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100 words or less: Northeast – August 2011


Manure management program demonstration day set

A manure management program designed to improve the environment will be demonstrated on Aug. 25, 11 a.m., at the Rolland Rainville farm, Franklin, Vt.

Local entrepreneur and founder Tim Camisa, of Vermont Organics Reclamation (VOR), will share information on the process, which removes 20% of the manure’s phosphorus with a screen separator and screw press. The byproducts are transported to a newly built greenhouse in St. Albans, and used to create potting soil and other organic soil products.

For more information, contact us at info@vermontorganics.com or 802-528-8512.


New York

Symposium to feature group-housed dairy calf systems

A Symposium featuring group-housed dairy calf systems will be held Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Doubletree Hotel Syracuse, N.Y. Discussions of new technology, such as autofeeders (robots), cold pasteurized (acidified) self feeders and positive pressure directed ventilation, will be among highlights. 

The tentative agenda includes:

• Baby Calf and Lifetime Performance – What’s Biologically Possible and Achievable, by Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University

• Group Housing Systems and Feeding Practices that Mimic the Natural Calf, by Dr. Neil Anderson, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA)

• What We’ve Learned about Mastering the Calf Barn Ventilation Challenge, Bedding Needs and Calf Behavior, by Dr. Ken Nordlund, University of Wisconsin

• The Cost of Calf Performance in Group Housing Systems – You Might Be Surprised!, by John Hanchar, PRO-DAIRY NWNY Dairy and Field Crops Team

• Late-breaking Applied/observational Research: Colostrum Quality, Acidification, Ad Lib vs. 2X Feeding, Group vs. Individual Housing, by Dr. Rodrigo Bicalho, Cornell University, Dr. Mark Thomas, Countryside Veterinary Clinic, Dr. Neil Anderson, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Dr. Ken Nordlund, University of Wisconsin

• Producer/Veterinarian Panel, with moderator: Dr. Bob Ceglowski, and panelists:

Jon Beller, Beller Farms; Mark Cary, Woody Hill Farm; Don Jensen, Lawn Hurst Farms; Mary Kelly & Ric Bartholomew, Kelly Farms; Sara & Lynn Murray, Murcrest Farm; and  Dr. Mark Thomas, Countryside Veterinary Clinic.

New York farm tours are also being planned.

Symposium registration will open in mid-September. For further information or to be included in the registration mailing,contact Heather Howland, Conference Coordinator, e-mail: hh96@cornell.edu or phone: 607-255-4478.



Penn State dairy ‘drought survival guide’ available online

Drought conditions mean Pennsylvania dairy producers are facing big challenges in producing corn silage from a nutritional, as well as profitability standpoint. The Penn State Extension Dairy Team and Crop Management Extension Group have created a number of resources to help Pennsylvania's dairy industry manage the challenges of this year's corn silage yield.

 Resources include guidelines for managing a drought-stunted corn crop, information on feeding drought-stricken corn silage, recommendations for maintaining profitability when corn silage is low in quantity and quality, a spreadsheet that calculates pricing for purchased corn, plus much more. The Drought Survival Guide is available online at: www.das.psu.edu/dairy-alliance/resources/drought-survival-guide.


‘Protecting Your Profits’ monthly call is Aug. 24

If you're looking for a quick update of the dairy markets and margins, you'll want to participate in the Center for Dairy Excellence monthly "Protecting Your Profits" call, Aug. 24, noon-12:30 p.m. (Eastern). The call will be led by Alan Zepp, author of the "Dairy Markets and Management Update" and risk management program coordinator of the Center for Dairy Excellence. 

Zepp will discuss the current status of the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy (LGM-Dairy) insurance program, current milk and commodity futures and recent reports that affect dairy pricing. Joining him will be Mike Hosterman, who will discuss how risk management plays into effective business planning on a dairy.
To register, phone 717-346-0849 or e-mail info@centerfordairyexcellence.org.


‘Mastering the Dairy Business’ conference calls planned

The Center for Dairy Excellence offers a conference call learning series called “Mastering the Dairy Business” to provide dairy producers with the insight and expertise they need to manage their dairy in an ever-changing industry. Exclusively for dairy producers, these conference calls are held around the lunch hour, with leading market industry experts sharing observations. Upcoming conference calls include:

• Thursday, Aug. 31, "Managing Droughty Corn," from 12 - 1:15 p.m. Dr. Virginia Ishler from Penn State's Dairy Extension Team, Dr. David Kirk from Pennfield Feeds, and Tom Naumann from Hoober Feeds, will share considerations dairy farm families must account for as they deal with a heavily stressed corn harvest.
• Thursday, Sept. 7, "Mastering the Dairy Business in Michigan," from 12 - 1:15 p.m. We've heard it said before that no other dairy region is quite like Pennsylvania. Learn about the commonalities and differences between Pennsylvania and Michigan as a Michigan dairy producer shares a showcase of his dairy business, opportunities there and the regional challenges they face.  
All calls take place from noon-1:15 p.m. Click here to view a flier with more details. Call 717-346-0849 or e-mail info@centerfordairyexcellence.org to register and receive call-in information for the upcoming calls.


Dairy PROS Program sets October series
The October Dairy PROS series will focus on improving milk quality, featuring local DHIA representatives and milk quality specialists sharing their thoughts on common obstacles to improving milk quality on the farm. Amber Yutzy, dairy herd health educator with Penn State Cooperative Extension, will take a closer look at best milking practices, offering a checklist of areas affecting milk quality.

 October meeting dates and locations include:
• Thursday, Oct. 13, at the Lancaster Farm and Home Center, 1383 Aracadia Road, Lancaster, Pa.
• Friday, Oct. 14, at Premiere Events Catering Hall, 429 East Orange Street, Shippensburg, Pa.
• Wednesday, Oct.19, at Celebration Hall, 2280 Commercial Blvd., State College, Pa.
• Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Comfort Inn, 835 Perry Highway, Mercer, Pa.
All meetings will be held from 8 a.m. - 10 a.m., with breakfast served at 7:30 a.m. To register, click here.

Exclusively for Pennsylvania’s dairy industry professionals and a joint initiative of the Center for Dairy Excellence and Penn State Extension Dairy Team, Dairy PROS is designed for dairy professionals who work in ag lending, accounting, feed and nutrition, veterinary, pharmaceutical, Extension, genetics, equipment, and other areas of the dairy industry to directly provide services to Pennsylvania’s dairy producers. 

If your organization is a supporter of the "Allies for Advancement" program at any level above $200.00, any member of your organization is able to attend the Dairy PROs meetings free of charge. If your organization is not a supporter of the "Allies for Advancement" program, each member of your organization will be charged a $20.00 per person registration fee for each meeting they attend to cover the cost of the event.

For more information about the Dairy PROS program, contact Michele Moyer at Penn State Extension Dairy Team at 1-888-373-7232 or Heidi Zimmerman at the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849.


Mid-Atlantic, Pennsylvania dairy promotion program grants available

Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program are offering grants of up to $250 to dairy farmers to support grassroots promotion in the Mid-Atlantic region. The events or products must enhance the knowledge of the dairy industry or the nutritional benefits of dairy and be consumer-focused. Applicants must be dairy farmers in the Mid-Atlantic service area. Up to 50 grants will be awarded in 2011 on a first-come, first-serve basis. Click here for details.


Pennsylvania milk prices, and feed costs at all-time high

The August edition of the Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Performance Scorecard shows:

  • Pennsylvania's milk production was up 0.2% from June but down nearly 4% from a year ago, with a 2,000-cow drop in the state herd and a 2-pound drop in daily milk per cow leading the decline.
  • Feed costs are up 57% from a year ago, to $9.44/cwt., while the milk price is up 31% from a year ago. The milk margin grew 18%.
  • Somatic cell counts remain low, while the number of herds producing more than 80 pounds of milk per day dropped 17%.
  • Click here to see the latest "Pennsylvania Dairy Industry Performance Scorecard.