Author Archives: Michael James Baker

Study Shows Premium in Cattle from BQA Certified Producers

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (July 30, 2019) – While producers have traditionally participated in Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) because it’s the right thing to do, there is sound research that indicates BQA certified producers can benefit financially as well. According to a recent study by the Beef Checkoff-funded BQA program and conducted by Colorado State University (CSU), results show a significant premium for calves and feeder cattle sold through video auction markets.

Read entire report.

Penn State Beef Cattle Short Course – Oct 22-23

The Beef Cattle Short Course is a two-day event that will cover the evaluation of live cattle, concepts for marketing beef cattle, breaking down the carcass, and meat quality. This year will focus heavily on marketing the meat from beef cattle production.

We hope you can join us!

Tue., Oct. 22, 2019 (7:30 AM – 4:00 PM)
Wed., Oct. 23, 2019 (7:30 AM – 3:30 PM)

Snyder Ag Arena
800 E. Park Ave., State College, Pennsylvania, 16801

Learn More

Visit the Event Website for More Details

Chautauqua County Beef Producers to meet Aug 6.

From Ted Card, Chautauqua County Beef Producers

August 6th
Falcons Nest Banquet Hall
6:30 p.m.

Southwest New York Dairy Livestock & Field Crop Program is up and running, serving Erie,  Chautauqua, Cattarugus, Allegany and Steuben counties. Katelyn Walley-Stoll, business management specialist and Joshua Putman, field crop specialist will be with us for introduction and will ask producers to share their programming and research needs. This will help the new team form a plan of work. Dairy and livestock specialists are being recruited to fill the remaining team positions. Katelyn can be contacted at:

716-640-0522 or at

Remember Empire Farm Days. August 6-8 in Seneca Falls. Stop by
the beef area for several seminars and demonstrations. Please consider
helping out with the NYS Beef Producers BBQ Dinner. This is a great
way to meet new beef friends.


From Joe Lawrence, Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, Pro-Dairy, Cornell

Hi all,
I was preparing some materials for a Dairy Profit Seminar at the Empire Farm Days (Corn Silage Harvest Strategy: One chance to get it right) as was thinking that this is the time of year we typically start thinking about corn silking/tasseling and the time from silking to silage harvest.

Obviously there is not much (if any) corn silking right now but here a few thoughts in the topic. One bit of good news is that the temperature projections for August, September and October show a reasonable probability of above average temperatures.

An old rule of thumb is 6-7 weeks but this should not be relied on, especially this year.
1) We have better methods today
2) This rule of thumb assumes the crop will be progressing through this stage in July, August, early September. That will not be the case this year and GDD accumulation per day (or week) in late September or October will be slower increasing the likelihood it will take longer.

Recording silking/tasseling date and tracking Growing Degree Day accumulation is a useful indicator.

Earlier this year we talked about a new tool from Climate Smart Farming, the Growing Degree Day Calculator tool that can be used to look at expected GDD accumulation from planting, based on long term averages.

CSF Growing Degree Day Calculator

Direction video from Kitty O’Neil

Projecting GDD accumulation from silking date is another good application of this tool.

By putting in the silking/tasseling date as your start date you can look at the projected date for silage harvest based on work by Bill Cox showing 750-800 GDD’s between silking and silage harvest.

Growing Degree Days (86/50) from Silking to Silage Harvest
*Study by Bill Cox at Aurora Research Farm
Relative Maturity GDD’s (Silking to 32% Whole Plant DM)
96-100 750
101-115 800
We can extrapolate that <96 day RM corn will likely take 750 GDD or slightly less

Whole Plant DM for Silage Harvest
Keep in mind that this work on GDD’s needed from silking to silage harvest was based on the corn plant getting to 32% DM so this should be used as an early indicator for harvest since we would really like to see whole plant DM at harvest closer to 35%.

While the rate of dry down obviously varies with weather conditions, a rule of thumb is 0.5 to 0.75% per day but some days the rate can be zero. Anyway, we could expect the crop to reach 35% DM 4 to 6 days after we hit the GDD benchmarks listed here.


Joe Lawrence, MS, CCA
Dairy Forage Systems Specialist
272 Morrison Hall

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Office 315-376-5275 | Cell 315-778-4814 |

Evaluating Grass-fed Dairy Genetics in the Pasture Field Day

Featuring Renowned International Livestock Judge, Australia’s John O’Brien
On Wednesday August 28th, 2019 9am to 3pm with lunch
at Nathan & Kristine Weaver’s Grunen Aue Dairy Farm
on 4225 East Milestrip Rd., Canastota, NY 13032
$10 admission at the farm with $5 for additional family members

“A cow’s level of efficiency in naturally converting available resources into nutritious consumer food is the key to a farmers’ profitability, sustainability, lifestyle and consumer health. Healthy cows provide healthy food and healthy profits,” emphasizes cattle industry maverick and CEO of Nature’s Blueprint Cow, John O’Brien. (

With over 50 years of experience in the cattle industry covering every aspect of the Australian and international dairy and beef cattle sectors; from importing and exporting live cattle and frozen genetics, to consulting with farmers around the globe on genetic selection and design, as well as implementing profitable farming systems, O’Brien brings a hands-on holistic approach to achieve proven results.

Why this quest for pasture-based genetics? John is immensely passionate about great cows, actually loves cows and can look and talk at length about them. He is also intensely curious and less inclined to take the easy way out, would rather investigate than accept established beliefs, believes that we should live with both our head and our heart, is concerned over the current state of the beef and dairy cattle industry and the products consumers purchase, wants to make money for farmers rather than from them, wants to show consumers and producers that different alternatives are available and desires to make a difference in the world and a difference in people’s lives.
This personal field day is an opportunity and investment in knowledge where farmers will learn the art of evaluating grass-fed dairy cattle, the requirements of a profitable grass based cow, the importance of pedigree, the VIP selection criteria when purchasing a bull, the major genetic defect no one speaks of, improving productivity not production and realizing the cost of thin cows in your herd.

“We have been using Nature’s Blueprint Sires for the last six years with offspring in their fourth lactations. It is evident that these cows have the genetic makeup to perform well on an all-forage diet. You can see them with your own eyes. We expect to rely on Nature’s Blueprint bulls for providing the genetic foundation of our herd,” says host Nathan Weaver.

The event is sponsored by Maple Hill Creamery, Organic Valley Cooperative, Nathan and Kristine Weaver, Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District, Madison County Graziers Group and the Peterboro Amish Church Community.

To preregister for this unique gathering to look at some great cows and grass: Call Troy Bishopp, Madison County SWCD at (315) 824-9849 ext. 110 or Email at

Troy Bishopp aka The Grass Whisperer
Madison Co. Soil & Water Conservation District/
Upper Susquehanna Coalition Regional Grassland Conservation Professional
6503 Wes Rd. Hamilton, N.Y. 13346
(315) 824-9849 ext. 110 Fax (315) 824-9629,

Get Your FREE 2019 Grazing Chart and Get Your Grazing Season Off On the Right Foot

Linger Grazing:The act of observing the little things and thinking about how it effects the big things.
“Strive for happiness, for only then can you exude the happiness that will infect the people around you.” ~ Scott Bishopp

Empire Yearling Board Sale – Sept 14.

The Board Sale concept was developed to reduce risk of excess transportation, disease exposure, and morbidity by adhering to a strict health and management protocol, and by keeping the cattle on the farm until delivered directly to the buyer. The cattle were auctioned off as listed on a “Board”, sight unseen. However they had been described and graded by USDA Market News Livestock Reporters. This is very similar to the Central New York Feeder Calf Pool but for yearling cattle.

The auction will be held September 14 at Empire Livestock in Bath. Pick-up dates and locations along with weighing conditions may vary, but will be stated in sale catalog. Buyers can bid in person at the Empire Bath facility on Sept 14, or by phone.

Introduction_Yearling_Board Sale_Sept 14.


Flies are bad this year – come learn how to control them

From Betsy Hodge:

Hi Folks,

Just a quick reminder that we have the fly control meetings coming up next week on Tuesday.  Ken will cover organic and conventional methods, thresholds, identification, etc. It’s Free and you can get to see another person’s operation in the process.

Sign up if you can – so we have some idea who is coming. Rain or shine.