“Today’s (June 27) passage of comprehensive immigration reform is a major milestone for New York’s farmers. It addresses critical short and long term needs that will better provide a stable workforce on our farms. Those needs include allowing employees who are already skilled and working in this state to stay here and eventually obtain legal status. It’s gratifying to see the hard work New York Farm Bureau has demonstrated on behalf of our farm families result in real movement on this issue for the first time in years. [Read more…]
On June 27, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement on the Senate passage of the Immigration Bill: “Today’s strong bipartisan vote in the U.S. Senate to fix America’s broken immigration system is good news for farmers and ranchers, good news for farm workers, and good news for rural America. The Senate plan would ensure the stable agricultural workforce that U.S. producers need in order to remain competitive with other [Read more…]
Who really needs who? [Read more…]
Dairy farmers across the nation are once again left without effective farm bill legislation. Another year of hard work by dairy farm groups to develop and promote their policy ideas has been ignored by Congress. [Read more…]
On Thursday, June 20th, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on the House version of the 2013 Farm Bill, HR-1947. It received a solid trouncing, going down in defeat, 195 to 234. Obviously, the House leadership is challenged with a House majority that defies being led, compounded by an inherent inability to build consensus. Perhaps a dose of cluelessness, too: both Speaker John Boehner, (R-OH) and Ranking Member of the House Ag Committee, Collin Peterson, (D-MN) were convinced they had the necessary votes for passage of HR-1947 until the vote was actually underway. Both were blindsided by botched vote estimates, then stunned and dismayed watching the best chance for a much anticipated 2013 Farm Bill go down the pipe!
Big question is now whether they will tweak HR-1947, try to rally support, (if that is even possible) and run it through again, or just re-up the currently extended 2008 Farm Bill when it expires on Sept. 30th. Currently, all concerned are licking wounds and crafting poisonous rhetoric to hurl at each other. Sadly, in the U.S. House, this is now what passes as business as usual, after a major legislative failure. [Read more…]
by Steve Wagner
A cluster of people — the curious, the meticulous, those who were ‘just wondering’ and, of course, farmers — gathered on the edge of the field at Penn State’s Research Station in Landisville, Lancaster County PA. A PSU Extension Educator, agronomist Jeff Graybill, is preparing a test flight of a drone, one that is fashioned to look like a child’s model plane of advanced design. The mainstream news media is used to talking about much larger drone aircraft that are instrumental in political assassination or the tracking of specific persons or movements of people. But the function of this particular drone, purchased by Graybill with grant money, is to give farmers another tool with which to improve crop maintenance. From the air, photographs can zero in on specific tracts of land, even footage or inches if necessary. Graybill monitors on an iPad the images recorded by the [Read more…]
by Sally Colby
With high volatility in the agricultural industry, not everyone is willing to start farming from scratch. But that’s what Tom Murray and his wife Nancy did. They borrowed money for their Waterloo, NY farm and bought cattle they could afford. Although they weren’t able to obtain top-quality cows in the beginning, they eventually purchased High-Sights Cleitus Lulu, who became the dam of Muranda Oscar Lucinda — a cow that set the world record for milk production.
That was in 1991, and Murray says that it was Lulu who put Muranda Holsteins on the map. “She was one of a few registered Holsteins,” said Murray, adding that grade cows were purchased to fill the barn. “That triggered the start of our interest in genetic marketing and cow families, and it blossomed from there.”
The Murrays used revenue from early genetic marketing to purchase more cattle, aiming to acquire cattle with deep pedigrees. At a 1998 dispersal sale, the Murrays purchased Beachlawn L Lilly, who became the matron for a significant cow family. Lilly has produced numerous offspring by [Read more…]
by Katie Navarra
Grazing livestock have the potential to maximize or exceed their daily intake requirements ultimately leading to increased production than if fed stored forages.
“Well-managed pastures are generally higher in quality than any other forage,” Karen Hoffman, Resource Conversationalist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, said. Livestock allowed to graze consume the plant when it is in the vegetative stage of growth before it sends out a seed head.
“The plant will be lower in fiber, which means it is more easily digested by the animal, with the help of bacteria in the rumen of the animals that have one,” she added. Pastures also tend to be higher in protein and energy than other forages due to the stage of plant growth. Furthermore, [Read more…]