Making Hay: Best Practices from seeding to cutting ~ Part 1

by Tamara Scully

Making quality forage means growing a quality crop, harvesting the crop at its optimal level of energy, minimizing the loss of that energy, preventing spoilage, and reducing feeding loss. While the process involves a lot of variables, getting it done right is worth it. High quality hay, haylage or baleage not only provides better nutrition, it saves money. Getting the most from your forages requires attention to detail, and proper selection, care and handling, from seed to feed.

“Forages are the basis of the dairy and the beef industry,” Dr. Daniel Undersander, University of Wisconsin Forage Agronomist, said. “You cannot make up for low quality forage.” [Read more…]

A career of teaching, learning and sharing

CM-MR-3-Jana-Malot-83417by Sally Colby

Jana Malot might be retired, but she’s hardly sitting still. After a 30-year career with USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service as a state grassland conservationist, Jana is spending more time with her beef cattle and the land on which they graze.

Jana and her husband Clem raise beef cattle on about 300 acres in Fulton County, Pennsylvania, where rolling hills mean plenty of grazing land. With extensive experience in grassland management along with knowledge gleaned from others in the field, Jana has developed a system of grazing management that is constantly evolving as she observes both her cattle and the land they graze. [Read more…]

Milk marketing

CM-MR-1-Milk-marketing1by Tamara Scully

Commodity milk pays the bills – or is supposed to pay the bills – on most dairy farms today. Selling milk from the bulk tank to the dairy processors is how most milk and milk products travel from the farm to the consumer. Raw milk, on-farm pasteurization and direct fluid milk sales, or production of farmstead cheese, yogurt and ice cream, sold directly from the farm, is a rarer breed. [Read more…]

Barberic Farm

by Laura Rodley  

Up at Barberic Farm, Baguette, dressed in the finery of her silky brown fleece, greeted visitors in the sheep barn.  She was one of a set of Finnsheep quintuplets.  Quintuplets are not unusual for Finnsheep, or Finns, according to her owner, Barbara Goodchild, who owns the farm with her husband Eric.

Finnsheep, a heritage breed, are known for having multiple births. Sets of triplets and quadruplets are born regularly, according to the West Clarksville, NY based Finnsheep Breeders Association (FBA), with records of septuplets and octuplets. It is not uncommon for yearling ewes to have twins or triplets. Finnsheep have plentiful milk and make excellent mothers. “I truly believe that with proper nutritional management and shepherding, the Finnsheep can meet any goal that the shepherds aim them for,” said FBA secretary Mary Tucker. [Read more…]

The new normal

CEW-MR-2-The-new-normal2by Steve Wagner

Ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was once asked a hypothetical question by a member of the media, and answered, “I don’t do hypotheticals!” But as hypotheticals go, some are necessary. Penn-Ag’s Executive Vice President Chris Herr rightly noted in discussing steps being taken to cope with High Pathogenic Avian Influenza, “what you’re seeing is the new normal.” Jennifer Reed-Harry, speaking at an earlier seminar on emergency preparedness, said because HPAI has not been identified yet in Pennsylvania, we are theoretically on emergency stand-by. [Read more…]