Growing the farm: next season’s production planning

C4-MR-1-Growing the farm 2by Tamara Scully

Planning for next season, particularly if you plan to expand your capacity, is a multi-dimensional process. Are you going to grow more crops and become more diverse? Will you expand by growing more of the same crops, increasing your production capacity? Or perhaps you’ll expand by extending the growing season. No matter how you opt to grow, preparing for the growing pains can make the process successful.

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Accelerated lamb production

CW-SR-MR-1-Accelerated lambby Tamara Scully

Lambing is typically an annual affair. For most sheep breeds, the autumn brings about the natural mating season. Lambs arrive in the spring, when grass is greening up, providing a plentiful diet. But commercial sheep production requires a year-round supply of lambs, and accelerated lamb production methods can make it feasible for producers to fulfill those needs.

An accelerated system is one in which the birth interval is decreased to less than a 12-month cycle, Richard Ehrhardt, Ph.D, Small Ruminant Specialist at Michigan State University said. [Read more…]

Hoptoberfest: A hops and brewery grains workshop

CW-RP-3-Hoptoberfest3EAST AURORA, NY — With partial funding by the Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement program, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Erie County hosted a two-day workshop taught by New York State hops specialist Steve Miller; NWNY Dairy Team Crop Specialist Bill Verbeten; and Chris Gerling, extension sssociate at the Cornell Geneva Farm.

The workshop had 64 participants from three different states. [Read more…]

Scaling up for institutional markets

CEW-MR-2-Institutional 967by Tamara Scully

Opportunities for scaling up small farms to serve a growing wholesale institutional demand for locally-sourced foods are knocking at the door. But farmers who choose to answer the call are advised to become GAP (Good Agricultural Pratices) certified, will need to implement washing and packing efficiencies, learn to manage labor, and have adequate storage facilities.

“People want what we are doing. Do not be afraid to scale up your farm,” farmer Tom Murtha, of Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie, PA, said. [Read more…]

PA Center for Dairy Excellence hosts Financial & Risk Management Conference

CEW-MR-2-CDE7by Jon M. Casey

While it might seem tedious and boring to some, for others, the desire to excel at financial risk management for dairy producers is becoming an essential component of a well-rounded farm management plan. Because the world of Ag finance is constantly changing, Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) has recognized the need for keeping the Ag finance and banking community informed of the latest in state and federal pricing policies. Accordingly, they have worked to help develop risk management strategies to help producers plan more effectively for unforeseen changes in the forces that affect dairy producers. [Read more…]