Fly control on organic dairy operations

by Katie Navarra

Without fail, flies arrive with summer heat and increased grazing time. Controlling flies is a common management issue among farmers, especially organic farmers who have fewer options for control. In a webinar hosted by eExtension and eOrganic, Roger Moon, Ph.D. and Brad Heins, Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota, discuss two control options that were researched at the university through a project funded by the USDA Organic Research and Extension Initiative.

Before a method of control can be established, you have to know your enemies. Flies originate from different places and cause specific problems. When asked to name flies, most people first list mosquitoes, horse flies, black flies and biting gnats. [Read more…]

Lebanon County’s soybean Chronicle

CM-MR-26-3-MUSSER0542by Steve Wagner

There was a time when farmers in Lebanon County didn’t grow soybeans. “At that time, Penn State said, ‘you can’t raise beans around here; it won’t work,’” said Samuel Musser of Triple-M-Farms. “But my dad raised some soybeans and we baled it like hay. There weren’t many combines then, so we baled this stuff and big stems were sticking out. But it wasn’t much.” At the time, Musser’s fellow farmer, Mark Hershey, “was buying soybeans out of the west and cooking them. They were probably railed in; nobody seemed to know where he was getting them.” [Read more…]

Small-scale biogas systems for farm and homestead: Hands-on

KIMBERTON, PA — The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), in partnership with the Dickinson College Farm, Solar CITIES Inc., and Omega-Alpha Recycling Systems will be hosting a Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day event on small-scale biogas on Saturday, July 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The field day will be hosted at the Dickinson College Farm in Boiling Springs, PA. [Read more…]

The Famacha Method

CE-MR-1-Famacha-method8527Important innovation for managing barber pole worms in small ruminants

by Ellen Wren

As anyone raising small ruminants knows, gastrointestinal parasites are a serious threat to the health of their animals. Haemonchus Contortus, more commonly known as Barber Pole worm or Wireworm can cause a healthy lamb to be near death within a week. It is a dangerous blood-sucking roundworm. Hosts experience anemia and protein loss that can progress alarmingly fast, leading to death. Young and highly stressed animals are most vulnerable. [Read more…]

Happy cows are productive cows

CE-MR-3-Tafel-Dairy7by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“We believe this is the ultimate in cow comfort!” 32-year-old Adam Tafel remarked. “Bunk space is not issue, lunge room is not an issue, footing and comfortable bedding is also not an issue.”

Tafel and his wife, Margaret, operate a grass fed, organic dairy in Laurens, NY, where intensive, rotational grazing, sunshine and fresh air, May through October, keep their 230 head herd happy and healthy. “Udder health is better, as well as hoof health.” [Read more…]