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…]

Tall spindle apple trees

CE-MR-1-Tall spindle apples933by Tamara Scully

Row after row of wires stretch across the field, into the distant horizon. The wires run horizontally, forming a four-wire trellis, with the tallest wire at about 10 feet, the lowest around two feet off the ground. Thin, tall trees grow vertically in rows, spaced a mere few feet apart, with bent branches, sloping down towards the ground. Small fruits line the branches, hinting at the season’s yet-to-be apple crop.

“I really don’t know anything about growing apples,” said farmer Greg Donaldson, who is primarily a vegetable grower. [Read more…]

The many hats of Rocky and Marilyn Lively

CN-MR-3-Sunrise1by Laura Rodley

Rockwell, best known as Rocky, and Marilyn Lively own Sunrise Farms in Colrain, MA. Like all farmers, they both wear many hats. Rocky raises hormone- and chemical-free grass-fed beef, produces maple syrup and builds houses out of lumber sawn at the sawmill run by his son, Jordan Lively, on the 500-acre farm. His son Erik Lively, a resident of Greenfield, comes every day to work at the farm. They are all partners, and the farms’ sole employees. They are members of Community in Sustainable Agriculture, (CISA), which assists and promotes local farmers. [Read more…]

Connecticut’s “Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year”

CN-MR-3-GreenPastures2by Lorraine Strenkowski

Jeff and Alexis Cone of Lebanon, CT have been named the “Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year 2014,” by the New England Green Pastures program. This award is presented annually to one farm in each of the six New England states.

Green Pastures started back in 1947 with New Hampshire challenging the other New England states to produce better pastures than their own. With the growing dairy industry, this annual competition evolved into a program that not only considered pasture quality and forage management, but also the farm family, production, herd/milk quality, financial stability and community involvement. [Read more…]