Dreams do come true, even during COVID-19

2020-11-03T12:21:37-05:00November 3, 2020|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Mikaela Schneider

Along with my friends and my cows, we recently had the privilege to participate in the 2020 Northeast All Breeds Fall Show in West Springfield, MA. It was different than normal. We had to be masked at all times and there were no spectators – only those working and showing. There was no sleeping or food preparation in the barns, and liability forms had to be signed upon entering. Regardless of this, the atmosphere was incredible. (more…)

Autumn is cider time

2020-11-03T12:16:33-05:00November 3, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Judy Van Put

Autumn is a favorite time of the year, with its abundance of garden fruits and vegetables, cool nights, warm sunny days and crisp blue skies against the backdrop of colorful fall foliage. The garden is producing like crazy and we are busy harvesting its bounty, canning and storing in the cool basement for the long winter to come. Added to our enjoyment of autumn is the tradition of pressing apples for cider, and we worked diligently to pick and fill bushel bags and baskets of the red and yellow fruits to bring to the cider mill with the anticipation of the gallons of sweet cider we’ll return home with. (more…)

Examining rumen development

2020-10-29T11:03:42-05:00October 29, 2020|Eastern Edition|

by Tamara Scully

Dairy cows are ruminants, evolved to eat grass, which is composed primarily of carbohydrates. Microbes present in the rumen ferment carbs and break them down into volatile fatty acids (VFAs), the main source of energy for cows. These microbes also break down rumen-degradable proteins and non-protein nitrogen into amino acids and ammonia, which are used to build additional microbial proteins. The microbes themselves are digested and utilized in the abomasum as a source of protein for the cow, along with protein from the diet. Fats are primarily digested in the small intestine; the small intestine and abomasum handle proteins not digested in the rumen as well. (more…)

Managing hay and forages in winter

2020-11-03T12:23:22-05:00October 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

As the last cutting of hay is baled and stored, the question of whether or not it will be enough to support the beef herd through the winter can be a tricky one. For those raising grass-fed beef, particularly in extreme cold weather areas, the amount of hay available to supplement the herd during the winter is particularly important. (more…)

Tubing essential to scaling up commercial maple production

2020-11-03T12:22:31-05:00October 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

If you want to expand your farm’s maple production, going with tubing rather than collection buckets can make the entire system work more smoothly. It’s vital to set up your sugarbush’s tubing properly so that it works well. Adam Wild, director of the Cornell Uihlein Maple Research Forest, and Aaron Wightman, Extension associate who oversees operations at the Arnot Research Sugarbush, recently presented the “Setting Up a Maple Tubing System” webinar, hosted by the Cornell Maple Program. (more…)

Questions to ask when determining land value

2020-10-29T11:01:58-05:00October 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Enrico Villamaino

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County continues its series of online seminars to better assist both aspiring farmers and current landowners. The latest installment of the “Accessing Farmland Zoom Series” was “Determining the Realistic Value of Land and its Best Use.” The session was presented by Farm Business Management Specialist for the Central New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops (CNYDFC) Program Nicole Tommell. (more…)

Country Folks Eastern edition candidates’ guide on agriculture

2020-10-29T10:31:18-05:00October 29, 2020|Eastern Edition|

The 2020 election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 3. With that in mind, Country Folks reached out to those seeking the highest offices in each of the states in our coverage areas, asking them for their goals and plans for the agricultural sector. Many did not respond to our queries; therefore, we sought out information from their websites. Responses directly from candidates will not include the “NO RESPONSE” disclaimer. Note: Some information has been edited for space. (more…)

Dairy’s Net Zero Initiative sees big boost from Nestlé

2020-10-23T11:00:26-05:00October 23, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Big news was announced in the dairy world earlier this month, with Nestlé offering its support – in the form of $10 million over a five-year period – for the Net Zero Initiative, a new industry-wide effort that will help U.S. dairy farms of all sizes implement new technologies and adopt economically viable practices. The initiative ties into the dairy industry’s environmental stewardship goals of achieving carbon neutrality, optimized water usage and improved water quality by 2050. (more…)

Construction: Barn entrances

2020-10-23T10:58:41-05:00October 23, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

Entrances to livestock barns can get quite messy. Depending on how often and how many animals are utilizing it, plus any heavy equipment accessing the entryway, the area can become dangerous and dirty. As with other heavy use areas, proper planning, construction and maintenance can go a long way in mitigating cow comfort and safety issues. (more…)

First and foremost, quality at Bobolink

2020-10-16T09:36:36-05:00October 16, 2020|Eastern Edition|

by Richard J. Skelly

MILFORD, NJ – Operating since the summer of 2010, the Bobolink Dairy and Bake House has quickly carved out a reputation for providing quality over quantity in foodie and organic farmer circles.

Known for their regenerative agricultural approach and practices, Jonathan and Nina White are second career farmers who kept their jobs while entertaining the possibility of eventually farming full-time.

Jonathan’s fascination with cheeses and cheesemaking led him to raising cows for milk. His cows at Bobolink are pasture-fed. (more…)

Good handling, BRD and antibiotic use

2020-10-29T10:53:31-05:00October 16, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

It’s a fact: Consumers are several generations removed from the farm and don’t understand agricultural production. While farmers have worked hard to garner consumer trust, there’s still a gap between what happens on the farm and what consumers believe. Despite education campaigns and increased farm transparency, many consumer distrust issues are centered on animal welfare and antibiotic use. (more…)

Wild habitat as part of field conservation

2020-10-23T11:02:27-05:00October 16, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

While most farmers seek to keep animals away from their crops, Nathan and Sarah Anderson work at ways to integrate wildlife into natural habitats on Bobolink Prairie Farms, their Aurelia, Iowa, farm, to increase overall profitability. Practical Farmers of Iowa offered “Using Conservation to Improve Farm Profitability” as a recent webinar in which Nathan Anderson spoke about their edge-of-field conservation on marginal lands to provide water quality and wildlife benefits while improving return on investment on farmed acres. (more…)