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Grazette Newsletter - August 2013

Web image: GLCI Grazette




Although the summer solstice in June is the true mid-point of the summer, it always seems as if the transition from July to August is where we can say that summer is half over. Perhaps it is because in this part of the country, school children generally have a two month summer vacation, and now is the mid-point of that. It seems that the nights begin to cool off more, the autumn insects begin to make their sounds, and the grazing planning for fall begins. We hope the season has gone well for you and that your pastures are still green and growing!

Please continue to send in notices of pasture walks and workshops by 3 days prior to the end of
each month - the Grazette is distributed monthly.

Pasture Newsflash!

If you are growing barley fodder, or plan to this fall or winter, please be aware of the following: Much of this year’s barley was harvested and dried in a grain dryer due to the above average rainfall. If you are buying barley for sprouting, ask your supplier if it has gone through a grain dryer, as dried barley is not likely to sprout well due to the heat used in the process.

Upcoming Pasture Workshops and Related Events

Please note events listed are primarily held in New York State, unless indicated otherwise.

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 10 days prior to the meeting date.

UVM Northwest Crops and Soils Program

Annual Crops and Soils Field Day

When: Thursday, August 1st – 10:00 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Borderview Research Farm, Alburgh, Vermont

Web link graphic: University of Vermont

Join the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension Northwest Crops and Soils Program to learn about the latest research and developments in corn, small-scale grain and hops production, aerial cover crop seeding, pasture irrigation systems and more. This year's theme is "Strategic Farming - Gearing Up for Weather Extremes." Participants will hear about the opportunities and challenges of reduced tillage and vertical tillage and have the chance to view equipment and see demonstrations.

Check out our field day flyer (PDF) for more details. Registration starting at 9:15 a.m - Event starts promptly at 10:00 a.m. Lunch will be provided and CCA credits are available. $20 per person and free of charge for farmers. You can register online. If you have any questions, call or email Susan Brouillette at 802-524-6501.

Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Summer Conference




2013 NOFA Summer Conference

When: August 9th to 11th
Where: University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus

Join Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) for a weekend of learning, networking, and fun with people who are transforming the food system in the Northeast. In addition to hundreds of practical skills and farming workshops, the conference features live entertainment, children's and teen conferences, a country fair, organic meals, 100 exhibitors and much more.

Including eight specialized workshop tracks:

  • Beginning Farmer
  • Community Supported Agriculture
  • Grazing
  • Nutrient Density
  • Organic Land Care Track
  • Permaculture
  • Cooperatives
  • Winter Growing and Season Extension

Conference registration is now open, with early bird rates through July 9th. Camping and dorm housing are available, as are creative financing options like work exchange and the Farming Education Fund. For more information, visit the NOFA Summer Conference web page.

Copper Oxide Wire Particle Trial for Parasite Prevention Meeting

When: Monday, August 12th – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Asgaard Farm, 74 Asgaard Way, Au Sable Forks (Essex County)

Web link graphic: Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New YorkPlease join Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) for a workshop with Rhonda Butler of Asgaard Farm to learn how she controls internal parasites in her herd and how it affects her pasture management system. Rhonda will share how she incorporates multiple species grazing and other techniques she has used to control parasites. Hear about the dairy goat herd, what products they are marketing and gain advice for your own goat dairy. Tatiana Stanton, Small Ruminant Specialist for Cornell University, and Betsy Hodge, St. Lawrence Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), will explain the rationale for using Copper Oxide Wire Particle (COWP) in sheep and goats to try to control barber pole worm and a summation of their COWP studies with sheep and goats thus far. Overuse of chemical dewormers has allowed the barber pole worm (H. contortus) population to develop resistance. A new option to control H. contortus is dosing with copper oxide wire particles (COWP).

Asgaard Farm is a multispecies farm which raises hogs and cattle as well as having a goat dairy. They market pastured pork and beef and process goat milk products including soap, award winning cheeses and caramels.

This field day is supported by USDA Risk Management Agency, Outreach and Assistance Program. Registration fee of $10 per person or $15 per two or more people per farm. To pre-register and pay, please email the Registration Coordinator, Stephanie, or call 585-271-1979 extension 509. You can also register online.

Irrigation For Dairy Pastures

When: Wednesday, August 14th – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Benson’s Bensvue Organic Dairy, 295 Lansingville Rd, Lansing (Tompkins County)

2012 was a dry year for most of us in the Northeast. This was a problem for organic dairies that are required to provide 30 percent of the cow’s diet from pasture for 120 days. Last summer Chandler Benson struggled to find fresh pasture for his 350 milking animals. His solution for the future was to have his father, Chuck Benson, dig a five million gallon pond in the middle of their grazing system. For those attending this event we will see the irrigation system and how it can be used to mitigate the risk of drought to a grazing system.A mature sainfoin plant with blooms

Chandler also planted Sainfoin, a legume used in Russia and Saskatchewan Canada. We will take a tour of the plot to see how it works in Central New York.

Supported by the USDA Risk Management Agency and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Fay Benson will provide information on crop insurance tools to manage risks on farms. For more information on crop insurance go to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets web site.

Please R.S.V.P. to help us plan lunch which will be provided at each of the events with funding from the New York Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (NY-GLCI). Email Sharon VanDeuson, or call 607-753-5078. For more information, e-mail Fay Benson at Cortland Cooperative Extension, or call 607-753-5213.

Twilight Grazing and Pasture Meeting

When: Monday, August 19th – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Ted and Tracy Barbour Family Farm, 994 Paulhamus Hill Road, Cogan Station, Pennsylvania

The Barbours have a cow/calf herd and retain the calves for grass finish at 18-20 months using high density grazing management. They worked with neighboring landowners enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) to graze contract acreage under emergency grazing provisions in 2012 with great success. Routine haying/grazing provisions have now been approved in Pennsylvania for certain CREP practices and can be a valuable tool for the management of CREP acreage. Michael Sherman, Executive Director of the Lycoming County USDA Farm Service Agency, will discuss requirements for adding routine grazing provisions to existing CREP contracts. Please email Dave Hartman at Penn State Extension if you plan to attend, or call 1-800-851-9710 or 784-6660.

Summer Annuals Augment Cool Season Grasses With Arden Landis

When: Wednesday, August 21st – 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Doug and Martsje Riehlman, 6242 Rt 11, Homer (Cortland County)

The Riehlmans intensively manage their high value acreage to provide feed for their dairy. After the shortage of forage last year they were looking to maximize yields during the summer months. They took off the first cutting and plan on planting a Sudan Grass Hybrid. Dairy Consultant, Aden Landis from Kirkwood, Pennsylvania, will discuss how summer annuals can maximize production through the use of double cropping on dairy farms.

Supported by the USDA Risk Management Agency and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Fay Benson will provide information on crop insurance tools to manage risks on farms. For more information on crop insurance go to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets web site. Please RSVP to help us plan lunch which will be provided at each of the events with funding from the New York Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (NY-GLCI). Email Sharon VanDeuson or call 607-753-5078. For more information, email Fay Benson at Cortland Cooperative Extension, or call 607-753-5213.

Modern Organic Dairy Farming

When: Wednesday, August 21st – 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Where: Stoneyridge Dairy Farm, 3115 Route 78, Bliss (Wyoming County)

Join Ron Franklin of Stoneyridge Dairy Farm to learn more about how they have incorporating technology and sustainable management practices into their farming system. Tour the farm to see their water ram and two windmills. Attendees will learn about how managing their herd in a no grain system with an emphasis on mob grazing has helped to make Stoneyridge more adapt to handle increasingly extreme weather patterns. Hear how Ron's herd is bred to meet the needs of his system without the use of Al. Stoneyridge Dairy Farm has been certified organic since 1999. They are currently milking 50 cows on 300 total acres. Ron has been managing his herd on 100 percent grass with no grain for the past six years.

Registration Fee: $10 suggested donation per farm - Pre-registration deadline: 5:00pm August 16. To pre-register and pay, please email the Registration Coordinator, Stephanie, or call 585-271-1979 extension 509. You can also register online.

Sponsors: USDA Risk Management Agency, Outreach and Assistance Program.

Web link graphic: Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New York100 Percent Grass-Fed Seasonal Raw Milk Dairy

When: Saturday, August 24th – 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Where: Blue Hill Farm, 398 Blue Hill Road, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

The workshop will cover the basics of raw milk production, seasonal dairy management, and intensive rotational grazing, as well as fencing options and water systems for cows and calves. Participants will meet at Blue Hill Farm and view all aspects of milk production from the milking machines to the pastures. (Be aware that the farm has two locations; do not go to the location on North Plain Rd.) Instructor: Sean Stanton has been farming for 10 years and the dairy has been licensed a raw milk dairy for three years. This workshop is one in a series of workshops on raising animals. To view additional offerings, click here.

Pre-registration is required unless arranged by phone with the organizer, Ben Grosscup, cell: 413-658-5374. Sponsored by NOFA-Mass – cost $25 NOFA members, $31 non-members.

Advance Notice

Holistic Management InternationalDiverse, Innovative Small Farm Production Practices

When: Monday, September 23rd – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Creekside Meadows Farm, DeRuyter (Madison County)

Our Creekside Meadows Farm Day is part of Holistic Management International's (HMI) new Open Gate On-Farm Learning Series. Open Gate is an action-based approach to learning. At the Creekside Meadows Farm Day you'll see how fellow New York and New England land managers are using multi-species grazing and integrated cropping practices to improve pasture health and soil fertility. We'll show you how to monitor for soil health and inventory forage for better grazing practices. If you don't have livestock, that's OK because we'll also cover how to develop a whole farm goal so you can make better decisions. For more information or to register, visit Sponsored by Holistic Management International.

Funding Available

Web link image: Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative

The New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (NYS-GLCI) has funds available to sponsor educational events such as pasture walks and workshops. NYS-GLCI is funded through a special initiative of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, with the goal of increasing and improving the management of private grazing lands through voluntary participation of landowners and managers, agency staff, and others.

If you work for an entity in New York that organizes grazing events for farmers, and are looking for additional funding to support speakers, educational materials, or other costs, you are eligible to apply for funding. Send an email to Karen Hoffman or call 607-334-4632 extension 116 for more information. All requests must be made by September 15th for consideration.

Pasture Soil Health News

USDA Soil Health Assessment and Management Demonstrations: New at 2013 Empire Farm Days

Soil Health - Unlock the Secrets in the SoilSeneca Falls, New York – Each day at 11am and 3pm at the August 6-8, 2013 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott and Sons Farms in Seneca Falls, New York, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service will provide soil health assessment and management demonstrations in cooperation with Cornell University’s Soil Health Testing Lab and the New York Soil and Water Conservation Committee.

Empire Farm Days 2013

The daily presentations at the USDA NRCS Conservation Plant Garden area of the 300-acre showgrounds will explain the services of the Soil Health Testing Lab the principles of soil health management, and ways the qualities of soil can be changed through management to maximize its inherent potential to grow crops. Twenty farm groups support the USDA NRCS Soil Health Initiative goals for a more enduring, resilient and efficient agriculture based on the concept that soil and water conservation practices that improve soil health will have an impact on reducing soil erosion, while improving water quality and the capacity of soils to maintain productivity in the long term. The practices will also improve the resiliency of soils to extreme and more variable weather events.

Practices which impact soil health include reduced tillage, preferably long term no-till or zone till; residue management; diversity in rotations, including perennials where possible; cover cropping and keeping a living plant on the soil throughout the year; and the addition of organic matter.

The USDA Center at the 2013 Empire Farm Days will have information exhibits and staff representing six USDA agencies: Agricultural Research Service, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Farm Services Agency, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, and Rural Development.

Admission to the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeast is free. Parking is $10. For more information, visit the Empire Field Days web site or call 877-697-7837.