option.

That’s what happened to Karen and Mike Hooper, who retired from their dairy farm outside of Syracuse, NY, and headed to Florida. Dairying had become stressful, and the herd — as well as the farmers — wasn’t able to function optimally. Cows were pushed to make more milk, and suffered with hock and hoof issues, mastitis, and other concerns. [Read more…]

Eastern Region NY Beef Producers stress Beef Quality Assurance

CW-MR-2-Eastern-Region-NY-Beef12by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Local cattle buyer for Cargill Taylor Beef, Stacylyn Snyder, was guest speaker at the recent Eastern Region New York Beef Producers’ Annual Meeting.

Snyder described her lifelong, extensive and diversified experience in the beef cattle business in the USA and other countries, and explained criteria she uses to evaluate cattle.

“When purchasing cattle, there are several factors a buyer is evaluating,” Snyder explained. “We look at the live weight, the age, the body condition, the overall health of the animal and what we estimate the dressing percentage of the carcass would be.” [Read more…]

Three generations at Windermere Farms Percherons

CM-MR-39-3-Three-generatio1ns-3bby Hope Holland

For a man who got off to an admittedly rather freewheeling start in the world, Gerald Allebach of Windermere Farms Percherons in Spring Mills, PA has done pretty well for himself, his family and his farm. He has the absolute backing of his wife, Melissa, whom he refers to as “just about the best draft horse trainer in the country”. He also has a darn good back up in his son, Abraham, who carries a man’s load of work without being told what to do or when it needs doing. Abraham is named for his grandfather, Abe Allebach, who with his wife Mary, started what has become three generations of Percheron horse breeders back when the farm also had dairy cattle. [Read more…]

Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association Spring Plow Day

MS-CL-MR-3-Horse-Tale1s41Saunderskill Farms, Accord, NY, was the place to be on Saturday, April 30, as a large turnout welcomed the annual Spring Plow Day, sponsored by the Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association, under sunny skies and what turned out to be a picture-perfect day. Now celebrating its 35th year, the Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association (HVDHA) has sponsored this much-anticipated event, and Dan Schoonmaker, of Saunderskill Farms, remarked he is very pleased that his establishment has hosted the Spring Plow Day for the past five years. The event is free, although donations were gratefully accepted. [Read more…]

Soil erosion and tillage equipment

CM-MR-1-Soil-erosio1n1by Tamara Scully

Plowing, tilling, harrowing, fertilizing and all the other things farmers do cause soil disturbances. Calculating the impact of the disturbance can assist conservation planners and farmers in designing management strategies that protect the soil from erosion.

Five main types of soil disturbances exist: inversion with some mixing; mixing only; mixing with some inversion; lifting and fracturing; and compression. Different tools will cause different disturbances. The severity of disturbance is related to the depth of the soil involved, as well as the speed of the equipment. [Read more…]