Next ‘Protecting Your Profits’ conference call is Jan. 28

Pennsylvania's Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) will host the next “Protecting Your Profits” conference call on Wednesday, Jan. 28, 12-12:15 p.m. (Eastern). Alan Zepp, risk management program manager, will discuss current milk markets and futures, describing CDE tools to help dairy farmers stay competitive.

These conference calls are free, but registration is needed to obtain the call information. Contact CDE at 717-346-0849 or e-mail More information about this and other resources from the center can be found at


‘Technology Tuesday’ webinars continue

The Penn State Extension Dairy Team continues to provide up-to-date research through on-line “Technology Tuesday” webinars, available at no cost. Upcoming sessions include:

• Feb. 10: Handling Manure with Gypsum Bedding, by Eileen Wheeler, Professor, Penn State Ag & Bio Engineering, Penn State Extension.

• Feb. 24: Heat Stress, by John Tyson, Ag Engineer, Penn State Extension Dairy Team.

• March 10: Calf & Heifer System Planning & Design, by Penn State Extension Dairy Team ag engineers Dan McFarland and John Tyson.

• March 17: Best Milking Practices - Evaluating your Routine, by Amber Yutzy, Penn State Extension Dairy Team.

• March 24: Mastitis Costs and Why Culturing is Important, by Amber Yutzy, Penn State Extension Dairy Team

• April 14: Restraint & Handling of Dairy Cattle, by Dan McFarland, Ag Engineer, Penn State Extension Dairy Team.

• April 28: Milk Quality & Robotic Milking Systems, by Mathew Haan, Dairy Educator, Penn State Extension Dairy Team.

• May 12: Feet & Floors, by Dan McFarland, Ag Engineer, Penn State Extension Dairy Team.

All live webinars are held 8:30 to 10 a.m. To watch past recorded webinars, visit

Registration is free, but advance registration is requested. Pre-register online at no later than noon the day preceding the session. Prior to the webinar session, you will receive an email that confirms your registration and contains the webinar URL. You need only register once; the same URL is used for all sessions.

This webinar series qualifies for 1 SmartStart credits for every 2 webinars from AgChoice Farm Credit.

For more information contact the Penn State Extension Dairy Team Office at 888-373-7232, or Dan McFarland at, John Tyson at or Mat Haan at


Best Milking Practices: Culturing’ workshops set

The Penn State Extension Dairy Team will offer  two workshops focusing on “Best Milking Practices: On Farm Culturing”. Participants will acquire the proper techniques for collecting milk cultures, setting up cultures for on-farm identification and the knowledge to identify bacteria growth. Each farm participating will receive the tools needed to start culturing on their farm immediately.

The on-farm culturing workshops cost $45 without supplies or $60 with supplies, and will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dates are:

• Feb. 24, Juniata County: Spruce Hill Grange, Route 75 South, Port Royal

• Feb. 26, Crawford County: Penn State Extension, Crawford County, 13400 Dunham Road, Suite A, Meadville

To register and for more details, visit

The program is eligible for 2 SmartStart credits and the On-Farm Culture program is eligible for 1 SmartStart credit from AgChoice Farm Credit.

For more information about these programs or to inquire about custom training in Spanish, call toll-free 888-373-7232 or contact: Amber Yutzy, Extension educator: or Greg Strait, Extension educator:


Pennsylvania dairy producers attend anaerobic digester meeting, tour

The Center for Dairy Excellence held a forum on “Anaerobic Digesters within the Dairy Industry” in December for current and potential future owners of on-farm anaerobic digesters in Franklin County. The meeting also featured a tour of a working digester on the Ben and Sharon Peckman’s farm in Saint Thomas, Pa. 

CDE currently has funding available to establish a team to explore and assist in the potential of an on-farm anaerobic digester. Call the office at 717-346-0849, email Don McNutt at or visit to gain more insight into the resources.


Dairy team training offered

The Center for Dairy Excellence is hosting a training event for consultants, industry representatives and facilitators who work with dairy advisory teams. The program, held just prior to the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, will be offered Feb. 3, 4-6 p.m., at the Lancaster Marriott in Penn Square.

Mike McGrann, executive director of the TELOS Group, will speak on enhancing family communications to aid in transition and succession of a family farm business. He will also introduce a survey tool that consultants can use with farm families to identify both communication strengths and areas of focus for advisory teams to address. 

Lisa Holden, associate professor of Dairy Science at Penn State University, will discuss team troubleshooting with a focus on family dynamics, and its importance in facilitating a successful team.

The event is free and will conclude with dinner in conjunction with the young entrepreneur reception allowing for expanded networking opportunities before the Summit officially begins.

Contact Emily Yeiser, dairy initiatives manager at the center for dairy excellence to register, by Wednesday, Jan. 28. Phone 717-346-0849 or email For more details visit, click under “Programs and Events”, then click on the “Upcoming Dairy Events” tab.


New York

North Country Crop Congress set at two sites

The 2015 North Country Crop Congress will be offered at two sites in February:

• Tuesday, Feb. 17, at W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, Chazy, N.Y.

• Wednesday, Feb. 18, at Ridgeview Hotel, Lowville, N.Y.

Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program Director Dr. Quirine Ketterings will share her experience and latest results from a project using normalized difference vegetation index/NDVI imaging sensors for on-the-go nitrogen application in corn.  She will also present findings from two years of her corn yield potential research studies.

Dr. Elson Shields, Professor of Entomology at Cornell University and a licensed pilot, will moderate a panel of North Country crop consultants and agribusiness leaders in a question-and-answer session about using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) in crop production. Shields will also discuss recent developments regarding corn insect traits and the importance of insect resistance management to preserve the effectiveness of these technologies. He will also present information about using entomopathogenic nematodes for the biological control of the alfalfa snout beetle.  

 Dr. Russ Hahn, a Cornell Crop and Soil Sciences professor, will provide an update on current technologies under development for weed control in corn and soybeans, as well as management of herbicide-resistant weeds for 2015.

Both sessions are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration fee is $20 per person if pre-registered by Feb. 11, or $25 at the door. Lunch and educational materials are included.

To register for the Chazy location, call the Clinton County CCE office at 518-561-7450 or visit their website at to register online.  

To register for the Lowville location, call the Lewis County CCE office at 315-376-5270 or visit their website at to register online.  


‘Quality forage’ topic of NYCO meeting, Feb. 10

A New York Certified Organic (NYCO) meeting will be held Feb. 10, 10 a.m., at the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y. Presentations will focus on how to produce high quality forage.  

Tom Kilcer with Advanced Ag Systems, Kinderhook, N.Y., will talk about the forage management practices required for all-forage or high-forage diets for dairy cows.

Aaron Gabriel with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Washington County will present information on making dry hay, including the use of hay preservatives approved for organic dairy diets.

A panel of organic dairy farmers will share the planning and management strategies they use to make high quality forage for their cows.

The meeting includes a potluck lunch, and a discussion circle for questions and answers and brainstorming.  NYCO has received support funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) and the NY Ag and Markets Crop Insurance Team.

 Registration is not required; participants bring a dish to pass for the potluck lunch. For more details, contact NYCO facilitator Fay Benson with Cornell Cooperative Extension at 607-753-5213,


NNY Agricultural Development Program annual meetings set

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program will share project updates as part of its annual meetings, Jan. 30 in Watertown, N.Y., and Feb. 27, in Chazy, N.Y.

Reports will cover:

   .  emerging corn and soybean diseases

   .  the identification of mastitis-causing pathogens

   .  corn grain variety trials under Northern New York growing conditions

   .  evaluating alfalfa-grass mixes for dairy and livestock forage

   .  inexpensive biocontrol to beat back the highly-destructive alfalfa snout beetle.

 Complete research reports are posted on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at

Advance registration is not required. For more details on the annual meetings, call 315-376-5270.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research and technical assistance program serving all sectors of agriculture in New York’s Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.


DAP funding available

Additional funding from the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation has extended the Dairy Acceleration Program. The program is designed to enhance profitability of New York dairy farms and to maintain a commitment to environmentally responsible growth. The program will be delivered in collaboration with Cornell PRO-DAIRY and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Funding for eligible projects may be used for creation of strategic business plans focused on growth, design of new or remodeled facilities, development or updates of Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (CNMPs) and design of Best Management Practices (BMPs).

For more details visit the DAP website.



The Farmer's Cow annual winter farm tour set

The Farmer's Cow is kicking off its 10th anniversary year with the annual Winter Farm Tour. Visitors are invited to enjoy an outdoor open house at Graywall Farms in Lebanon, Ct., on President's Day, Monday Feb. 16, 12-3 p.m.

The Farmer's Cow is a group of six family-owned dairy farms in Connecticut.

"Our farmers are proud to show everyone how we care for our cows that give delicious milk," said Robin Chesmer, Managing Member of The Farmer's Cow. "We have hosted thousands of visitors at tours of our member farms and the Winter Tour is very popular. Everyone enjoys experiencing the farm in winter and our curious cows enjoy all the activity of having visitors!"

The Winter Farm Tour is free for all, and no reservations are required. Check The Farmer's Cow web site and Facebook page for updates. For more information visit, call (866) 355‐COWS, or email



VDIA Vermont Dairy Farmers’ Appreciation Banquet is Jan. 29

The Vermont Dairy Industry Association (VDIA) will host the 2015 Dairy Farmers’ Appreciation Banquet  Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Champlain Valley Exposition. The program honors Vermont’s Highest-Quality-Milk award winners, Finley Award recipient, and Vermont Dairy Farm of the Year.

The event is held in conjunction with the Vermont Farm Show.  Doors open at 11:30 a.m. The program will be held noon- 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 in advance or at the door (cash/check). Seating is limited. Contact Alan Curler at 802.828.0325 or to reserve tickets in advance.

VDIA also sponsors the FFA Dairy Foods Career Development Event, held during the Farm Show. For more information about the organization and its events, visit


Vermont Dairy Producers Conference is Feb. 24

The 16th Annual Dairy Producers Conference will be held on Feb. 24, at the Sheraton Burlington Conference Center, Burlington, Vt. Speakers and topics include:

• Dr. Julio O. Giordano – Reproduction. Giordano, DVM, MS, PhD is Assistant Professor of Dairy Cattle Biology and Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University with a dual appointment in research and teaching. Dr. Giordano’s research focuses on dairy cattle reproductive physiology, management, and the implications of reproductive performance on the economics of dairy farms.

• Jay Waldvogel – The Global Dairy Market and What It Means To Me. Waldvogel is responsible for leading DFA’s strategic planning process and supporting DFA’s business leaders in implementing the strategies. He also is charged with guiding DFA’s expanding global activities.

• Nigel B. Cook – Facilities Impact On Your Herd. Cook is a Professor in the Food Animal Production Medicine section of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Veterinary Medicine.

• Dr. Joe Schwarcz – Good Science/Bad Science. Schwarcz is Director of McGill University’s “Office for Science and Society” which is dedicated to demystifying science and separating sense from nonsense. He is well known for his informative and entertaining public lectures on topics ranging from the chemistry of love to the science of aging.

• Mark Andrew Junkin – Agriculture Strategy: Farm Succession & Motivation. After his parents divorced due to farm management and succession issues, Junkin has lived to change how farm families make decisions together.

• Dr. Tom R. Overton – Transition Strategies. Overton is Professor of Dairy Management in the Department of Animal Science at Cornell University and and serves as Director of the PRO-DAIRY program at Cornell. He is recognized nationally and internationally for his research and outreach efforts relating to metabolism, immune function, and nutritional physiology of the transition cow and his work on milk component production in cows.

Pre-registration is encouraged. Cost is $50 (before Feb. 10); $70 (after Feb. 10); and $85 at the door (if space is available). The registration fee covers admission, conference proceedings and lunch. Register online:


Cover Crop Symposium planned

The 2015 No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium will be held Feb. 19, at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center, just off I-89 at Exit 14W in South Burlington, Vt.

Speakers from Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Quebec and Vermont will address a wide range of topics, from the basics of no-till to more advanced discussions on integrating cover crops into no-till systems to improve soil health and crop production.

The keynote speaker is John Koepke of Koepke Farms in Oconomowoc, Wis., who has utilized no-till practices and integrated cover crops on the family's soil-based dairy farm for more than two decades. Koepke will share his experiences with how these practices impact their farm business and crop production.

Farmers will hear from Richard Hall, on how he has successfully used no-till and, more recently cover crops, on his farm in East Montpelier. Hall also will participate in a farmer panel with Shawn Gingue, Fairfax; Ron and Chad Machia, Sheldon; Scott Magnan, St. Albans; and Gerard Vorsteveld, Panton; to discuss highlights from the 2015 National No Tillage Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Two Pennsylvania crop experts will describe successful strategies and equipment for "planting green," the practice of no-till planting of cash crops into a living cover crop. Loganton farmer Lucas Criswell will explain how to make the most of cover crop residue in a no-till system. Gerard Troisi, a crop advisor and production consultant with Upper Susquehanna Crop Management Associates in Millmont, will talk about how to set up a no-till and cover crop system to reduce weed pressure, achieve less costly weed control and improve both seedbed conditions and nutrient cycling.

Other speakers include Pierre-Olivier Gaucher and Patrice Vincent from Quebec, who will describe their innovative crop-rotation strategy that includes cover crops, winter cereals and interseeding in corn.

UVM Extension's Heather Darby and Kirsten Workman will provide an update on their research on short-season corn and cover crop systems in Vermont. Jeff Carter, UVM Extension agronomist, will highlight new developments in cover cropping and no-till strategies since the first annual symposium held last February.

An exhibitor fair will feature vendors of equipment, supplies, education and services for producers to implement no-till and cover cropping practices on their farms.

The symposium will be hosted by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension's Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team in Middlebury and the Northwest Crops and Soils Program in St. Albans.

The registration fee, payable by Feb. 16, is $75 and includes a hot lunch and snacks. To register online or view the conference brochure, go to For more information, call (802) 388-4969 or e-mail


Winter agronomy meetings scheduled

Talks on forage quality and cropping system innovations, the 2014 Farm Bill, the true cost of crop production and low-cost options for modernization of agricultural operations top the agenda of the 2015 Vermont Agronomy Plus meetings, scheduled for six locations in February.

Speakers for the meetings, which are sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, will vary depending on the location, and include cooperative Extension and industry experts from Vermont, New Hampshire and Wisconsin. They will cover a wide range of topics to provide farmers from Vermont and neighboring states with up-to-date information and research to help them manage their operations for better crop production and profitability.

Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., with the meetings running from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Dates and locations are:

• Feb. 2: St. Johnsbury – UVM Extension office, 374 Emerson Falls Rd., Suite 1

• Feb. 9: Springfield – Holiday Inn Express, 818 Charlestown Rd.

• Feb. 10: Hyde Park – Green Mountain Technology and Career Center, 738 Vermont Rte. 15 West

• Feb. 13:  Enosburg Falls – The Abbey Restaurant, 6212 Vermont Rte. 105

• Feb. 17:  Middlebury – Middlebury Inn, 14 Court Square

• Feb. 18: Newport – Poulin Grain, Inc. (conference room), 24 Railroad Square

The $25 registration fee includes lunch, if received at least three days prior to the workshop. To register online, go to Or send a check, made payable to University of Vermont to UVM Extension, c/o Brent Passut, 397 Railroad Street, Suite 3, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819. Please include contact information and indicate which workshop site.