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…]
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…]
Local cattle buyer for Cargill Taylor Beef, Stacylyn Snyder, was guest speaker at the recent Eastern Region New York Beef Producers’ Annual Meeting.
Snyder described her lifelong, extensive and diversified experience in the beef cattle business in the USA and other countries, and explained criteria she uses to evaluate cattle.
“When purchasing cattle, there are several factors a buyer is evaluating,” Snyder explained. “We look at the live weight, the age, the body condition, the overall health of the animal and what we estimate the dressing percentage of the carcass would be.” [Read more…]
For a man who got off to an admittedly rather freewheeling start in the world, Gerald Allebach of Windermere Farms Percherons in Spring Mills, PA has done pretty well for himself, his family and his farm. He has the absolute backing of his wife, Melissa, whom he refers to as “just about the best draft horse trainer in the country”. He also has a darn good back up in his son, Abraham, who carries a man’s load of work without being told what to do or when it needs doing. Abraham is named for his grandfather, Abe Allebach, who with his wife Mary, started what has become three generations of Percheron horse breeders back when the farm also had dairy cattle. [Read more…]
Saunderskill Farms, Accord, NY, was the place to be on Saturday, April 30, as a large turnout welcomed the annual Spring Plow Day, sponsored by the Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association, under sunny skies and what turned out to be a picture-perfect day. Now celebrating its 35th year, the Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association (HVDHA) has sponsored this much-anticipated event, and Dan Schoonmaker, of Saunderskill Farms, remarked he is very pleased that his establishment has hosted the Spring Plow Day for the past five years. The event is free, although donations were gratefully accepted. [Read more…]
Madeline Chairvolotti, a member of the Champlain Shamrocks 4-H Club, took third place in the National 4-H Beekeeping Essay Contest, sponsored by the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, Inc. Participants were asked to research and write 750 to 1,000 words on the topic, “Bees and Pollination: How Important is it?” [Read more…]
Plowing, tilling, harrowing, fertilizing and all the other things farmers do cause soil disturbances. Calculating the impact of the disturbance can assist conservation planners and farmers in designing management strategies that protect the soil from erosion.
Five main types of soil disturbances exist: inversion with some mixing; mixing only; mixing with some inversion; lifting and fracturing; and compression. Different tools will cause different disturbances. The severity of disturbance is related to the depth of the soil involved, as well as the speed of the equipment. [Read more…]
In an article “Glyphosate Most Heavily Used Herbicide in History,” Mike Mozart stated that although enthusiasts for genetically engineered crops preach that this technology reduces herbicide use, the reverse is true. With the arrival of glyphosate-tolerant crops in 1996, use of that herbicide has increased by almost 2,000 percent in the U.S. and 1,500 percent worldwide. (More and more weeds have developed their own herbicide tolerance, resulting in the need for even more weed-killer applications.) Moreover, that between 1974 and 2014 over 3.5 billion pounds of this herbicide were applied in the U.S., with two-thirds of that amount being sprayed between 2004 and 2014. [Read more…]