Junior hereford exhibitors head East

CEW-MR-1-JrHerefordby Rebecca Long Chaney

HARRISBURG, PA — More than 600 junior exhibitors from 34 states across the country spent a week here for the VitaFerm Junior National Hereford Expo (JNHE).

“I honestly think it’s the best junior national I’ve been too,” said Andy Billing of Greendale, NJ, co-chair New Jersey. representative on the six-state joint host JNHE planning committee. “The Farm Show Complex was a great facility to host the event. It’s the first time for all the cattle to be in one barn. The complex is air conditioned and there was plenty of trailer parking.” [Read more…]

Guardian plants: the ultimate Trojan Horses of pest management

Cew-GR-MR-2-Guardianby Sanne Kure-Jensen

Guardian plants offer simple, non-chemical pest management in field crop and greenhouse settings. Guardian plants include indicator plants, trap crops and banker plants. Their use can dramatically reduce the need for pesticides. Jack Manix, of Walker Farm in Vermont, said the key is to know your likely pests and plan ahead. Keep and consult last year’s records of pest outbreaks to anticipate when to expect repeat outbreaks of pests such as aphids, thrips, whitefly or spider mites. Establish your guardian plants before you are likely to have a pest problem. [Read more…]

Getting in touch with your pasture soil

CEW-MR-4-Pasture soil1by Troy Bishopp, Madison Co. SWCD/Upper Susquehanna Coalition Grazing Specialist

WHITESVILLE, NY — While many farmers in Allegany and Steuben counties were out mowing hay after a week of severe thunderstorms, dairyman Chris Reinbold was hosting a workshop focused on learning more about soil health practices, biology and monitoring tools to improve his rotationally grazed pastures.

According to Steuben County’s Soil and Water Conservation District grazing specialist and co-organizer, Jonathan Barter, “Soil is a vibrant, living organism and not just a sterile medium for growing things. The way we have treated this life-giving resource is tragic.” Inspired by the way longtime graziers had sequestered the deluges of rain from Hurricane Sandy, he and Scott Alsworth from the Allegany County Soil and Water Conservation District set out to change the conversation about soil after taking a soil health training regime at USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Material Center in Corning, NY. [Read more…]

Transition is the ‘danger zone’ for dairy calving

CN-MR-1-Dairywebinarby T.W. Burger

The period just before and after calving can be a very dangerous time for a dairy cow, says Gustavo M. Schuenemann, DVM, MS, PhD, who is an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ohio State, and OSU Extension veterinarian.

“That transition period, especially during delivery and the week before and after, are critical point in the cow’s life, he said. “That will dictate how a cow performs later on, if they get sick or develop metabolic diseases.”

But with knowledge and focused analysis on the part of owners and workers, the cow’s odds can be improved and the owners’ profitability enhanced, said Schuenemann. [Read more…]

Growing canola as a component of dairy feed

CM-CN-MR-2-Growing canola1766by Sally Colby

A field of bright yellow canola is a pretty sight, although most people don’t know what it is when they see it. The terms canola and rapeseed are often used interchangeably, but they aren’t the same crop.

Canola is essentially improved rapeseed. Rapeseed contains high levels of certain compounds that make it unpalatable to livestock. In the early 1970s, after improving the palatability, oil quality and protein level, the crop became known as canola. To be called canola, the crop must test below established levels for erucic acid and glucosinolates; the two undesirable compounds in rapeseed. The term ‘canola’ comes from the term ‘Canadian oil’. [Read more…]