Virginia Extension holds its annual Dairy Conferences at several sites around the Commonwealth

CM-42-1-VA-area-diaryby Karl H. Kazaks

WYTHEVILLE, VA — Virginia Extension recently held a weeklong series of dairy conferences, in Wytheville as well as Amelia Court House, Brandy Station, Dayton and Rocky Mount. The featured speaker came from the USDA’s Dairy Forage Research Center in Wisconsin.

Dr. Wayne Coblentz is a research dairy scientist and agronomist. In his studies, he measures how the nutritional characteristics of forages change due to variations in agronomic inputs, the application of animal wastes, grazing, climate, and post-harvest management. At the conferences, he spoke about the key components of making baled silage. [Read more…]

Large fowl breed preservation

by Paul Burdziakowski

Large fowl varieties of chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys have been an important part of New England farming for generations. Breeds such as the Rose Comb Ancona have played an important role in sustaining farms by providing a source of food and income. Unfortunately the last several decades have been highlighted by improper breeding, frequent cross breeding and bad practices in large scale production have led to the loss of the original defining characteristics of these large fowls. [Read more…]

Coby Corner: Dairy Herd Management Seminar

CEW-MR-CL-2-Coby-Corner-1cDairy Herd Management Seminar II is the second part to the 2-part class that was first created last semester. This class gets students involved through practical situations of analysis of dairy farms in order to achieve the most optimum management possible. This all happens right there, on the farm! We work with the farm owners and their management in order to receive as much information as possible on their operation. Here, we conduct our analysis, including a SWOT analysis. This was discussed in one of my previous articles, including the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the business. [Read more…]

Maryland Dairy Convention

CM-DY-2-Maryland-dairy-convby Hope Holland

The Maryland Dairy Industry Association held its annual convention at FSK Holiday Inn and Conference Center on Saturday, Feb. 27.

A comprehensive group of speakers were at the convention featuring Dr. Bob Peters, University of MD, Gordie Jones, DVM, Central Sands Dairy, LLC of Nekoosa, WI. Virginia Ishler of Penn State and Ralph Ward of Cumberland Valley Analytical Services in Hagerstown, MD provided the two consecutive morning breakout sessions.

The afternoon sessions were given by Julio O Giordano from Cornell University and Sue Puffenbarger representing Land O’Lakes. [Read more…]

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…]