If it’s dairy, he collects it

2013-09-20T07:58:07+00:00September 20th, 2013|New England Farm Weekly|

CN-MR-3-If it's dairy 1by Sally Colby
Earl Bennett’s home wasn’t always filled with old milk bottles, dairy signs and other dairy memorabilia. Antiques, especially dairy antiques, always intrigued him, and his hobby-turned-business began innocently enough when Bennett and his father were in the feed and grain business.
“We delivered grain to all of the dairy farms south of Boston; all the way to the tip of the Cape and the islands,” said Bennett, of Holbrooke, MA. “As the dairy farms went out of business, I asked them for a bottle to remember them by. That’s how I started collecting.”
In addition to having some rare and unique bottles in his collection, Bennett has interesting stories that go with bottles from the days of home milk delivery. He tells the story of the Quabbin Reservoir, built in the 1930s to supply the growing city of Boston. To create the reservoir, people from several towns were relocated before the entire area was flooded. One of the towns that was flooded was Prescott, and Bennett has one of the bottles from the Griswold dairy in that town. Another unique bottle in his collection is from the Richard Lamont dairy farm in Vermont, which bottled milk in an exclusive tall, round amber pyro quart bottle. (more…)

Holstein hat-trick for Supreme Champion at 2013 All-American Dairy Show

2013-09-20T07:47:21+00:00September 20th, 2013|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

CMN-DY-MR-4-Holstein 2Senior, Junior, Bred-and-Owned Supreme Champions chosen
Whitaker Stormatic Rae-ET was crowned the Supreme Champion of the 2013 All-American Dairy Show on Thursday, Sept. 12, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.
Owned by Craig Walton and Gene Iager of Pleasant Plain, Ohio, “Rae” rose above 1,212 head of cattle represented from seven dairy breeds to earn the supreme title.
Walton and Iager earned $3,000 sponsored by Cargill, of Shippensburg, PA.
The six other All-American Grand Champions represented were: (more…)

Treating diarrhea with goat’s milk

2013-09-20T07:45:14+00:00September 20th, 2013|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by George Looby, DVM
Successfully treating diarrhea in the newborn of all species has long been a challenge to those charged with their care. Infants whose immune systems have yet to be developed rely on antibodies from their mother’s colostrum to provide the protection they need until their own systems can begin to provide some degree of protection. Despite the best efforts of their caregivers, very young farm animals are often exposed to a wide variety of organisms in their environment which can wreak havoc on them. Most often these invaders attack the gastro intestinal tract resulting in a loose, watery diarrhea which leads to dehydration and sometimes, if left untreated, death. (more…)

New milk pregnancy test taking root

2013-09-20T07:34:41+00:00September 20th, 2013|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

C4-MR-3-New milk pregnancy 3 copyby Steve Wagner
Angela Scaramuzzino is a microbiology technician who works at the Lancaster Dairy Herd Improvement Association (LDHIA) in Manheim, PA. Angela busily seems to be everywhere in the DHIA building at the same time. “I test milk making sure that it is safe to drink,” she says, which almost makes it sound easy. “My primary job is milk pregnancy tests that we run every day but I also work in the micro-lab and culture lab.” She graduated from Delaware Valley College with a degree in livestock science and management, “which is large animal science. I focused a lot on large animal reproduction which I really enjoy. In the lab, we get a variety of herds, large and small, to family cows to pets. There’s nothing I don’t see that comes through here.” Holsteins probably dominate in Pennsylvania, but Scaramuzzino also assays crossbreds, Jerseys, Swiss, etc. (more…)

Clessons River Farm

2013-09-13T08:46:24+00:00September 13th, 2013|New England Farm Weekly|

Clessons River Farm is the last remaining dairy farm in Buckland, MA. A regular on the fair circuit, there were 13 cows representing Clessons River Farm at the Cummington Fair, held Aug. 22-24.
Currently there are 130 total animals, Holsteins and Brown Swiss, at Clessons River Farm, with pastures on both sides of busy Route 112. “We milk about 60,” said Melissa Willis. Melissa has worked on the farm full time since 2005, sharing farm management with her father, Paul Willis, who owns the farm along with his wife, Judy.
“Melissa is a fifth generation farmer,” said her father, as he fixed the round hay baler in the driveway of their farm, started by Melissa’s great-great grandfather Phinneas Scott in the 1800s. (more…)

Bending a few ears

2013-09-13T08:35:56+00:00September 13th, 2013|New England Farm Weekly|

CN-MR-3-Bending 3by Diana Mendes
Farmers don’t usually take a break in the middle of the summer season, but when it’s the Bristol County Farm Bureau Summer Picnic they are willing — for a few hours, that is. Fifty or so local members gathered to celebrate old friends and introduce new friends over delicious local food prepared by Chamberlain Farm and Pavilion in Berkley, MA.
“This is the fourth annual picnic the Bristol County Farm Bureau has had,” stated Peggy Lopes, secretary. “We started the picnic to see if we could get new members interested in the Farm Bureau. We invite local legislatures to come.” (more…)

Does your corn have northern corn leaf blight?

2013-09-13T08:30:26+00:00September 13th, 2013|New England Farm Weekly|

CN-CL-MR-3-Does your 1by Daniel Hudson, University of Vermont Extension Agronomist
The silver lining of most disasters is that they are often accompanied by opportunities to learn something new or at least be reminded of something already known. The down side is that disasters are often very expensive in the short-term. The disaster of the day is northern corn leaf blight (NCLB), a fungal disease that in some circumstances can decimate corn yield and silage quality. Northern corn leaf blight has been observed at varying levels of severity in Vermont for the past several years. This year some fields along the Connecticut River (and probably elsewhere) will probably suffer 30 percent yield losses from this disease. Much of this loss will result from poor grain fill stemming from the reduction of photosynthetic area on the affected leaves, which will also have implications for silage quality. (more…)

Washington County Fair draws crowds

2013-09-06T08:15:14+00:00September 6th, 2013|New England Farm Weekly|

CN-MR-4-Washington county 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen
The Washington County Fair educates young people, builds their confidence and teaches leadership skills through the various 4-H, FFA, and Scout programs and competitions. Livestock competition classes included sheep, beef, dairy, goat, rabbit and poultry. A dog show was held on Sunday, Aug. 18.
Many successful livestock competitors go on to the Big E (Eastern States Exposition) held each September in West Springfield, MA. Learn more on this event at www.thebige.com/fair (more…)

Handling hot hay

2013-09-06T07:53:11+00:00September 6th, 2013|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

CENM-FS-MR-2-Hot hay 1by Sally Colby
While this summer’s abundant rainfall was too much for some areas, other regions throughout the Northeast had just enough moisture for a strong second cutting of dry hay. Although any farmer would love to get that additional tonnage from hayfields, late summer days mean fewer daylight hours, less wind and more evening moisture. Ideal conditions for haymaking include a light breeze, relative humidity of less than 50 percent, and no recent heavy rain. Although a field of late-season hay may appear to be extremely dry in the stand, new undergrowth can add significant moisture.
Freshly cut forage continues the respiration process in which plant sugars are producing energy, and this process releases heat. During the drying period when hay is still in the field, the amount of heat produced is minimal, and respiration eventually stops. Additional heating is the result of bacteria, fungi and yeasts consuming sugars from the plant. (more…)

Presidential perspectives

2013-09-06T07:47:23+00:00September 6th, 2013|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

C4-MR-3-Angus president 2Words of advice for national crowd of Angus breeders visiting Trowbridge Angus during the the breeds National Conference and Tour
by Steven E Smith
“Genomics provided valuable information but I stress the need to still look at cattle. Let’s focus on our strengths as the largest beef breed and always listen to the concerns of our commercial customers so we can continue the progress and success of the Angus Breed,” said Phil Trowbridge of Ghent, NY, who is the current national president of the American Angus Association.
While addressing the visitors to Trowbridge Angus during the National Angus Tour, Trowbridge emphasized his philosophy on breeding and marketing Angus cattle. Trowbridge highlighted the importance of sound working cattle that have high market performance with desirable foot and leg confirmation. Trowbridge recognizes genomics as a tool especially to assist with the detection and management of genetic progress in this endeavor. (more…)

Orleans County Fair has new president

2013-09-03T08:34:19+00:00September 3rd, 2013|New England Farm Weekly|

CN-MR-4-Orleans County 4by Bethany M. Dunbar
BARTON, VT — Both the new president and the recently resigned president of the Orleans County Fair said things went very smoothly at this year’s fair, which was held Aug. 14-18.
Attendance was tied with record-high numbers from last year, according to the new fair president, Mike Tetreault. He said 18,000 people came over four days, not counting many who had free passes for showing animals or for other reasons.
Harvey Cleveland has stepped down as president after four years at the helm. “I work full time now, and I just don’t have time, to be honest,” said Cleveland. He said he is still a member of the board of directors and spent quite a bit of time at the fair — but not as much as he would have had to as president. “I miss a lot of it, but I guess it’s a good miss, I actually get a lot of sleep.”
Cleveland said he knew he wasn’t going to have the time, so he stepped down on July 7. He said he got the flu as the fair was starting, so it was a relief not to have to work the usual 20-hour days for seven or eight days in a row as president.
Tetreault said Harvey Cleveland will be missed, and did a superb job. “Anybody replacing him, it’s not going to be easy,” he said.   (more…)

Baleage — a better way to save hay in wet seasons

2013-09-03T08:31:39+00:00September 3rd, 2013|Eastern Edition, New England Farm Weekly|

CN-MR-3-Baleage 3by Sanne Kure-Jensen
Baleage is fermented hay. In damp regions with less chance of speedy drying and high quality hay production, baleage is a good alternative. Most farmers can get one to two additional cuts off the same fields each season.
Farmers making baleage typically cut and gather baleage 12 to 24 hours after cutting. Round bales must be wrapped in plastic within eight hours of baling. This prevents overheating and reduced quality.
Bales should be stored on their flat ends to reduce settling, air infiltration and reduced quality. Jim Booth of Aquidneck Farms in Portsmouth, RI said, “We have reduced our waste to 5 percent from 20 percent eight years ago.” The farm’s twin auger feed mixer saves another 10 percent. Booth said the feed alleys are completely empty each winter morning. (more…)