2016 Winter Dairy Management Pro-Dairy programs focus on increasing dairy profits through transition cow management

Dairy Team speakers at the 2016 Winter Dairy Program included Executive Director of Cornell's Pro-Dairy Program, Dr. Tom Overton; program coordinator, Pro-Dairy’s Kathy Barrett; Graduate Research Assistant Brittany Leno; Northern NY CCE Regional Dairy Specialist Lindsay Collings-Ferlito; Pro-Dairy Senior Extension Associate for Dairy Herd Health and Management Specialist Dr. Robert A. Lynch, DVM; CNY CCE Regional Dairy Specialist Dave Balbian; and Saratoga Co. CCE Resource Educator Kirk Shoen. Photo by Elizabeth A. Tomlinby Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Winter Dairy Management programs across the state, coordinated by Pro-Dairy’s Kathy Barrett, focused on transition dairy cows and how better management can profit dairy owners.

“There are many interacting factors that affect how successful producers are with handling transition cows,” said CNY CCE Regional Dairy Specialist Dave Balbian. “Nutrition is very important, but it’s not the only thing. We dairy producers and researchers are learning more and more all the time how these factors interact.” Balbian emphasized that many components fit together and emphasizes that each component is important. [Read more…]

Coby Corner: The Vermont Dairy Producers Conference

CEW-CL-MR-1-Coby-Corner-11cOn Tuesday, Feb. 23, I traveled to Burlington, VT, with my fellow classmates to attend the Vermont Dairy Producers Conference. This was my second year attending this conference, and just like the previous year, it was a great event to attend. The guest speakers that they showcased were very interesting, engaging and made many valid points for their specific talks, and there was one that really captured the crowd by sending his message in a comical and charming way. Garrison Wynn is the CEO of Wynn Solutions; he is a bestselling author, speaker and consultant. He not only spoke once, but twice at the Vermont Dairy Producers Conference. [Read more…]

Losing our land grant

CDM-45-1-Losing-our3816by Steve Wagner

Like a bombshell that falls on a city’s buildings, the one that is falling on Penn State’s Extension Services is just as destructive in its way as the one destroying buildings. Jobs will be lost, services ruined and/or done away with, and cultures, namely agriculture and horticulture, will suffer irreparable damage.

“After vetoing two previous budget proposals last year,” explained PA Farm Bureau President Rick Ebert, “the Governor decided to line-item veto the Legislature’s third proposal, in order to disperse some public funds to keep public schools and human services functioning. As a result of the line-item veto, funding for PSU Cooperative Extension and Research, along with other agricultural priorities, have been zeroed out of the existing state spending plan that was supposed to run from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016. [Read more…]

Conservation, biodiversity and produce safety

CN-MR-2-Conservation-Biodiversityby Tamara Scully

The USDA recently announced that organic farmers are eligible to enroll land utilized as conservation buffers in the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP). Buffers include windbreaks, pollinator strips, riparian buffers, filter strips and field borders planted with native vegetation. Grass strips, wetlands restoration, and living snow fences are also eligible practices. These types of conservation practices promote biodiversity, encourage farmers not to grow crops on marginal lands, provide waterways and soils with protection from contaminants, and create wildlife habitat. [Read more…]

Avoiding the unexpected (and potentially expensive) with H2A and other labor rules and regulations

CN-Hiring-H2A-pt3-0891by Bill and Mary Weaver

H2A workers are not an inexpensive source of labor. “The visa fee is $190 per worker, paid across the border, and you’ll need to budget about $250 per worker for transportation direct to your farm,” said Kerry Scott of MAS Labor, who specializes in the H2A program.

“Plan to reimburse your workers for their travel soon after they arrive,” added Scott, “They most likely will arrive stone broke, either because they are very poor, or because their money was taken from them.” [Read more…]