Meeting the challenge of the transition cow

CMN-MR-DY-2-Transition cows5056by Sally Colby

Cornell University extension veterinarian Dr. Daryl Nydam is interested in the management of close-up and just-fresh cows, and the importance of minimizing negative energy balance. He’s done a lot of research in this area, and says his best research collaborators are cows.

“Transition cows have all kinds of challenges,” said Nydam. “Social pressures, getting to the feed bunk. We re-group them, put them in a new group and it’s a challenge. And while they’re growing and in early lactation, there’s a negative protein balance. We’ve just started to crack that nut.” [Read more…]

Organic farming

by Jane Primerano

The term “organic farming” was coined by J. I. Rodale back in the 1940s. The institute he founded and the farms he started continue, now under the direction of Mark Smallwood.

The institute is housed at Kutztown University, not far from the Emmaus, PA, publishing company (think Organic Gardening) operated by members of the family, but a separate entity.

Smallwood was invited to be the keynote speaker for the 25th annual Winter Conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association — New Jersey held at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft. His address was a call to good stewardship and a delineation of the work being done at Rodale. [Read more…]

How now brown cow: small family dairies still exist

CM-MR-2-SLOOP-DAIRY-2by Karl H. Kazaks

MT. ULLA, NC — “Of everything I do, this is my favorite,” says Ryan Sloop as he walks down a stock lane, leading a group of Brown Swiss from his family’s dairy to one of the farm’s many grazing pastures. The herd follows behind him, eager to get to a fresh stand of grass. Zealous though they are, all of them are trained to follow Sloop’s lead. When he reached the entry to that morning’s paddock, Sloop steps aside and let the cows stream into the pasture. When they settle down to graze, Sloop appraises the action. “That’s a good sound,” he says, “Heads down – grass going in, milk coming out.” [Read more…]

Planning for pigweed control- Part 1 – know the enemy

CM-MR-2-Pigweeds-pt1-4767by Sally Colby

The name of nearly any weed is a dirty word to both crop and vegetable farmers, and one weed group will be particularly challenging in the coming years.

Pigweeds have been around for a while, and have been fairly manageable until they started to exhibit signs of resistance to available herbicides. Herbicide resistance is a serious problem, defined as ‘when a labeled rate of a herbicide, which previously killed target species, will no longer control the target species.’ [Read more…]