Schoharie County’s inaugural Family Farm Day attracts folks from far and wide

CE-MR-7-Schoharie Farm Day7by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
Folks from as far away as New York City had an opportunity to visit working farms, see the diversity of Schoharie farms and their products and view the remarkable recovery progress from the 2011 flooding, during the inaugural Schoharie County Family Farm Day that took place on Saturday, Aug. 17.
Twenty-two farms and three farmers’ markets participated in welcoming visitors.
Visitors were given tours, received samples and had the opportunity to participate in a variety of farm activities and demonstrations. [Read more…]

Orleans County Fair has new president

CN-MR-4-Orleans County 4by Bethany M. Dunbar
BARTON, VT — Both the new president and the recently resigned president of the Orleans County Fair said things went very smoothly at this year’s fair, which was held Aug. 14-18.
Attendance was tied with record-high numbers from last year, according to the new fair president, Mike Tetreault. He said 18,000 people came over four days, not counting many who had free passes for showing animals or for other reasons.
Harvey Cleveland has stepped down as president after four years at the helm. “I work full time now, and I just don’t have time, to be honest,” said Cleveland. He said he is still a member of the board of directors and spent quite a bit of time at the fair — but not as much as he would have had to as president. “I miss a lot of it, but I guess it’s a good miss, I actually get a lot of sleep.”
Cleveland said he knew he wasn’t going to have the time, so he stepped down on July 7. He said he got the flu as the fair was starting, so it was a relief not to have to work the usual 20-hour days for seven or eight days in a row as president.
Tetreault said Harvey Cleveland will be missed, and did a superb job. “Anybody replacing him, it’s not going to be easy,” he said.   [Read more…]

Baleage — a better way to save hay in wet seasons

CN-MR-3-Baleage 3by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Baleage is fermented hay. In damp regions with less chance of speedy drying and high quality hay production, baleage is a good alternative. Most farmers can get one to two additional cuts off the same fields each season.
Farmers making baleage typically cut and gather baleage 12 to 24 hours after cutting. Round bales must be wrapped in plastic within eight hours of baling. This prevents overheating and reduced quality.
Bales should be stored on their flat ends to reduce settling, air infiltration and reduced quality. Jim Booth of Aquidneck Farms in Portsmouth, RI said, “We have reduced our waste to 5 percent from 20 percent eight years ago.” The farm’s twin auger feed mixer saves another 10 percent. Booth said the feed alleys are completely empty each winter morning. [Read more…]

Long View Farm receives Heritage Farm Award

by Terry Lynn Colligan
When Albert Mosher, 85, a sixth generation farmer on his family’s Long View Farm in Gorham, Maine, talks about his long life in agriculture his love for the place is evident. In 1770, James Mosher, Albert’s many times great-grandfather, purchased 160 acres on the Presumpscot River and the farm has been continuously worked by the family ever since.
On Sunday July 28, Long View Farm was awarded its first Heritage Farm Award from the Cumberland County Farm Bureau in recognition of the Mosher’s dedication to successfully farming and maintaining the place as a family farm for the past 243 years.
Mr. Mosher had been asked to be this year’s parade marshal at the Gorham Founder’s Day Weekend Festival. [Read more…]

The art, science and skill of forage management

CM-MR-3-The art, science 3by Sally Colby
A dairy farm that’s milking 1,550 cows in a four times a day system while maintaining a 30,000 pound herd average and a SCC of 150,000 is doing a lot of things right, starting with forage management.
That’s the case at Mercer Vu Farms, Inc., in Mercersburg, PA, where the Hissong family recently hosted a Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) issues forum. One topic of interest for many who attended was forage management. Troy Brown, national forage consultant for Cargill, addressed silage harvest and bunker management.
“Harvesting at the correct moisture level is critical, whether it’s corn silage or haylage,” said Brown. “Then we need the right additive for each situation, whether it’s a bag, baleage, a traditional upright silo, a bunker or a drive-over pile.” [Read more…]