Facility design for special cows

2019-08-23T10:54:52-05:00July 29, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Facilities for special cows – cows in transition – should be nothing short of careful planning and consideration of herd goals.

John Tyson, Penn State ag engineer, said spikes in calving numbers throughout the year can easily overwhelm a facility. Tyson referenced a study that showed 65% of 170 herds in the Northeast were overcrowded by at least 25% for at least two months, and 4% of those herds overcrowded by 35%. “Transition calving areas need to have some flexibility designed into them to allow for hiccups in management or uniformity that are going to happen on every farm out there,” he said. (more…)

Weed management in organic systems

2019-08-20T10:39:49-05:00July 22, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Organic growers list weed management as their top production challenge, but having a plan and planning ahead can help. Sam Hitchcock Tilton, horticulture instructor of Lakeshore Technical College in Wisconsin, advises growers to look at the big picture and manage weeds at each stage of growth throughout the season. (more…)

Foot rot: Eradication

2019-07-22T10:22:47-05:00July 22, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

Foot rot is a serious concern for those raising sheep or goats, and eradicating it isn’t easy. Two specific organisms, a muddy and wet environment and high animal density combine to make the “recipe for foot rot,” Dr. Mike Neary, Extension ruminant specialist at Purdue University, said during an American Sheep Industry Association webinar. (more…)

Making a profit off Charity Hill

2019-07-22T10:01:48-05:00July 22, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

by Rebecca Jackson

At age 26, Chris Smith feels very fortunate to have found his niche early in a profession he loves – working the family’s 1,100-acre operation, Charity Hill Farms, just north of Richmond, VA. A 2012 agricultural technology graduate of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Smith rises before dawn to meet the day’s tasks, especially in the summer, when daytime temperatures may reach the 90s, coupled with Virginia’s well-known, stifling humidity. Tasks may range from cutting hay and artificially inseminating heifers to marketing beef at a local farmers market. Days are never the same, which keeps things interesting, he noted. (more…)

“Shortsighted” and “disappointing”

2019-07-22T10:17:08-05:00July 22, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

State Representative Martin Causer is visibly upset, the result of Governor Tom Wolf vetoing the Cameron/McKean/Potter County Republican’s bill, House Bill 915. The chair of the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee sponsored the bill to exempt milk trucks from weather-related commercial travel bans. Passage of the bill would have ensured farmers could get their milk to market regardless of weather. Causer’s office says that if farmers cannot transport their milk, they have no choice but to dump it. (more…)

Transforming from corporations to cultivations

2019-07-22T08:55:54-05:00July 22, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

by Enrico Villamaino

Cindy Hamrick used to fly so much she practically needed a cape. Working for years in corporate technology and engineering, she calculated she was averaging over 150,000 air miles a year. Yet despite the success she met in this field, Hamrick wasn’t satisfied; she found herself wanting something deeper, something more. (more…)

Every cow is special – Part two: Grouping special cows

2019-07-22T10:28:28-05:00July 22, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Although every cow on the farm is special, certain groups of animals require extra care and attention at various times throughout the year.

Special cows, whether they’re transition cows or part of a group separated for pregnancy checks or hoof health, will have to be moved at least once. (more…)

Richlands betting big on its creamery

2019-07-16T12:12:13-05:00July 16, 2019|Mid Atlantic|

by Enrico Villamaino

By American standards, Virginia is pretty old. Its nickname, the Old Dominion State, was earned by the loyalty Virginia showed to the Royalist cause during the English Civil War. Virginia has a lot of history in it, some of which goes back to before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That history includes Richlands Farm. (more…)