Corn and soybean growers have banner year

CEWM-MR-1-Corn and 1by Sally Colby

With nearly ideal growing conditions in many segments of the Mid-Atlantic region, 2013 was a record year for production. According to Dr. Greg Roth, Penn State Extension, Pennsylvania corn growers averaged an outstanding 237 bushels/acre.

At the Professional Crop Growers Conference held recently in Lancaster, PA, awards were given to growers who achieved top yields. Because the measurement of crop yields over a period of years is a better accurate indicator of overall performance than just one year’s yield, participants in the state’s Corn Club are recognized for three-year average performance. [Read more…]

Casey Porter crowned 2014 New York State Dairy Princess

ADA_Pageant 2-18=14“I’m so thankful and so honored to represent New York dairy farmers,” said Casey Porter of Jefferson County, as she was crowned and titled “2014-2015 New York State Dairy Princess” by American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. (ADADC). The 51st annual New York State Dairy Princess Coronation, was held Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, NY. Pageant emcee Dale Sweetland brought humor and laughter to a roomful of 368 people, mostly dairy farmers and their families. [Read more…]

Celebrating the green-up and the underground livestock

CEW-MR-1-Winter green up1by Troy Bishopp

ALBANY, NY — This year’s robust installment of Albany County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension Winter Green-Up Grass-Fed Grazing Conference highlighted burgeoning grass-fed markets, grazing management and the little guys under the soil. As guest speaker, Missouri’s NRCS State Soil Health Conservationist and Beef Farmer Doug Peterson put it, “It’s all about the soil biology.”

The theme throughout the two-day event resonated well with farmers from around the Northeast who continue to hone their skills and minds on how to improve their operations. And lest we forget knowledge is better taken with food, graziers enjoyed “the best conference meals in the region.” [Read more…]

Lambing and Kidding 101: the basics

CEW-MR-1-Kidding and Lambing1228by Brad Johnson, Assistant Professor of Animal Science, SUNY Cobleskill

If they’re not already knee-deep in new-born lambs and kids, lambing and kidding season is on the very near horizon for sheep and goat producers throughout the Northeast. Planning ahead for this stressful and sleepless time can significantly impact the success or failure of a producer’s lamb or kidding crop. [Read more…]

Advanced learning and on-farm networking with NAFDMA

C4-MR-3-NAFDMA 3by Emily Enger

They’re farmers. They’re growers. They’re businesspeople. They’re entertainers. When your job includes doing everything, often the vocabulary at your disposal is limiting. So now, they’re writers, as well, having coined a new term to describe what they do.

“We’re trying to train ourselves to say ‘entrepeneurial farmers,’” explained NAFDMA’s Director of Membership and Resources Virginia Schwarzenbach.

These newly-dubbed ‘entrepeneurial farmers’ make up the membership of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA), a 501(c)3 Membership Association reaching throughout the United States and Canada. And when these busy folks are in the so-called “off-season” — the petting farms and corn mazes are shut down and the orchard is under frost — they get together for a lengthy, indepth, six day annual convention. This year it was held Jan. 31-Feb. 5 in Kansas City, MO and was titled “Makin’ Hey in the Heartland.” [Read more…]