ADA accessibility extends to farm websites

2019-06-03T15:35:40-05:00May 20, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

The doorways at your farm market are wide enough. You have ramps at entrances and designated parking spaces and restroom stalls. You think you’re completely accessible. But you could find yourself sued for lack of accessibility if your website isn’t compatible with software that reads text for those who are visually impaired. (more…)

On the lookout – African swine fever

2019-05-17T15:37:56-05:00May 17, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by George Looby

African Swine Fever (ASF) has yet to be found in the United States but it poses an ongoing threat to the swine industry of this country. If it were ever to become established here it would have the potential to devastate one of the major components of this country’s agricultural economy. At this point there is no effective treatment available and no vaccine available to control it. It is a viral disease that can be spread in many ways, which makes it difficult to control. Direct contact between infected and susceptible animals is the most obvious method of spread but there are other less obvious means of contagion. (more…)

Going mobile with pigs

2019-05-20T07:52:53-05:00May 16, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

When pasturing pigs, there are always valid concerns about damage done to soil through their rooting behaviors. Frequently moving pigs to prevent them from damaging the soil structure once the vegetation is cleared is one of the key aspects of keeping pigs on pasture. Pigs love to graze, and utilizing their ability to do so, while enjoying a wide range of fodder, is a quick way to clear new ground for planting. (more…)

Profitable direct-market farming

2019-06-03T15:48:58-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

One might think that farming is all about growing a great crop – but it’s selling that crop that brings in the profit. In today’s agricultural marketplace, dominated by large corporations competing on price, the small farmer, selling directly to customers, can find it challenging to find and retain customers. It’s this part of selling – the marketing – which Charlotte Smith, of 3 Cow Marketing, specializes in teaching. In a recent webinar, sponsored by On Pasture, Smith shared the first three essential steps to profitable farming. (more…)

Farm safety: Recent news

2019-05-17T15:56:17-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

With no formal comprehensive data collection system for farm injuries in the United States, nonprofit agencies and university researchers throughout the nation collect data and compile statistics on injuries and fatalities related to agriculture., run by the National Farm Medicine Center, is a database for farm-related injury reports, both from the U.S. and abroad. (more…)

African swine fever prompts cancellation of World Pork Expo

2019-06-03T08:55:24-05:00May 14, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

The National Pork Producers Council’s board of directors has announced its decision to cancel the 2019 World Pork Expo in Iowa out of an abundance of caution as African swine fever (ASF) continues to spread in China and other parts of Asia. The World Pork Expo, held each June at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, hosts approximately 20,000 visitors over three days, including individuals and exhibitors from ASF-positive regions. ASF affects only pigs and presents no human health or food safety risks. There is currently no vaccine to treat the swine disease.

The above paragraph came from a recent press release issued by the NPPC, and was forwarded to me by Penn-Ag Industries’ Assistant Vice President Jessica Darr. While attending Penn-Ag’s annual meeting, Darr, and Debbie Reed-Harry, casually mentioned ASF, something I was hearing about for the first time. “How serious is this?” I asked. (more…)

Monitoring for metritis

2019-05-14T11:02:20-05:00May 14, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Dr. Andrew Barragan, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Science at Penn State, said uterine diseases are among the most prevalent diseases in dairy cows – as high as 50% in some herds. These diseases can cost between $106 and $360 per case, and cows suffering from uterine disease are more likely to get sick with other diseases. (more…)