Road safety during harvest

2021-09-28T10:02:57-05:00September 14, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Sally Colby

At harvest time, equipment operators have a responsibility to ensure safety for themselves and others who are using the roads. There’s a good chance many motorists who encounter tractors, trucks and harvest equipment don’t understand what it’s like behind the wheel of a tractor or other farm vehicle. Those farming in or passing through heavily populated areas should be aware that some motorists may not have driven around farm equipment and are unsure what to do. (more…)

Writing copy that converts

2021-09-28T10:02:13-05:00September 14, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

When COVID-19 shut down the world, many businesses selling directly to customers, including those in agriculture, pivoted to selling online, even those that had not done so before. Many businesses have continued online sales in addition to those at their reopened brick-and-mortar salespoints. To help businesses offer better copy on their websites, Amanda Basse presented “How to Write Product Descriptions that Convert” as a recent webinar hosted by the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center. (more…)

Horse Tales: Lyme Disease!

2021-09-14T11:10:16-05:00September 14, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

It’s been a busy summer, and weather-wise not the best. We had lots of hot, humid weather followed by what was considered the rainiest July ever – at least that’s what my hay supplier stated when he brought the last of our winter’s supply of hay and finished filling the barn over the weekend. We’re usually finished filling our barn much earlier in the summer but with all the rain it’s made making good hay very difficult. (more…)

Figuring out the digital transformation puzzle

2021-09-14T11:11:42-05:00September 14, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Enrico Villamaino

As a co-owner of a family farm operating in Illinois for nearly 150 years, Martha King is very aware of how profound technological advancements can change farm operations. “Obviously,” she said, “our farm has seen extraordinary changes over the past century and a half.” (more…)

Crop Comments: Keeping closer count on carbon

2021-08-31T09:11:00-05:00August 31, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Appearing in a recent issue of the Guardian online newspaper was an article, “Planting Trees to Fight Climate Change Is Great. Then Again, So Is Eating,” written by Fiona Harvey. Harvey wrote that governments and businesses hoping to plant trees and restore forests in order to reach net-zero carbon emissions must sharply limit such efforts to avoid driving up food prices in the developing world, the charity Oxfam has warned. Oxfam is a confederation of 19 independent charitable organizations focusing on the alleviation of global poverty. Planting trees has been touted as one of the key ways of tackling the climate crisis, but the amount of land needed for such forests would be vast. Planting even a fraction of the area needed to offset global greenhouse gas emissions would usurp some of the land for crops needed to feed our planet’s growing population. (more…)

Hiring and keeping employees

2021-08-31T09:18:00-05:00August 26, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Although finding good farm employees is an ongoing challenge for farm employers, finding new employees is tougher than ever.

“Farms are at a competitive disadvantage with businesses in town,” said Phil Durst, Michigan State University Extension. “They can offer more – higher wage rate, signing bonus, benefits and education.” (more…)

There’s value in dairy and dairy cross steers

2021-08-26T15:54:33-05:00August 26, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

Dr. Dan Schaefer, emeritus professor, University of Wisconsin, said there’s money to be made with dairy and dairy cross steers.

Schaefer described the ideal Holstein steer as just over 1,400 pounds liveweight, with 61.5% dressing percentage estimate, yield grade 3, high choice and a muscle score of 1 to 2 – a steer that dairy steer harvesters and native cattle packers are interested in. Desirable steers are smooth over the ribs with some fat accumulation around the tailhead, levelness in the flank and fullness in the brisket. (more…)