Raw milk pros and cons

by George Looby, DVM

Food products of all kinds tend to promote strong opinions among consumer groups as to the merits of their particular favorites. For many years there has been a ongoing discussion among those who advocate the consumption of raw milk versus pasteurized. Milk has often been described as nature’s most perfect food and certainly its balance of essential nutrients does much to justify that claim. [Read more…]

Record attendance gathers for 2014 PA Dairy Summit in State College, PA

CM-MR-3-Dairy Summit21by Jon M. Casey

For a record number of attendees who braved a pending nor’easter, the trip to the Penn Stater Hotel and Convention Center in State College, PA, a new venue for the fifth annual event, proved to be the ideal location. With more than 400 dairy industry professionals attending the two-day event hosted by the Center for Dairy Excellence and the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) on Feb. 12 and 13, organizers were extremely pleased with the turnout. Over 60 exhibitors offered their support for the annual event, with an industry trade show that lined hallways and side rooms at the convention center. During breaks and at times specifically devoted to the exhibits, participants enjoyed the opportunity to visit with agribusiness product and service providers. [Read more…]

Mike Phillips adds grazing of cover crops in move to year-round grazing

CM-MR-1-Mike Phillips 1by Karl H. Kazaks

ATHLONE, VA — People throughout the Mid-Atlantic remember about the winter of 2009-2010 for the abundance of snow that was visited upon the region. Most places received three to four times their average annual amount of snowfall. Once it fell the snow remained, with some localities reporting the longest period of consecutive snow cover since the early 1960s.

Mike Phillips remembers the winter for other reasons: that was when he was inspired to try grazing cattle on a multi-species cover crop.

As part of his efforts to improve the soil quality of his farm here in northeastern Rockingham County, he had planted a mix of grasses, legumes, and Brassica following a summer annual crop. [Read more…]

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…]