Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Enrollment

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  • Farm Business Management
  • Field Crops
  • Livestock & Small Farms

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Communication is Key

Libby Eiholzer, Bilingual Dairy
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

June 14, 2013

As frustrating as communicating can be with a language barrier, it can also be frustrating when you speak the same language. Sometimes the problem is not so much lack of language skills, but rather lack of taking the time to communicate something effectively. Here are a few simple ways to avoid mix ups around the farm.

In the Parlor:
Post a diagram showing the four quarters of the udder and the standard abbreviation you want all employees to use. That way youíll be sure to check the correct quarter when an employee flags a cow for mastitis.

Lame Cows:
As with udder quarters, itís helpful to have shorthand for recording the specifics on cows with lameness issues. You could make and post a diagram of a cow with the four feet labeled in English, Spanish and shorthand. Designate a white board or notebook for all employees to use to record cows whose feet need attention.

Watching For Heats:
Shorthand can also be helping when recording heats. Since the person making the breeding decisions isnít always the one watching for heats, they can be more confident in the notes they receive if they know for certain that there is a consistent method used to record them. For example, all employees could use ďSĒ for a cow thatís standing, and ďRĒ for a cow thatís riding. A poster that includes this shorthand and some pictures with Spanish and English text can help ensure that your employees are all on the same page. As with lame cows, designate a place for employees to note cows that are in heat.  

In the Calving Pen:
Make some numbered collars out of twine and old cow number tags. When a calf is born, whoever takes care of it should put a collar on the calf and record the calfís temporary number, along with the damís ID, calving difficulty, time of calving, etc. This will prevent possible mix ups when moving calves from the fresh pen to the calf barn. You could even use a different color collar for bull calves to make sure they end up in the right place.

Udder Diagram (pdf; 292KB)











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

2019 Corn Silage Pre-Harvest Workshop - Penn Yan

September 17, 2019
10:00am to Noon
Penn Yan, NY

Corn silage harvest is drawing near. The way corn silage is harvested and stored is a single event that affects your operation for the entire next year. Are you prepared to set your operation up for success? 
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Ontario County Fun on the Farm

September 21, 2019
11:00 am- 4:00 pm
Seneca Castle, NY

Fun on the Farm works to educate non-farm public and our neighbors about agriculture around them. It is fun and educational.

Fun on the Farm attracts thousands of people and gives us the opportunity to communicate to the community the benefits of the agricultural production in Ontario County, the state, and the nation.

The event is free! There are many agricultural products that are available to be sampled. It is the perfect place to try that product you have seen in the store but didn't want to commit to purchasing.

Food is available to purchase for lunch. It is provided by a local service group.
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Bovine Reproduction and AI Training Course

September 24 - September 25, 2019
9:30am - 3:30pm
Shortsville, NY


This two-day AI workshop will be held on September 24 and 25. 

Topics covered will include:

• Reproductive Physiology
• Synchronization Protocols
• Heat Detection
• Artificial Insemination
• Proper Thawing of Semen
• Loading A.I. guns
• Practice Breeding Cows

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Preventing Sexual Harassment on Farms

If you're wondering how to get your farm business in compliance with NYS Sexual Harassment Regulations, you've come to the right place.  The 2018 New York State budget included new regulations addressing sexual harassment in the workplace that became effective on October 9, 2018 for all New York employers, including agricultural employers. All employers are required to have a sexual harassment prevention policy and to provide annual, interactive sexual harassment prevention training for all employees.  Check out the resources developed by Cornell Ag Workforce Development, including step-by-step instructions and farm-friendly training videos.

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."