Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Enrollment

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Forages

ForagesIn western New York high yields of high quality forage are vital to the dairy and livestock industries. Feed-costs are often half of a farm's business expenses each year. This page contains resources and information to help farmers better manage silage, hay, and pastures. 

Corn silage and "haylage" (alfalfa or alfalfa/grass silage) are the main forages grown on dairy farms. These silages are stored in upright silos, bunker silos, piles, silage bags, and as "balelage" (plastic-wrapped round bales) where they are persevered and then fed to the cows. In recent years winter triticale silage has also become an important feed on dairy farms due to increasing land prices, short feed supplies, and winter triticale's high yields and desirable feed quality. Oats are also grown for silage as a nurse crop during the establishment of a haylage field or, in more recent years, as a fall silage planted in August after another small grain or vegetable crop. Hay is widely grown in the region for horses, beef, alpacas, sheep, goats, and dairy animals. Most of the hay is sold to local farmers and animal owners. 

However a number of farmers contract out of the state for specialty hay markets (racing horse, mushroom production, biomass, etc.). Much of the hay grown is a mixture of alfalfa with timothy or orchardgrass, but other grass species like tall fescue, reed canarygrass, bromegrasses, and ryegrasses are also planted on many farms. Pastures are very common in western New York and form the foundation of many productive dairy and livestock farms. Ladino clover, red clover, white clover, and/or birdsfoot trefoil are mixed orchardgrass, tall fescue, meadow fescue, reed canarygrass, timothy, bromegrass, and/or ryegrass on most farms. Many graziers have adopted rotational grazing practices that have increased pasture productivity by grazing small paddocks for a short period of time and then allowing that area to recover for 25-40 days before grazing again.


FORAGES CATEGORIES




Most Recent Forages Content

Webinar for Dairy Producers will Cover New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

John Hanchar, Farm Business Management
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: June 10, 2019

The USDA/Farm Service Agency in New York is partnering with the NYS Crop Insurance Education Program to present a webinar for dairy producers.


Alfalfa Height Measurement updated weekely

Last Modified: May 9, 2019
Alfalfa Height Measurement updated weekely

Locations around the region are listed where we have measured alfalfa height (see spreadsheet). You can use the location and elevation as a guide to conditions that may be similar to your farm.

The 2019 hay crop season is shaping up to be similar to our 2018 harvest schedule. An alfalfa height of 9 inches or less is too low to be used by the equation we have which is why you see "Too Early." On May 2, 2018 the alfalfa averaged 7 inches tall and as of today, May 2, 2019, alfalfa is averaging 7 inches tall.

The table below indicates no grasses are ready to be cut today. The continued temperature fluctuations along with rain will influence how much growth we get in another week so stay tuned! Soil temperatures are ranging between 38 and 46 degrees in places.

 It is important that you get first cutting off in a timely manner for quality purposes, so please communicate in advance with your team on how you are going to plant corn and successfully harvest 1st cutting.  Additional fields to be added to next report.

Week 2, Updated May 9, 2019:

County Town Road Name Elevation Alfalfa Height Inches Predicted Grass     % NDF Predicted 50/50 Mix % NDF Predicted Alfalfa       % NDF Predicted Date to Cut Grass  Predicted Date to Cut Mix  Predicted Date to Cut Alfalfa 
Monroe Scottsville Cameron RD 620 11 46.5 33.7 26.2 5/5/19 5/14/19 5/25/19
Wyoming Castile Glen Iris RD 1340 11 46.5 33.7 26.2 5/5/19 5/14/19 5/25/19
Livingston Geneseo Lakeville-Groveland RD 850 12 47.4 34.5 26.9 5/4/19 5/13/19 5/24/19
Orleans Medina Seaman Rd 525 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Orleans Lyndonville County line rd 322 10 45.6 32.8 25.5 5/6/19 5/16/19 5/27/19
Ontario Hopewell County rd 4 860 13 48.2 35.4 27.6 5/3/19 5/12/19 5/22/19
Yates  Penn Yan Field Lane 364 1000 12 47.4 34.5 26.9 5/4/19 5/13/19 5/24/19


Week 1, May 2, 2019

County Town Road Name Elevation Alfalfa Height Inches Predicted Grass              % NDF Predicted 50/50 Mix % NDF Predicted Alfalfa            % NDF Predicted Date to Cut Grass  Predicted Date to Cut Mix  Predicted Date to Cut Alfalfa 
Monroe Scottsville Wheatland Center RD 620 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Wyoming Castile Glen Iris RD 1340 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Livingston Geneseo Groveland RD 850 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Livingston Geneseo Chandler RD 870 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Ontario Hopewell Spangle Rd 860 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Ontario Hopewell Spangle Rd 740 7 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early
Seneca Waterloo Yellow Tavern Rd 590 8 Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early Too Early


 


Winter Feeding Beef Cows

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms & Livestock
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: February 14, 2019
Winter Feeding Beef Cows

Winter is a challenging time to feed the beef herd. Mud, cold and snow or rain can stress your cows and increase their nutritional needs. How do you know if you are meeting the needs of your herd?






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calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update

July 18, 2019
7:00-9:00pm
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

view details

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.

view details

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

Announcements

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 fsa.usda.gov/dmc-tool. For
DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit fsa.usda.gov or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit farmers.gov/service-locator.


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.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1

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