Unconventional dairy farming

CEW-MR-2-Unconventional-dairy2by Tamara Scully

It isn’t unusual for dairy farmers to call it quits. With a move toward larger dairies, small farmers often feel the pinch, and opting out is sometimes the sensible option.

That’s what happened to Karen and Mike Hooper, who retired from their dairy farm outside of Syracuse, NY, and headed to Florida. Dairying had become stressful, and the herd — as well as the farmers — wasn’t able to function optimally. Cows were pushed to make more milk, and suffered with hock and hoof issues, mastitis, and other concerns. [Read more…]

Kinne Brook Farm first in Massachusetts to be certified grassfed

CN-MR-39-3-Kinne-Brook-6984by Laura Rodley

Short, shaggy, caramel colored cattle with long horns and wary eyes dotted the green countryside. It might have been a pasture in the hills of Scotland but in fact was Worthington, MA. The herd of 25 Scottish Highlanders grazing the pastures of Kinne Brook Farm are owned by Eliza Lake and her husband Bart Niswonger.

On May 20, 2016 their season’s first calf was born; a bull named Grayson. They are eagerly awaiting eight more calves. [Read more…]

Ag Day at the State House honors a vibrant sector of the Rhode Island economy

CN-MR-36-4-15th-annual-1by Kristen M. Castrataro

“It’s a great day at the State House. It’s not every day they’re giving away food,” Governor Gina Raimondo joked in her speech at Rhode Island’s 15th annual Ag Day at the State House on May 10. It is a fact that the food at Ag Day is always a highlight: 45 vendors take the opportunity to showcase the best of Rhode Island agriculture. But Ag Day is more than that. It has become a time to celebrate one of the true growth industries in the Ocean State: Local agriculture. [Read more…]

Graziers find solutions are under foot

CE-MR-4-Graziers-find-solutions2by Troy Bishopp

CANASTOTA, NY — Whether it was the premise of meeting a supernatural Vermont “Agronomator”, witnessing a rain machine test the water holding capacity of pasture soil or enjoying a first class meal of grass-fed beef and homemade churned ice-cream, over 125 farmers from all agricultural genres filled their knowledge base to capacity on an early May day. [Read more…]

Early spring freeze leads to total loss of barley stand

CM-MR-29-2-Early-spring-fre1eeze2by Karl H. Kazaks

PORT ROYAL, VA – Stephen Ellis walked through a field of barley, some of it green, some of it yellow — almost none of it heading like it should have been.

“Basically we’re killing this crop and going into early beans,” he said. “There’s not going to be enough to run a combine through.”

It was late April, and that afternoon Ellis would spray the crop, with the goal of getting in early beans by the end of the month. Earlier in the month, cold weather had sealed the fate of these 65 acres of barley. Ellis estimates freeze damage to the stand to be over 80 percent. [Read more…]