Corn and soybean growers have banner year

CEW-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.

Walk through milking

CN-MR-3-Walk through 2by Laura Rodley

Imagine a dairy farmer didn’t wake early to milk his cows at 3:30 a.m. or not have to return to milk again in the afternoon. Imagine cows getting milked when they want to, 24 hours a day, and if there is a problem with milking on the night shift, the herdsman receives a phone call at home alerting him to exactly what that problem is.

These advantages occur at Hill Lawn Farm LLC in Lee, MA, where the farm’s milker is neither milkman nor milkmaid, but a robot — two Lely Astronauts from Holland-based Lely company utilized since late September to milk the farm’s niche Jerseys. [Read more…]

New slaughterhouse and meat processing plant will open soon

CN-MR-1-New slaughterhouse 1by Bethany M. Dunbar

LYNDONVILLE, VT — The Northeast Kingdom will soon have a new slaughterhouse, butcher shop, retail local meat store, and meat processing plant in the industrial park in Lyndonville.

Scott Oeschger of Derby is the owner of Northeast Kingdom Processing. The general manager will be Denis Royer of Irasburg. Oeschger has bought Spring Hill Angus from Dan Maclure, and Bob Butterfield of Barton will be the general manager of the beef farm. [Read more…]

Marketing local meats — best practices

CN-MR-1-Marketing 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Do you have more meat in your farm freezer that you can sell? Do you have trouble reaching customers or getting the prices you should to keep your farm viable?

“Most farmers go into farming because they love farming, not because they love marketing,” said Matt LeRoux, an agricultural marketing specialist with Cornell’s Cooperative Extension. At a recent workshop offered by the Rhode Island Raised Livestock Association, he coached livestock farmers to offer messages that resonate with customers and grow product sales.
[Read more…]