Changing with the times

2020-11-03T12:18:03-05:00November 3, 2020|New England Farm Weekly|

by Laura Rodley

The Robinson Farm has been a continuous family farm since 1892. It was awarded the Massachusuetts Century Farm status in 1992. Fourth generation farmers Pam and Ray Robinson Jr. have made homestead cheeses from raw milk from their Normande, Jersey and Holstein crossed cows since 2010. They’ve won American Cheese Society and the Eastern States Gold Cheese Competition awards for their Prescott and A Barndance. Their Hardwick Stone, Arpeggio and the Robinson Family Swiss also won medals at past Eastern States Gold Cheese Competitions. (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…)

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…)

Country Folks New England edition candidates’ guide on agriculture

2020-10-29T10:31:56-05:00October 29, 2020|New England Farm Weekly|

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…)

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…)

Organics: Influencing conventional agriculture

2020-10-23T07:51:14-05:00October 16, 2020|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

The purpose of farming organically is to protect natural resources to produce an agricultural product. Organic growing requires farmers to work with the natural environment to promote a healthy biome – one where the balance of beneficial elements outweighs the presence of any detrimental ones and keeping disease and pests in check by creating nutrient-rich soils in which nutrient-dense, healthy crops can thrive. (more…)