Understanding heterosis and breed complementarity

2019-05-16T15:26:37-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Part 1: heterosis

by Sally Colby

EPDs are a great tool for cattle breeders, but there’s more to developing a breeding system than looking at numbers.

For years, beef cattle breeders have taken advantage of crossbreeding and the resulting hybrid vigor to develop good cowherds. Dr. Megan Rolf, assistant professor of genetics at Kansas State University, said the benefits of crossbreeding can be summarized by two main categories: heterosis and breed complementarity. (more…)

Economic outlook for ag

2019-05-17T15:56:42-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

CLYDE, NY — It’s easy to get nearsighted with the activities on one’s own farm and lose touch with industry trends. That’s why David M. Kohl, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Agricultural and Applied Economics College of Agriculture & Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, presented “Economic Radar Screen 2019-2020” at a recent open house at A.N. Martin Systems, LLC. (more…)

Antibiotic use and resistance on dairy farms

2019-05-17T15:55:45-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Stephen Wagner

Hayley Springer cut to the chase by answering the question “What is antibiotic resistance?” It is the ability of bacteria to resist the effects of an antibiotic that would otherwise kill it or stop its growth. This is due, she said, “to a change in the bacteria. People think it’s a change in the animal or a change in the drug, but it’s a change in the bacteria that causes the disease.” (more…)

Experimenting with hazelnuts

2019-05-13T07:51:53-05:00May 13, 2019|Eastern Edition|

by Jane Primerano

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ — Television commercials featuring delighted children slathering Nutella® on their toast sowed the seeds for a revolution of sorts, and the proof bends in the breeze at a Rutgers experimental farm.

Prior to the invasion of the Italian chocolate/hazelnut spread, many Americans never ate hazelnuts. (more…)

Livestock welfare and silvopasture

2019-05-16T15:27:11-05:00May 6, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

When livestock are grazing, providing shade keeps them cool and productive. Shelter, to protect from precipitation or extremely cold temperatures, is sometimes needed. Pasture forages must provide the needed nutrition, in enough abundance, to promote daily gain and animal health. Silvopasture systems can meet all of these needs while producing another crop from the land and enhancing resiliency in livestock farming systems. (more…)

Can a surgical tool predict lamb flavor?

2019-04-16T14:53:15-05:00April 16, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Those who raise sheep and sell lamb hope every customer will enjoy the unique, mild flavor of lamb. But when some consumers think of lamb, it isn’t always a pleasant association. Perhaps they had lamb that was overcooked, or smelled like a wet sweater in the oven. Many lamb consumers insist on having mint jelly with lamb, perhaps to disguise strong flavor or simply due to tradition. (more…)

The ‘graying’ of PA farm families

2019-05-13T10:53:19-05:00April 16, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

With the “graying” of Pennsylvania farm families, State Senator Elder Vogel has introduced legislation that encourages existing farmers and landowners to work with beginning farmers to help them get started. Vogel’s Senate Bill 478 provides a personal income tax credit for landowners who lease or sell their land, buildings and equipment to beginning farmers. (more…)