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OSHA Inspections: The Dairy Dozen

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

June 6, 2014

OSHA Inspections: The Dairy Dozen

If you are a dairy farmer, chances are that you have already heard about the new OSHA regulations and the inspections expected to take place on New York State dairy farms starting sometime in 2014. (If not, refer to ?What to Expect from OSHA Inspections? in the September 2013 issue of Ag Focus). Here are the basics: only farms that have employed more than 10 employees in the past 12 months (excluding immediate family members and including part time employees) or have a temporary labor camp are required to comply with OSHA regulations.

On September 27th, Farm Credit East hosted the second webinar in a series about OSHA regulations and inspections. (To view the webinar, visit the following web address: Ron Williams, the Compliance Assistance Specialist for the Department of Labor-OSHA in the Syracuse office, laid out the basics for OSHA inspections of dairy farms. A Compliance Safety and Health Officer (CSHO) will arrive unannounced on the dairy to complete the inspection. The CSHO will present their credentials, conduct an opening conference, review records and programs, complete a walk around of the farm, and then hold a closing conference. Any violations will be discussed during the closing conference, and farms will have 15 days to accept and pay citations or to appeal.

Here are the ?Dairy Dozen?, the top twelve areas that will be reviewed by OSHA during dairy farm inspections:

1. Manure storage and collection structures
2. Dairy bull and cow behavior/worker positioning
3. Electrical systems
4. Skid steer operation
5. Tractor operation
6. Guarding of PTOs
7. Machine guarding on field and farmstead equipment
8. Lockout- Unexpected energy release
9. Hazard Communication
10. Confined spaces
11. Horizontal bunker silos
12. Noise

Do you see any areas in which your dairy could improve safety or safety training? Dairy farm employers are required to train employees on new labeling elements and the new Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format by December 1st, 2013 (that?s right, you have less than a month!), so Hazard Communication training this is a good place to start. Remember that it is very important to keep records of any trainings conducted for employees because according to Ron, ?If you didn?t document it, you didn?t do it?. Visit for training guidelines and resources. You can also contact Libby Gaige at or 607-793-4847 for more information.











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update

July 18, 2019
Batavia, NY

After the day's work is done, come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's lab:
  • Strategies for improving dairy cattle reproductive performance and economics
  • Using automated sensors for improving dairy cattle health monitoring and management

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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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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm
Waterloo, NY

Join the Finger Lakes Graziers on a pasture walk and learn about soil health. 
view details


USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 ? Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool - developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized
DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

"With sign-up for the
DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program," Secretary Perdue said. "Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry."

The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. The tool was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify their coverage level selection by combining operation data and other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price projections.

The decision tool assists producers with calculating total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in
DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

The new Dairy Margin Coverage program offers very appealing options for all dairy farmers to reduce their net income risk due to volatility in milk or feed prices," said Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Higher coverage levels, monthly payments, and more flexible production coverage options are especially helpful for the sizable majority of farms who can cover much of their milk production with the new five million pound maximum for Tier 1 premiums. This program deserves the careful consideration of all dairy farmers."

For more information, access the tool at For
DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

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