Up on the Farm

A blog about the agriculture industry

Chicks in the Mail

The arrival of a box of one day old chickens.

Genesee Valley Farm Discovery Center Goat Barn Renovation

Renovations to the goat barn.

The Dairy Industry Braces Itself

Grow cows, feed cows, milk cows. Dairy farming is not all that complicated when it is boiled down to these basics. Of course, long-time readers of Up on the Farm understand just how complex modern agriculture has become in order to compete on world markets to provide the safest and least expensive food supply in the history of humankind. In my business, we help dairy producers develop month-by-month budgets to help them create strategies to meet the demands of the business in the months ahead.

Last November, this column reported that 2009 was shaping up to be a ‘rough’ year for dairy producers because the projected milk price had fallen from $20 to $17 per hundred weight. Since then, the bottom has fallen out and the milk prices farmers are staring at now are a mind-numbing $13.50 average for 2009. Prices for milk produced in February are projected in the $11.50 range. This is about half the price of milk just a year ago. Clck here to read more »

Deep Freeze Dairy Farming

The recent artic blast into single digits sent most of us inside to the warmth and comfort of our homes to wait for the worst to pass. Dairy farmers, their employees and livestock had no such luxury. Regardless of weather, cows need to be milked, fed and cared for on schedule in order to maintain their health and productivity.

Holstein cows, the most common dairy bovine, thrive in cooler climates. Shielded from the wind, they can withstand very cold temperatures just fine as long as the energy levels in their feed rations are increased to compensate for the colder environment. Cows generate a lot heat – enough to keep traditional barns warm during the winter. Clck here to read more »

Cow Pedicures Are All The Rage

Keeping the feet of dairy cows in excellent condition is an essential practice in today’s modern dairy herd. Hoof trimming is a specialized skill that most dairy producers hire outside specialists to perform. While horse owners call the farrier to trim and shoe horses, dairy producers call the hoof trimmer to make sure their cows feet are healthy and well manicured.

The hooves of dairy cows are equivalent to our fingernails. They grow continually and like our fingernails, Clck here to read more »