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




Relevant Event

2018 Feed Dealer Seminar with guest speakers Dr. Tom Overton and Dr. Kristen Reed, Ph.D.

December 14, 2018
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. with lunch provided
Batavia, NY

Most Recent Forages Content

Financial Balancing Act Means Managing Risk is Essential

Joan Sinclair Petzen, Farm Business Management
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: September 19, 2018

The present long-term downturn in commodity prices brings with it increased financial pressure on farm operations.  Alternatives for managing risk are continually evolving.  For many in agriculture, and particularly dairy, self-insurance has been the go-to method of risk management.  Two new tools, the USDA Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and Dairy Revenue Protection Insurance (DRP) are coming on line and a third, Rainfall Index - Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage (RI-PRF) merits serious consideration.


Pricing Corn Silage -- Fall 2018

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

Last Modified: September 10, 2018
Pricing Corn Silage -- Fall 2018

Summary 

  • Analysis suggests corn silage price depends on corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price, the price received by farmers for milk, and corn grain price.
  • Analysis for NY suggests that estimated corn silage price is most sensitive to corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price and corn grain price.
  • Price estimates combined with understanding of relevant supply and demand factors from an individual farm business owner's perspective can aid decision making regarding corn silage price.  Given recently available alfalfa hay and corn grain prices (May through July, 2018, and August 14, 2018, respectively), price analysis for NY suggests an estimated corn silage price of about $41 per ton.  The Fall 2017 estimate was about $54 per ton.


Crop Alert

Mike Stanyard, Team Leader, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: July 27, 2018
Crop Alert

Timely observations, information, and control strategies for managing pests, fertility, and current conditions on northwestern NY farms.






Dairy

Dairy

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Livestock

Grazing

Grazing

Forages

Forages

Grains

Grains

calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Calving and Neonatal Calf Care Training **CLASS FULL**

October 26 - November 9, 2018
Two-day program, held two weeks apart: Oct 26th and Nov 9th, each meet at 9:30 a.m - 3:00 p.m.

Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY are holding a two-day Calving and Neonatal Calf Care Training at several locations in October and November.  
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2018 Feed Dealer Seminar with guest speakers Dr. Tom Overton and Dr. Kristen Reed, Ph.D.

December 14, 2018
11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. with lunch provided
Batavia, NY

The Feed Dealer Seminars are specifically targeted for nutritionists, veterinarians, crop and management consultants, extension educators, and dairy producers with specific interest in nutrition-oriented topics. They are designed to blend the latest concepts in feeding and other management aspects of dairies with field level application. They have been conducted annually as a road show with multiple sites in New York for many years with an additional Vermont location held during the past several years in collaboration with the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance.


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Corn Congress - Batavia Location

Event Offers DEC Credits

January 9, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Batavia, NY

Check back periodically for more updates.
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Announcements

WNY SOIL HEALTH ALLIANCE WORKSHOP & ANNUAL MEETING 12/19

Dec 19, 2018, 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Rd. Batavia, NY. Kris Nichols will be presenting information on Regenerative Farming Practices and Hands-On Tools for Assessing Soil Health. John Wallace will be presenting Penn State research on Weed Management and Soil Health practices. For more information contact: Dennis Kirby at 585-589-5959. DEC & CCA credits pending. 

NYS Ag & Markets is interested in hearing from NY dairy farmers

NYS Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets is interested in hearing from NY dairy farmers regarding the status of the dairy industry and their ideas as to improvements that could be made to various programs and institutions that impact the financial environment of dairy markets.  The survey will remain open until December 3, 2018 The results of the survey will be collected and summarized by staff of the NYSDAM. The survey does not take long to complete.
https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GWC9YH3


Cornell Small Farms Online Courses are now open for registration!

There are more than 20 courses to help farmers of all experience levels improve their technical and business skills.
The full list of courses can be found here: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/online-courses/


Harvest Strategies and Forage Quality Monitoring for Corn Silage

A great deal of time is spent on the basics of an optimum corn silage harvest. This time is justified as these steps are critical to a successful harvest, where the decisions made during a very short time period impact the farm's production performance and economics for the upcoming year. These important decisions include harvesting at the proper dry matter, adequate kernel processing, proper length of cut, and proper packing and covering of bunk silos.  The following will cover additional considerations for understanding and managing the forage quality of the crop.  For more information, please visit Pro-DAIRY's website.

Latest Dairy Market Watch

An educational newsletter to keep producers informed of changing market factors affecting the dairy industry. Dairy Market Watch - Sept 2018

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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