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Archive | DAIRY

Van Amburgh heifers and dry cows

Breeding within for no-grain dairy success

Van Amburghs happy with what a single bull has done for them By Tracy Frisch Sharon Springs, New York — After starting with a bunch of sick and undistinguished cows, organic dairy farmers Paul and Phyllis Van Amburgh are bucking conventional wisdom in their breeding and heifer-rearing programs to create a more efficient, uniform and […]

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The profit key: working within your farm

By Jon Bansen Monmouth, Oregon—At the latest American Forage and Grasslands Council meeting, the buzz was about increasing profitability by extending the grazing season. Although one piece of the puzzle, it’s also true that increased days on pasture can come at a high price if soils and plant health are degraded. In reality, the true […]

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A report from our return trip to no grain

Goal: grain feeding as punishment by Nathan Weaver Canastota, NY—We have long hoped to have a no-grain milking herd, and we have geared the herd and our farm toward that conclusion. We stopped our original no-grain effort shortly after moving to this farm several years ago, as the land was not yet able to produce […]

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As weather changes, so must we

Riskier weather requires spreading risk by Dan Vosberg South Wayne, WI—Scientists are showing some pretty strong evidence that the climate is changing here in Wisconsin. According to their data, we will experience hotter summers, longer growing seasons, warmer winters and more dry spells and droughts. Storms will be more violent, with more downpours and fewer […]

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Watering trays of barley sprouts

Fodder interest sprouting all over

But sprouting carries plenty of costs, complications and labor Whitesville, NY—For centuries farmers around the world have been sprouting grains and feeding the green material to their stock, usually with spotty success. The 1959 edition of Frank B. Morrison’s venerable publication Feeds and Feeding referred to “clever promoters” making “extravagant claims” about the benefits of […]

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Onan cows

One out of three ain’t bad

Onan’s irrigation system pays its way even if wet years outnumber dry ones Amherst Junction, Wisconsin — Most of Paul Onan’s milking cows are contentedly grazing lush pasture at high noon with the mercury heading toward the upper-90s. It is a scene many a midwestern dairy grazier would pay a lot to duplicate in this […]

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