All in due time

2020-12-29T12:10:31-05:00December 29, 2020|Eastern Edition|

by Sally Colby

Stephanie Finn knew she wanted to return to her family’s dairy farm in after attending Cornell, where she obtained a degree in dairy science with a minor in ag business, graduating in May 2018. Stephanie’s brother Nicholas was just ahead of her with the same degree, graduating in December 2017. Both returned to the farm upon graduation. (more…)

Don’t bring it to the farm

2021-01-08T12:19:50-05:00December 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

In a shining example of optimism meeting reality, Dr. Rob Swackhammer explained what shouldn’t have happened in a group of young heifers. A new farmer acquired 10 cows from his grandfather and rented out the other half of the barn to help pay the bills. The pregnant heifers from the grandfather’s herd arrived in September. A group of feedlot cattle that would be housed in the rented portion of the barn arrived in November. The animals were housed separately and handled as two separate herds with different people caring for them. (more…)

Tall fescue: Graze it or raze it?

2021-01-05T11:30:56-05:00December 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

Tall fescue has earned a bad reputation. For some, it’s the grass that never dies, being an aggressive grower and having earned notoriety as difficult to eradicate. Others are concerned about its toxic effects: the ergot alkaloids which are found throughout the plant – in the highest concentrations in the seed heads – have deleterious effects on livestock. (more…)

The post-COVID consumer

2021-01-05T12:16:43-05:00December 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Katie Navarra

The coronavirus pandemic created a perfect storm for an economic, political and health crisis all at the same time, according to David McWilliams, an economist and professor at Trinity College Dublin. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, a strong recovery from the financial crisis of 2008 was likely to bust based on economist Hyman Minsky’s “Minsky Cycle” that says every cycle leads to boom and bust, McWilliams said. (more…)

Four farms make Three Rivers a successful operation

2020-12-29T11:50:27-05:00December 29, 2020|New England Farm Weekly|

by Sonja Heyck-Merlin

Josh Jennings is a New Hampshire vegetable farmer and co-owner of Three Rivers Farmers Alliance, a group of local farmers and food producers offering year-round delivery of their products to homes, restaurants, stores and other wholesale buyers. Their customers span southern Maine, New Hampshire’s seacoast region and Boston’s North Shore. Jennings’s farm, Meadows Mirth, is one of the original participating farms. (more…)

Stress management for women in agriculture

2020-12-29T12:11:15-05:00December 29, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Troy Bishopp

NYFarmNet Personal Consultant Brenda O’Brien cited a common occurrence among women involved in agriculture today: “Sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone else’s anchor.” The recognition and managing of myriad daily stressors was the focus of a virtual collaborative effort by Annie’s Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension and NYFarmNet to help women through the health, emotional and financial challenges on the farm. (more…)

Cull dairy cows: After the farm

2020-12-29T12:02:28-05:00December 18, 2020|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Tamara Scully

Deciding when to cull a dairy cow from the herd is often based on production, reproduction or health issues. The primary job of the dairy cow is to produce milk. Its secondary job is to join the beef supply chain. When and how dairy cows leave the farm and journey to the packing plant often involves issues revolving around animal welfare. (more…)

Tracking heifer growth for optimum mammary development

2020-12-18T10:33:45-05:00December 18, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Now that heifers are no longer relegated to an old shed on the edge of the property and fed whatever the milking herd refuses, they’re performing up to their genetic potential starting with their first lactation. But managing heifers for optimum milk production still requires careful attention to growth throughout calfhood and through at least two lactations. (more…)

The Thanksgiving letter

2020-12-18T10:35:33-05:00December 18, 2020|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

For some dairy families, the day before or after Thanksgiving brought an unpleasant surprise.

Hundreds of dairy farmers and milk haulers in states across the nation received a letter written in legalese, but the bottom line was clear: “You owe us a large sum of money, and if you pay a percentage of that, we won’t sue you for the total amount.” (more…)

Longe lining with a purpose

2020-12-11T03:08:31-05:00December 11, 2020|Mid Atlantic|

by Frank Gringeri

For horses just starting out or horses in a re-training program, longe lining is a wonderful way to develop the aids. Many good things come of long lining; education of the mouth and bit, straightness and forwardness and gathering up the horse from back to front. Of equal importance is the learning of the halt with the hand. Without that, there is no half halt or compression of the energy from the haunches. (more…)