Winter Livestock Management

by Dr. Susan Kerr, WSU-Klickitat County Extension Director

Water

The necessity of a clean and reliable year-round source of water cannot be overemphasized. Novice managers often mistakenly believe that animals can meet water requirements by eating snow or licking ice. With daily water requirements varying from three gallons (sheep) to 14 gallons (cattle), one can see that livestock would need to spend every waking hour eating snow to meet their requirements. Ice and snow consumption also lowers body temperature and increases maintenance energy needs, so it should be discouraged. [Read more…]

Growing rye for malting

CN-MR-1-Growing-Rye-for1-by Tamara Scully

Cereal grains are no longer regulated to commodity grain markets or cover crop use. Instead, they are in demand by the growing population of craft maltsters and brewers, and are fueling the growth of this rapidly emerging market.

Hartwick College, in Oneonta, NY, invited farmers, brewers, maltsters and researchers from around the country — and included seven international guests — for its weekend Farmer/Brewer conference, “A Maltster in the Rye.” Conference workshops were aimed at highlighting the correlation between the actual growing of the grains — including variety selection, agronomics and environment, and management practices — to the ability of the maltster and brewer to craft high-quality, unique products. [Read more…]

Environmental Protection Agency regulations updated

CEW-MR-1-EPA-Regs3`by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

An overview of pesticide use and changes to worker protection standard (WPS) regulations highlighted Central New York Cornell Cooperative Extension 2016 Field Crop Pest Management meetings.

James Carrabba, Agricultural Safety Specialist with New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), advised attendees on changes in Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations and instructed them on usage of personal protective equipment, safety data sheets (SDS), decontamination, reducing take home exposure and use of respirators. [Read more…]

Winter feeding made easy for young farmers

CEW-MR-1-BALE-GRAZING11by Troy Bishopp

WORCHESTER, NY — American economist and professor at the Harvard Business School, Theodore Levitt, said, “Creativity is thinking up new things; innovation is about doing new things.” As a thinker and doer, Organic Dairyman, Tom McGrath resembles this remark when it comes to out-wintering dairy cows and enhancing the bottom line. What’s this fresh strategy revolutionizing the way for many farmers? Bale grazing.

In the tiny hamlet, Tom, Caroline and daughter, Elaine McGrath of Autumn Valley Farm raise 45 certified organic cows and produce 100 percent grass-fed organic milk for Maple Hill Creamery. Unique in that they are the youngest farmers in the cooperative, they also produce milk seasonally with cows dry during the winter months. “For us and our hill farm, this approach makes sense and gives everybody some needed downtime to recharge our minds and bodies,” said Tom. [Read more…]

Six hundred meals a day

CN-3-Six-hundred-meals-47217by Laura Rodley  

Over six hundred meals a day, three times a day, are served at Hampshire College while college is in session. Approximately 1,400 students attend the school.

To provide the food to feed them, the college has the Hampshire College Farm Center in Amherst, MA, a 100-acre working farm that also provides work-study jobs for the students to study farming. This is in keeping with the college’s goal to locally source 100 percent of the food served on campus.

“We sent eight beef to them this year, usually 15-20 pigs. We send 70 dozen eggs a week; we could do a lot more eggs, but in general eggs are not profitable,” said Pete Solis. He has been the Director of Livestock and Pasture Management for the past year and a half, having brought with him his experience working on his own farm in nearby Easthampton.   [Read more…]