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Grazette Newsletter - May 2012

Web image: GLCI Grazette

May 2012 Edition

After the last six months, it doesn’t seem worth the time or effort to discuss weather patterns and its relationship to grazing. It is so much more unpredictable than the normal unpredictability!

There are a number of pasture events coming up in the next few months, so be sure to check out the calendar below as well as the pasture management tips for important information on ticks and livestock.

Please continue to send in notices of pasture walks and workshops by three days prior to the end of each month. The Grazette is distributed monthly.

Upcoming Pasture Workshops and Related Events

Improving Small Ruminant Parasite Control in New England (Vermont)

When: Saturday, May 5th - 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Danville Town Offices and Tannery Farm (Vermont)

Dr. Anne Zajac, Parasitologist from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will lead the discussion on effective parasite control practices and train producers in the correct use of the FAMACHA anemia detection system. Dr. Katherine Petersson, Project Leader for the USDA SARE grant, will provide an update on the grants activities and discuss producer participation for the upcoming parasite season. FREE to attend, $12 for FAMACHA card. E-mail Daniel Hudson, University of Vermont Extension (UVM), or call 802-751-8307.

Rensselaer County Grazing Discussion Group and Pasture Walk

When: Wednesday, May 9th – 10:00 am to 2:30 pm
Where: Brunswick Community Center, Keyes Lane, Troy (morning) and Sheffers Grassland Dairy, 74 Sheffer Road, Hoosick Falls (1:00 pm)

The morning session will be focused on grazing economics with professor and dairy nutrition expert Larry Chase from Cornell University’s Animal Science Program who will provide information on maximizing production and managing costly inputs for the most profit. Jason Karszes from Cornell’s Pro-Dairy Program will provide a summary of grazing information gathered from the Dairy Farm Business Summary and what strategies grazing dairies can use to prosper this year. We will also have open discussion on grazing economics, partial grazing options, and future trends. USDA-NRCS specialist Karen Hoffman will host the pasture walk to talk about maximizing your production and managing inputs. Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP for lunch by e-mailing Marcie Vohnoutka, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County, or call 518-272-4210.

Barley Fodder Feeding for Organic Dairies: Sprouting Small Grains to Increase Benefits

When: Wednesday, May 9th – 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Be-A-Blessing Farm, 1553 Heselton Gully Road, Whitesville (Steuben County)

Special guests at the event will be Jerry Brunetti of Agri-Dynamics and Dr. Silvia Abel-Caines, a staff veterinarian for Organic Valley milk cooperative. John and Tammy Stoltzfus will host the event at their farm where they have been perfecting their own sprouting room for their dairy. The speakers will be going over the technique of sprouting small grains to not only increase their nutritional benefits but also to reduce the negative effects of feeding grains to ruminants. In addition to the grain sprouting, the Stoltzfus’ will talk about their decision to purchase organic crop insurance for their barley production. We will be offering information on the new Organic Crop Insurance Policies from USDA’s Risk Management Agency. Sponsors for this event include Organic Valley milk cooperative, Cornell Small Farms Program, and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Risk Management Education Team.

Kidding and Lambing Management Field Day

When: Thursday, May 22nd – 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Where: Highwood Farm, 87 West Hill Road, Spencer (Tioga County)

This Field Day is being hosted by Mark Baustian and Luce Guanzini of Highwood Farm. Highwood Farm is a commercial pasture-based meat goat farm established in 1999 on a 178 acre former poultry farm overrun by honeysuckle and multiflora rose. Kidding starts in mid April and kids are generally marketed as weaned market kids in the late fall. The field day is designed for new and experienced farmers, and for youth and adults. Cornell Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, Tatiana Stanton, will briefly cover the basics of lambing and kidding. Mark and Luce will then take us on a tour of the farm, outlining their kidding program and also steps taken to convert the land to improved pastures and manage these pastures for reduced worm loads. We’ll then switch to methods to manage birthing efficiently without sacrificing animal wellbeing. Dr. Stanton will share examples of practices that experienced farmers throughout the Northeast have developed to reduce labor and expenses during the birthing season. We’ll cover successful methods to foster kids and lambs and also labor saving practices for artificially rearing. We’ll also discuss management considerations when lambing or kidding on pasture. Please wear clean clothes for biosecurity. Dress warmly as we will be in barns and pastures much of the time. Be prepared to wear booties (provided on site) or to walk through a foot bath. Thank you for leaving your dogs at home.

Sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tioga County.  To register, e-mail Molly Shaw, or call 607-687-4020.

Advance Notice

Adding Income Streams to a Small Dairy - Small Dairy Field Days

When: Friday, June 8th – time to be announced
Where: DelRose Farm, 9635 County Highway 18, Bloomville (Delaware County)

Ernest and Barbara Hanselman will present Adding Income Streams to a Small Dairy. The Hanselmans milk 75 Registered Holsteins and Brown Swiss in the fertile valley of the Delaware River. They have been in the dairy business for over 30 years and have gradually added enterprises that diversify the farm into various income streams. They will discuss making the best use of on-farm resources and trends to create a diversity of income streams that add to farm income and farm viability.

To register, e-mail Mariane Kiraly, or call 607-865-6531. Part of the 2012 Small Dairies Field Days.

Staying Small Through a Century of Dairy Farming

Web graphic: Snofarm logoWhen: Wednesday, June 20th – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Where: Snofarm Dairy, 644 Buffalo Road, Brooktondale (Tompkins County)

Aaron and Calib Snow will present Staying Small Through a Century of Dairy Farming. The farm has been in the Snow family for three generations. A year and a half ago Calvin (father) and Aaron (son) started producing cheese from a small percentage of milk to sell locally. Snofarm is milking 35 cows, primarily Holsteins, a few Dutch Belts and a few Brown Swiss. The afternoon will consist of field, barn, and cheese making facility tours and discussion.

To register, e-mail Monika Roth, or call 607-272-2292. Part of the 2012 Small Dairies Field Days.

5th National Conference on Grazing Lands

Web link image: Grazing Lands Conservation InitiativeWhen: December 9th to 12th
Where: Orlando, Florida

The conference objective is “To Heighten Awareness of the Economic and Environmental Benefits of Grazing Lands”. The target audience includes producers, academics, consumers, government agency officials, conservationists, environmentalists, urban based resource interests, grazing land managers, landowners, and others interested in effective natural resources management.

Call for papers: The conference sponsors are accepting abstracts for both oral and poster papers until May 1st in the following categories: issues concerning the agricultural-urban interface; successful “cutting edge” management technologies for grazing practices; public policy implications of grazing; and optimization of grazing land health for environmental and social benefits. More information is available at the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Web site.

Pasture Management Tips

Graziers - Be on Alert for Increased Number of Ticks in Your Pastures

This year has not been a typical year for weather - usually we still have snow until mid May, but not this year. The warmer weather is cause for concern because it has increased the number of ticks out so early in the season. Ticks usually emerge during early summer, not spring, but because of the warm weather they are showing their biting heads early.

Livestock producers need to be on the lookout and use prevention to protect their herd or flock from the diseases spread through tick bites. The tick-borne diseases that are spread to livestock include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and equine encephalitis. These diseases can cause a range of problems from mild fever, fatigue, lameness, head tilt, blindness and/or reduced appetite which can result in death if not treated.

Prevention is the best protection against tick-borne diseases. Some prevention measures that can be taken with cattle are ear tags such as XP 820, Magnum Insecticide Ear tag, Python Magnum, Corathon, Patriot, Cylence Guard and Warrior. These tags use insecticides such as Abamectin, Zetacypermenthrin or Diazinon. Also, concentrated sprays or dust can be used such as Gardstar 40% EC, Atroban, Boss Pour-on, Co-ral Fly and Tick spray, Durasect, Gordon’s Permethrin- 10 livestock and Synergized Python Dust. Equine, sheep and goats can use the sprays or dust such as Synergized Python Dust, Gordon’s Permethrin- 10 livestock, Prozap Insectrin X, Ravap EC and Ultra Boss Pour-on.

Another way to prevent ticks on your premises is to use perimeter sprays, granules, or powders that act a as a barrier for the tick, so that they are deterred from entering the area that has been sprayed or dusted.

Submitted by Megan Weidner, Morrisville State College Grazing Intern with USDA-NRCS

Cornell Small Dairy Team Produces New Resources

The Cornell Small Dairy Team has released a series of 6 new resources to help small dairy farms. The team, whose members include farmers and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) educators, received a grant from the Cornell Small Farms Program in 2011 to provide new educational resources and tools to small dairy producers.

“Small dairies have borne the brunt of the exodus of dairy farms from New York State. The goal of the project was to provide resources for dairies looking to adapt to ever-changing market factors,” says Fay Benson, leader for the team.

The new resources and tools include:

  • Financial Bench Marks for Small Dairies: Helps dairies identify the strengths and weaknesses of their farms compared to other farms of similar size in New York State
  • Off-Farm Processing Start-Up Fact Sheet: Suggests first steps for dairy farmers considering adding direct sales of value-added dairy products to their business mix
  • Web based Geo-Map: Shows all the small dairy processing plants in New York state
  • “Small Dairy Case Studies: Highlights unique solutions of how four small dairy operators made decisions to keep their farms profitable
  • Production Record-Keeping Book for Grazing Dairies: Formatted and distributed to Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) offices statewide by Cornell Small Farms Program Small Dairy Team; printing funded by New York Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative; books are available to grazing dairies at no cost through local CCE office.
  • Organic Dairy Forage and Grain Survey: Due to fluctuating precipitation in 2011, many farms were short of forage and grain. This is particularly stressful to organic dairies since they have limited options for buying replacement feed.

Read more and download these resources and tools at the Cornell Small Farms Program Web site.

Looking ahead to 2012 small dairy programming, the Cornell Small Farms Program is collaborating with educators and farmers to host a series of small dairy field days through late Spring and Summer. Topics include everything from incorporating new value added products to improving nutrition to producing on-farm biodiesel. To view the schedule or register, visit the Cornell Small Farms Program Web site.

For further assistance, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office or go online to the Cornell Small Farms Program or e-mail Fay Benson, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Cortland County, or call 607-753-5213.



Want to submit an event? Interested in subscribing? Simply send an e-mail to Karen Hoffman with your event information, or with the subject line of "subscribe" to be added to the distribution list. If submitting an event listing, please submit it three days before the end of the month prior to the date scheduled, as this newsletter will only be generated at the beginning of the month. Not interested? You may also "unsubscribe" by sending an e-mail to Karen Hoffman, with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Brought to you by the New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative is a grass-roots coalition of producers, agricultural industry, and conservation groups with an interest in the sound conservation of private grazing lands. The goal of this newsletter is to increase awareness of grazing events around New York and in neighboring states, as well as to provide information that is useful on the farm. For more information on GLCI, check out the national GLCI Web site. Information on the NYS GLCI can be obtained from GLCI Coordinator Karen Hoffman.

For information on facilities or services, or to request sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids at meetings, please contact the individual listed for the event at least ten days prior to the meeting date.

Past Newsletters

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