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LOHO Farms, a DAP Success Story

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

Last Modified: March 19, 2015
LOHO Farms, a DAP Success Story

LOHO Farms, a DAP Success Story
DAP is a partnership between the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, created with the goal of making dairy farms more profitable while encouraging environmentally responsible growth. Farms can be awarded funding to help cover the cost of a business plan focused on growth, design of new or remodeled facilities or development of environmental and farmstead plans. For more information, visit
John and Steven Ohol are brothers and partners in Loho Farms, LLC, a 120-cow dairy located near Lockport in Niagara County, NY. Last fall they applied to the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) for support in forming a farm business plan. I served as the facilitator for the project, and Randy Risjan of Farm Credit East served as the business planner.  
At the time of the application, John and Steve were running the farm with the help of their father, uncle and two employees. The process of working with Randy to create a business plan helped them to define two major goals: a) to improve the farmís financial viability through increasing farm profitability and cash flow, and b) to improve labor efficiency.
When I stopped by the farm in July, I was amazed at the progress that the farm had made! To work towards the goal of making the farm more financially viable, the owners focused on ramping up milk production. The installation of new curtains and waterbeds has certainly improved cow comfort, proven by the fact that milk production has increased from 55 to 70 pounds. They also bought 10 animals in order to fill the freestall and fully utilize its capacity.  
To improve reproduction and eliminate the need to purchase replacements, Steve took an AI course and started breeding their own heifers. They are considering using AI on cows as well. Plans are in place to cover the barnyard where the heifers are housed, which will also facilitate growth in the heifer herd.
Labor efficiency in the milking parlor at Loho Farms greatly improved with the installation of a low line and six new milking units. The double six herringbone parlor was originally equipped as a swing parlor with weigh jars. The new equipment has cut milking time by about an hour per shift.
The farmís goals for coming months are to continue to work towards higher milk production and utilization of AI across the herd. Within 3 years they would like to make the transition to a robotic milking system. John said it was easy to work with DAP- the application and other paper work was easy to complete and didnít create much extra work for him. DAP covered 80% of the cost of the business plan, up to $5,000 and the farm was responsible for 20% including any amount over the value of the award.
The approval of additional funds for DAP is anticipated and applications to participate are still being accepted.











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."