“Spring planting in July” – Soil Crop News

Another season and another year of extremes. It started raining in early May and has not let up much. As you go from New England to western New York, and continue on into Michigan, Wisconsin and the edge of Minnesota, it just gets wetter and wetter. Well drained soils have fared OK, but anything less than that has more ducks than crops in it. For entire report go to july 2017 late forage.

4 habits of a successful cattle producer

What are the keys to being successful in this business? Here are four common traits of established industry leaders.
Amanda Radke | Mar 14, 2017
As a writer who focuses on the cattle business, I frequently have the opportunity to interview a wide variety of influential people in the beef industry. When visiting with these folks, it’s interesting to learn more about what makes them tick, what steps they took to advance their careers and the little things they do to be successful in this business.

Over the years, I’ve realized that successful cattlemen have a few things in common. I’ve identified the four common traits of these individuals, and I try to practice these in my own ranching enterprise.

1. Hustle

Efficiency is the key to advancing yourself. Are you making the most out of your 24 hours? Are there things on the ranch you avoid doing or put off for later? Are there ways you could improve how you feed or tasks you could simplify, so they take less time? Are you hustling to get things done, so you have more time to focus on expansion, innovation and implementation of new ideas?

2. Continued education

Learning shouldn’t stop once your school days are over. Take advantage of educational opportunities as they arise. Whether it’s reading BEEF magazine, taking an Extension course, attending a cattlemen’s meeting, enrolling in a program for young producers offered through your local bank or simply visiting with a respected mentor, there are many ways to continue learning, growing and expanding your knowledge in the beef cattle business.

3. Passion

There’s no doubt about it — the cattle business isn’t for the faint of heart. The risk, time commitment, market swings, weather—all are factors to make this a challenging industry to be a part of. When the going gets tough, remind yourself why you’re so passionate about this business in the first place. What do you love about this industry? Is it the ability to be your own boss? Work outside? Set your own schedule? Watch your herd grow and genetics improve? Focus on the positives and the tough parts of the job won’t seem so bad.

4. Goals

What are your short- and long-term goals for your business? Is everyone in the family on board to help you achieve those goals? Make it a habit to regularly review your one-year, five-year and 10-year plans to ensure that you’re constantly striving for something. Make goals attainable and realistic, but don’t forget to dream big, as well. Be sure to celebrate the little milestones along the way, too, as you make progress on your long-term goals.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

Show Me the Money: Grazing Strategies for Farm Profitability

Friday, June 30th – 8:00 am to 3:00 pm – Alfred State College, Central Dining Hall – Allegany Room, Alfred (Allegany County) – This day-long conference, which is a follow-up to last year’s Grasstravaganza, will highlight the use of cover crops for grazing and improving soil health.  The agenda will kick off with Russ Wilson of Forest County, PA, who with his wife and children operates Wilson Land & Cattle Co on 220 acres.  They raise cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and honey bees and custom graze for other producers.  Russ will discuss “Adaptive Grazing Management and Using Multi-Species Covers as part of a Grazing System.  Also, Dave Hartman from Penn State Extension in Lycoming County, PA will follow with “Using Annual Forage Species to Improve Grazing Systems” focusing on how diverse mixtures can serve the purpose of improving soil health, holding soil, and providing cheap forage.  After lunch (provided) the conference will move to Alfred State College’s organic dairy farm pastures, where Fay Benson of Cornell Cooperative Extension will conduct a “show and tell” with the NYCG Soil Health Trailer, and Jonathan Barter from the Steuben County SWCD will discuss cover crop mixtures that have been planted at the farm as a demonstration of how mixtures can be beneficial.  Cost is $15/person if registered before June 23rd and is $20/person for walk-ins.  Contact Phil Schroeder at 607-587-3983 for more information – campus maps are available at www.alfredstate.edu/maps.  Sponsored by Alfred State College, USDA-NRCS, New York Grazing Coalition, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts.

Ultrasound and Preconditioning: Topics to be presented June 21 in Wayne County

The Seneca County Beef Producers members are having a potluck dinner and meeting on June 21, at 6:30 p.m. (Wednesday) rain or shine at Steve and Sue Olson’s Hidden Canyon Farm in Lyons, NY.  Andrew Weber will provide a demo on ultra sounding your market steers/heifers and talk about the process.  We will not be able to find out the results of the ultra sound, but we will provide the findings once they have been returned.  Dr. Dave Wilson will also talk about pre-conditioning vaccines and answer questions regarding vaccination programs and any other veterinarian related questions one may want answered.

To attend this meeting please respond to Sue Olson, sue@hiddencanyhonfarmlyons.com if one is planning to attend (how many) so we can make sure we have enough meat, tables, and chairs available and also bring your favorite potluck dish to pass.  This is an excellent time to meet with fellow beef producers and have a great meal.

We look forward to seeing you.

Sincerely,
Sue Olson

Our farm address is
3041 Layton Street Road
Lyons, NY 14489
315-871-9993 (Sue)
315-871-9994 (Steve)

Stocker Short Course to start June 24

Stocker Cattle – an opportunity for the grazing entrepreneur.

Calves purchased/raised for grazing, then sold to a finisher. The term “stocker” was coined by producers referring to animals purchased in the spring to “stock” mountain pastures.  The goal is to add weight economically using relatively inexpensive, excess pasture.

How can you (seasoned, new-to-farming or thinking about becoming a farmer), get in on this phenomenal opportunity?

The Stocker Short Course (SSC) to begin June 24th – Sign up NOW!

The course will run on the last Saturday of every month from 10 am – 2 pm, June 2017 to May 2018.   Most sessions will be held in the Hornell/Alfred region, other on-site locations to be determined by the topic.

Topics of study will include
•    land acquisition
•    cattle procurement
•    grazing management
•    nutrition and health
•    economics and marketing

Internship participation available.   Students completing the course will leave with a business plan, practical experience and knowledge to support their entry into the stocker business.

Cost for the course is $200/person, $100/second person from same farm and/or family. Space is limited to 30 persons, so contact us very soon.

Interested parties should contact Barb Jones, Cornell University Department of Animal Science, bjj6@cornell.edu, 607-255-7712. For additional information, contact Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Extension Specialist, mjb28@cornell.edu, 607-255-5923.  The Stocker Short Course is funded by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets “Southern Tier Stocker Initiative”.

First Cutting Updates – Utilizing Alfalfa Heights as a Predictor for Quality

The SCNY team is monitoring alfalfa heights again this spring to help predict quality and %NDF for first cutting hay crop.  Alfalfa height has been proven to be a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and all grass stands.  Results will be compiled and emailed on a weekly basis – please feel free to forward on.  To be included on the weekly email, or to be removed from the email, please contact Betsy Hicks, bjh246@cornell.edu.

UPDATES FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 22nd, 2017:

Mowing for all hay stands is well underway across the region.  Some farms took advantage of the bit of nice weather and have finished up their first crop for their milking herd.
Points for the last week:
•    Growth of alfalfa across the region reached anywhere from over 3” to almost 10” where there was ample sunlight and minimal rain/cloud activity.
•    A weather event late last weekend that included hail damaged some alfalfa stands north and east of Cortland – fields were harvested soon after.
•    In alfalfa, everything is either early bud or mid bud stage.  The breaking point for mid-bud is about 30”.
•    There are some fields in the southern portion of our region that are dealing with alfalfa weevil and fields have been damaged.
•    Heavy grass fields that have some alfalfa mixed with them seem to have alfalfa that is struggling.  Orchard grass especially in mixed fields was towering over alfalfa.
Weather forecast looks like rain Thursday/Friday and Sunday/Monday.  Slight chances of rain for next week every day (20%) but I’m sure there will be hay weather to be had.

Thoughts on pure grass fields that are past peak quality:  If you are able to segregate your first cutting, you may want to leave your fields that are past peak quality and save them for dry cow or heifer feed and focus on getting your mixed fields in at peak quality.  Certainly, field conditions will play a role, but yield can be a factor to take into account as well.

Please let us know conditions you observe while harvesting, and any comments back about the alfalfa height project are appreciated!  We also welcome any sample results you would like to share, so forward them on me, bjh246@cornell.edu.  You can also post harvest pictures on our team’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SCNYDairyandFieldCropsTeam/ and use the hashtag #harvest2017.

Thank you, and stay safe!
Betsy

Additional Information:

The numbers that are indicators for using alfalfa heights for NDF content are as follows:
•    100% grass stands should be cut when nearby alfalfa is 14 inches tall, to achieve 50% NDF
•    50/50 mixed alfalfa/grass stands should be cut when nearby alfalfa is 22 inches tall, to achieve 44% NDF
•    100% alfalfa stands should be cut when alfalfa is 28 inches tall, to achieve 40% NDF

Predicted days to cut are based on daily NDF increases for grasses of 1.0% point, 50/50 mixed alfalfa/grass stands of 0.8% points, and alfalfa of 0.5% points and are adjusted for the coming week’s weather.  Typically NDF increases about 0.8 to 1.2 per day for grasses, with cooler weather being the lower end of the range and warmer weather being the higher end.  For alfalfa, NDF increases about 0.4 to 0.7 per day, also dependent upon warm/cool weather.

The weekly email for the month of May will have a table of the locations around the region where we have measured the alfalfa height, as well as the elevation.  Even if your fields aren’t measured, you can use the location and elevation as a guide to conditions that may be similar to your own.  We now cover six counties throughout South Central NY, including Tioga, Chemung, Broome, Tompkins, Cortland and Onondaga.  Other teams and associations throughout the state are also measuring fields.  For more information, contact that county’s association to find out if fields are being measured there.

Betsy J Hicks
Area Dairy Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops Team
Cornell Cooperative Extension
60 Central Ave
Room 140
Cortland, NY 13045
518.428.2064 cell
607.391.2673 office
607.391.2680 fax
bjh246@cornell.edu
http://scnydfc.cce.cornell.edu/
https://www.facebook.com/SCNYDairyandFieldCropsTeam/

NRCS-NY Announces Application Cutoff Dates for NRCS Conservation Programs

New York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces June 16, 2017 as the application cutoff date for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

Through the EQIP program, NRCS offers financial and technical assistance to participants to implement practices which address priority resource concerns, including soil erosion, water quality and habitat degradation. Focus areas within the EQIP program include the farmstead, soil management, habitat, forestry and grazing. Examples of practices implemented through EQIP include: strip cropping, grassed waterways, forest stand improvement and manure storage facilities.

Applicants applying to implement practices to address farmstead resource concerns associated with livestock operations must provide a copy of their Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan to NRCS by July 14, 2017. Applicants applying to implement forest management practices must provide their Forest Management Plan by July 14, 2017.

NRCS will review potential resource concerns on the land included and work with applicants to develop a conservation plan to address the identified resource concerns.

Applications accepted after June 16, 2017 will be considered in the next signup. All applications are competitive and are ranked based on national, state and locally identified resource priorities and the overall benefit to the environment.

If you are interested in applying for an NRCS conservation program please visit our web site for information on applying at: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/ny/programs/financial/eqip/?cid=nrcs144p2_027058

 

You may apply by visiting your local NRCS field office, which can be located using the web site: http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=NY.

 

USDA is an Equal Opportunity Provider, Employer, and Lender

First Cutting Updates – Utilizing Alfalfa Heights as a Predictor for Quality

The South Central NY Cornell Cooperative Extension team is monitoring alfalfa heights again this spring to help predict quality and %NDF for first cutting hay crop.  Alfalfa height has been proven to be a reliable indicator of NDF values in the field for alfalfa, alfalfa/grass mixed and all grass stands.  Results will be compiled and emailed on a weekly basis – please feel free to forward on.  To be included on the weekly email, or to be removed from the email, please contact Betsy Hicks, bjh246@cornell.edu.

UPDATES FOR THE WEEK OF MAY 8th, 2017:

Comments from Janice:  We measured slow growth with the wet and cold conditions of the last week.  Our protocol is to measure the tallest alfalfa in the stand, but in older alfalfa and wetter fields, the alfalfa tends to be more uneven.  Keeping this in mind, our field scale measurement should be ground-truthed as you plan for harvest.  Grasses will be headed by next week so if you are harvesting grass or mixed stands for dairy quality they will be ready to mow in the next stretch of decent weather.  Some lodging is beginning in alfalfa over 20”.  No buds are observed yet in alfalfa.  If you have mixed grass/alfalfa stands, refer back to the chart of percent of alfalfa vs grass (attached) and what height alfalfa is to determine when to harvest the field for peak quality.  If you need help determining what percent your stand is, contact me at 607.391.2672 or jgd3@cornell.edu.

Comments for Southern Counties (Broome, Tioga, Chemung, S Cortland):  Most fields saw no more than 2” growth in alfalfa, although some of the valley ground with favorable drainage and a southern slope did see more.  In general, higher elevations and wetter fields only saw 1” of growth with the cool weather.  Even so, predictions for harvesting 50/50 mixed grass/alfalfa stands are stating dairy quality harvest should begin by the middle of next week and grass stands should be harvested now.  Fields in general are drier here than in the counties to the north.  Some farms that have pure grass fields and some mixed fields to the east of our region have started harvest on fields that have dried out enough to drive on.

Comments for Northern Counties (Tompkins, N Cortland, Onondaga):  In general, most all fields saw no more than 2” growth in alfalfa.  Fields are very wet across the northern counties and will likely have some rutting around wet spots if they are to be harvested for dairy quality.  Predictions for peak grass quality is to harvest now, 50/50 mixed grass/alfalfa stands are predicted to be peak at the end of next week, only a couple days behind the more southern counties.

Weather conditions for the coming week look like rain Saturday and Sunday, with warmer weather closer to 70 degrees next week.  I know you all are frustrated with not being able to get corn in the ground, but the focus needs to be on harvesting hay crop at peak quality!  Please let us know conditions you observe while harvesting, and any comments back about the alfalfa height project are appreciated!  We also welcome any sample results you would like to share, so forward them on me, bjh246@cornell.edu.  You can also post harvest pictures on our team’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SCNYDairyandFieldCropsTeam/ and use the hashtag #harvest2017.

Thank you, and be safe!
Betsy

Additional Information:

The numbers that are indicators for using alfalfa heights for NDF content are as follows:
•    100% grass stands should be cut when nearby alfalfa is 14 inches tall, to achieve 50% NDF
•    50/50 mixed alfalfa/grass stands should be cut when nearby alfalfa is 22 inches tall, to achieve 44% NDF
•    100% alfalfa stands should be cut when alfalfa is 28 inches tall, to achieve 40% NDF
Predicted days to cut are based on daily NDF increases for grasses of 1.0% point, 50/50 mixed alfalfa/grass stands of 0.8% points, and alfalfa of 0.5% points and are adjusted for the coming week’s weather.  Typically NDF increases about 0.8 to 1.2 per day for grasses, with cooler weather being the lower end of the range and warmer weather being the higher end.  For alfalfa, NDF increases about 0.4 to 0.7 per day, also dependent upon warm/cool weather.

The weekly email for the month of May will have a table of the locations around the region where we have measured the alfalfa height, as well as the elevation.  Even if your fields aren’t measured, you can use the location and elevation as a guide to conditions that may be similar to your own.  We now cover six counties throughout South Central NY, including Tioga, Chemung, Broome, Tompkins, Cortland and Onondaga.  Other teams and associations throughout the state are also measuring fields.  For more information, contact that county’s association to find out if fields are being measured there.

Betsy J Hicks
Area Dairy Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops Team
Cornell Cooperative Extension
60 Central Ave
Room 140
Cortland, NY 13045
518.428.2064 cell
607.391.2673 office
607.391.2680 fax
bjh246@cornell.edu
http://scnydfc.cce.cornell.edu/
https://www.facebook.com/SCNYDairyandFieldCropsTeam/