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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)











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Upcoming Events

Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Income and Real Property Tax Primer-A Learning Circle for Women Non-Operating Land Owners of Ag Land

July 24, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Portageville, NY

For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers-Cancelled!

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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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."

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1