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Corn Silage Harvest Quickly Approaching

As always this crop season has brought unique opportunities and challenges for corn silage. PRO-DAIRY's Joe Lawrence compares and contrasts 2018 with the last two years to look at the potential timing of this year’s harvest in his article Corn Silage Harvest Quickly Approaching.

"This season brought excessively dry and drought conditions for much of the state. However, relief from the drought came three to four weeks earlier than it did in 2016, aiding in pollination and more normal late season development of the crop. Therefore, we should not expect the extended dry down period that was observed in many areas in 2016.

In terms of GDD accumulation, 2018 was above average in May, below average in June and above average in July and August (to date). While the slight deficit in June may have led to a slower start for corn planted in late May, that deficit was erased by the end of July as we continue to accumulate above average heat units.

GDD accumulation for corn planted in early May is even further above average and current forecasts suggest that most areas of the state will end August with GDD accumulation (since May 1) between 125 and 150 GDD’s above average. To translate that into calendar days, based on average GDD accumulation in late August and early September, this puts use seven to 10 calendars ahead of average since May 1.

Past research by Bill Cox at the Cornell Aurora Research Farm provides approximate GDD accumulation needed from silking to the crop reaching 32 percent dry matter (DM) for 96 to 115 day relative maturity (RM) corn. Based on this we would expect that corn below 96 day RM will take 750 GDD or slightly less."

2018: Bunker Silo Safety Reminder from the OSHA Work Group

Harvest season brings increasing demands and lengthened working hours, but no harvest is worth loss of life or injury. New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA), New York Farm Bureau (NYFB) and Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY have prepared a sample of items to cover for pre-harvest preparation and safety meetings in an article on Bunker Silo SafetyBunker Silo Safety.

EZ Acres Economic and Environmental Sustainability

EZ Acres and the McMahon family have long been recognized for their leadership in environmental stewardship, including their receipt of the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award from the Innovation Center for US Dairy in 2018. Cornell Cooperative Extension profiles their efforts in an article in their Whole Farm Evaluation series titled: McMahon Family's Clear Vision Brings E-Z Acres Farm to Economic and Environmental Stewardship.

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Considerations when Evaluating Renewable Natural Gas Production on Dairy Farms

Biogas traditionally produced in the US by manure-based anaerobic digester (AD) systems has been used as a fuel source for engine-generator sets to produce renewable electrical energy. Recent changes in the value of renewable natural gas (RNG) stemming from California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) has resulted in farms seriously evaluating the use of biogas for RNG production. The Federal Renewable Fuel Standard for transportation fuels also has provisions for dairy-derived RNG. Many considerations need to be made as part of the due diligence process in considering a possible change. PRO-DAIRY's Peter Wright and Curt Gooch have co-authored an article Considerations When Evaluating Renewable Gas Production on Dairy Farms that provides background about the economics driving possible changes by farms, basic details about how value is assigned for RNG when used as a transportation fuel (nationally and in California), and estimates of the quantity of biogas a farm may have for processing into RNG once the parasitic thermal demand of the anaerobic digester is met.

Improving Employee Morale and Teamwork Without Breaking the Bank

When stressed we don't always respond in the best manner, which can be challenging to our employees. Learning how to coach and encourage farm employees with enthusiasm and grace helps your team become self-motivated and can take some weight off your shoulders. Fostering a team environment where everyone feels valued may lead to better performance during these low earning periods. PRO-DAIRY's Ashley Howlett provides ways to improve employee morale and teamwork without breaking the bank in her article Improving Employee Morale and Teamwork.

Prevent Sexual Harassment at Your Farm

Sexual harassment does not belong in any workforce. Beginning October 2018, all New York employers are required to have a prevention policy and training for employees. Dr. Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development, has compiled resources to help meet this requirement and to protect your farm business.

Save the Date!

Calving and Neonatal Calf Care Training
Regional statewide two-day training
October and November 2018

Reproductive Management Online Course
Begins November 2018

Academy for Dairy Executives
Sessions begin December 2018
Northern New York

Operations Managers Conference
January 22 - 23, 2019
Syracuse, New York

CDEP Management Symposium
February 26 - 27, 2019
Syracuse, New York

Herd Health and Nutrition Conference
April 8 - 9, 2019
Syracuse, New York

Calf Management Online Course

Begins April 2018

View PRO-DAIRY events online.

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