Ensure youth are aware of all ag hazards

2021-04-09T14:41:04-05:00March 5, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

The top three industries that see worker fatalities are construction, transportation and then agriculture. But why is farming so dangerous? Machinery with aggressive parts, isolated workplaces, working alone, unpredictable animals, use of toxic chemicals and adverse weather are all reasons. (more…)

A cow’s second career

2021-03-05T19:22:15-05:00March 5, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

When dairy cows leave the herd, they’re often referred to as cull cows. Culling is typically done to reduce the herd size or eliminate animals that are weak or sick. Aerica Bjurstrom, University of Wisconsin dairy Extension specialist, would like dairy producers to think of cull cows as market animals – and more importantly, as beef. (more…)

Building a local beef market

2021-04-09T14:33:10-05:00March 5, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Stephen Wagner

Dr. Scott Barao is executive director of the Maryland Beef Council and spoke at the Penn State Extension 2021 Lancaster Cattle Feeders Day virtual seminar, addressing challenges and opportunities. “What I’ve noticed because of the disruptions in the supply chain, which you’re well aware of, is that there’s been a renewed voice of those who think ‘local’ as the savior of the beef business. They like to claim that our food supply chain has become too centralized and that we need more niche opportunities, more small packers, more local food, and that may or may not be the case. At the same time, I’ve also heard many folks who are interested in trying to build a local meat business, specifically a local beef business, to try to address the new demand that was created.” (more…)

NYS dairy royalty selected to raise consumer awareness, confidence in industry

2021-02-25T10:34:41-05:00February 25, 2021|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

Shelby Benjamin from Chenango County was crowned the 2021-22 New York State Dairy Princess on Feb. 16 during a virtual ceremony that was livestreamed from Syracuse, NY. Selected from among 11 county dairy princesses who have served since the spring of 2020, Benjamin will devote an additional year to promoting milk and dairy products with American Dairy Association North East. (more…)

COVID continues to affect consumers

2021-02-25T10:29:10-05:00February 18, 2021|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Consumer whims and trends can affect how they purchase farm goods. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven a major influence in how people shop. Martha Hilton, who manages produce merchandising at Rochester, NY-based Wegmans Food Markets, presented “Changing Consumers Through COVID” at the recent virtual New York State Agricultural Society Annual Meeting and Forum. (more…)

Warding off winter water woes

2021-02-18T15:22:02-05:00February 18, 2021|Eastern Edition, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

Providing fresh water to livestock on pasture when temperatures are below freezing can be challenging. During the recent Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference, a panel of three grazers shared how they’ve made winter watering less of a hassle. Bruce Hennessey of Maple Wind Farm, Matt Garcia of Taste for Good Farm and Ben Nottermann of Snug Valley Farm all serve on the Board of Directors for the Vermont Grass Farmers Association. They shared innovative ideas for keeping fresh water flowing. (more…)

Try intensive lambing to achieve prosperity through sheep

2021-03-12T12:28:42-05:00February 18, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Some farmers are experimenters – they start with raw materials and an idea and test a method. If their hypothesis works, success! If it doesn’t, they tweak the formula and try again.

Other farmers prefer to follow a tried-and-true template to help them achieve their goals. Offering a template for sheep farmers are Karin and Manie Wessels of Mamre Consulting, based in Frankfort, Free State, South Africa. They recently shared the formula to their success via webinar presented by the Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program. (more…)

Grazing cattle on corn residue in spring

2021-02-18T15:21:37-05:00February 18, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Farmers all are too familiar with what’s left over after harvest – the corn stubble that pokes up through the snow all winter. It may not seem useful, but corn residue can actually be a valuable resource. The leaves, husks, kernels and cobs can serve as food to grazing cattle. And, when properly managed, corn residue can increase farm income, provide affordable food for cattle and efficiently use land to feed people. (more…)

What about the water?

2021-02-16T12:01:40-05:00February 16, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

When farmers are planning new livestock facilities, the intended water source should be a top priority. Drinking water problems can lead to low milk production, and in some cases, affect animal health. The more common problems are aesthetic issues, such as chloride that makes water taste salty but doesn’t directly cause health problems. The presence of excessive iron, manganese, chloride, sulfates and hydrogen sulfide can be difficult to determine, especially if the water supply to livestock is different from that to the home. (more…)

Do you know your NYS Agriculture Committees?

2021-02-16T11:37:55-05:00February 16, 2021|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Troy Bishopp

Many times, inquiries come in to Country Folks from concerned farmers seeking an investigation into an agricultural matter. Just after the 2021 New York State elections and the Assembly and Senate committee appointments, a tip came in which mysteriously asked, “Do you really know who is on our ag committees and how the selection/appointment process is carried out?” (more…)

Seed treatments aid in preventing early corn pests

2021-02-16T11:33:03-05:00February 16, 2021|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

What is more effective than stopping corn pests before they even start? Not much, according to Jaime Cummings, field crops and livestock IPM coordinator with Cornell University. She presented “Evaluating Seed Treatments for Seedcorn Maggot Protection in Corn: Will Neonic Alternatives Be a Good Substitute?” as part of the recent Corn Congress. (more…)