Waupaca, Wis. – It’s that time of the year when fresh mowed hay fills the air across Wisconsin, which also means many farmers and rural neighbors will be negotiating the sale of standing hay. An estimated 2.5 million acres of dry hay and haylage are harvested each year in this state with baled hay alone accounting for $80-$100 million in market sales. Unfortunately, there is not an established commodity market for hay like there is for corn or soybeans. Finding reliable hay market information can be a challenge, and trying to value standing hay whiles it’s still in the field can be even more difficult.
To help farmers and landowners identify the price of hay, and/or negotiate the sale or purchase of standing hay, a UW-Extension educator just published a free Smartphone app that can quickly find hay price information. Users of this app can also enter projected hay yield, cutting schedule and harvest costs to calculate a standing value per acre.
Madison, Wis. – Dairy farms with higher-producing cows create smaller carbon footprints and are more profitable, a win-win situation for everyone, including the cows, according to Victor E. Cabrera, University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension professor and dairy systems management specialist.
“Implementing dairy farm management strategies that increase milk production, decrease the herd replacement rate, or improve reproductive efficiency can increase farm profits while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,” Cabrera said.
A workshop will be held in Arena, Wisconsin on Saturday, June 27, 2015 on Intensive Parasite Management and Grazing and Pasture Management for sheep and goat producers. Focus of the program will be use of the FAMACHA score card for assessing internal parasitism in sheep and goats.
Madison, Wis. – Mob Grazing is a “new” grazing technique that has been slowly sweeping Wisconsin and the upper-Midwest for the last decade. This technique attempts to simulate historical grazing patterns conducted by native herbivores with a range of domesticated livestock.
While Mob Grazing is similar to rotational grazing, producers who implement this practice typically graze forage that is taller and more mature, with more animals per unit area, faster paddock moves, and a longer regrowth period after grazing events. Graziers use this new technique for a variety of reasons including weed control, even distribution of manure, pasture resilience, decreased animal selectivity and even to improve soil health.
While there may be benefits, there are also concerns about potential negative impacts. “In Their Own Words” is a video series created by the University of Wisconsin-Extension that takes a closer look at what mob grazing really is and how it’s being used on the landscape. Farmers featured in the video have utilized mob grazing in some form as part of their pasture- and herd-management strategy, and are excited to share their successes as well as their failures. They define mob grazing, discuss benefits and risks, and give suggestions on how to implement this practice.
Madison, Wis. – The more information farmers have about farming, the more successful they might be. Growers often combine experience and science when making management decisions. However, finding the time to read textbooks or long journal articles can be challenging, so University of Wisconsin- Extension specialists recorded videos with the most up-to-date information about crop production, pest management, soil and water conservation and nutrient management. The videos are available on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/user/uwipm/playlists
Women who own or manage farmland in Wisconsin are invited to a free workshop in May to support female landowners in learning about conservation practices and building local connections. Women Caring For the Land is an innovative program facilitated by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and the Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN). It brings together women landowners in an informal, discussion-based learning format that enables these land owners to meet with female conservation professionals to discuss their goals for improving air, water and soil quality on the land they own and to engage in different activities that teach conservation principles.
Mark your calendar for this year’s Badger Bonanza Lamb Show on Sunday, May 3, 2015! This event will again be a double-header show that will take place at the Arlington Public Events Center (N695 Hopkins Rd., Arlington, WI 53911). Entry forms and more information will be available online at www.uwsaddleandsirloin.com beginning April 6, 2015.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Saddle & Sirloin Club is announcing the annual Saddle and Sirloin Club Swine Project Awards. Up to five awards of $100 each will be awarded to first or
second year swine project members.
UW-Extension will sponsor the Tractor& Machinery Safety Course for youth ages 12-16 at the Resource Center in Antigo in April 2015. The course includes classroom safety instruction for tractors and farm machinery operation, hazard recognition and correction, general farm safety knowledge, and how to approach farm safety with a positive attitude. In addition, the course is designed for youth ages 14-15 that need the federal certificate of training for employment on farms, youth ages 12-16 who will be operating tractors or self-propelled farm machinery on public roads for their own family, and youths interested in tractor and machinery safety. Participants must attend the full 24 hours of instruction to be certified.
Whether you have farms considering tiling for the first time, adding to an existing field or experiencing blowouts and other challenges, this workshop will empower them to more fully understand how drainage systems work and how planning ahead is the difference between improving crop yields and an expensive failure.
Topics covered include: Drainage water management, Locating Older Drainage Systems, Nutrients—Managing N losses, Panel discussions: Regulatory questions and Making your drainage successful