It is hard to believe, but corn silage harvest will start soon on many dairy farms. Please review the following information as you prepare for the upcoming harvest. At this time in the growing cycle, the most important manageable factor that will influence the nutritional value of this year’s corn silage is maturity at chopping. […]
Numerous Ohio farmers hire workers to complete machinery operations and other farm related work due to lack of equipment, time or expertise. Many farm business owners do not own equipment for every possible job they encounter in the course of operating a farm. Instead of purchasing the equipment needed, they seek out someone with the […]
Last weekend’s heat was the most challenging for bovines of all ages (and their people) so far this year. Milking cows are usually the primary focus of heat stress abatement strategies, as they are the animals generating the most heat on the farm due to their size and their stages of lactation. While they are […]
As farmers, we know the cows must be milked rain or shine, hot or cold, sick or not, but what do you do when the unexpected happens? Who milks the cows, makes sure the feeding and other work gets done when the person responsible for those chores is unexpectedly unable to fulfill their duties? There […]
When couples marry, they do so with the outlook that it’s a life-long commitment. Have you considered what might happen to the assets you and your family have worked hard to accumulate if that commitment is broken? Farm and agricultural businesses often have high capital investments in land, machinery, livestock, and miscellaneous equipment. The typical […]
Beginning in 2012, a little discussed mandate in the health care reform legislation will require any business — including a farm — that purchases more than $600 of goods or services from another business or individual to submit a 1099 tax from to the Internal Revenue Service.
As I was trying to determine a topic for this week’s column, I began thinking as I drove through several different counties that — with all the farm work that seems to be taking place all at once — maybe stress would be a good topic to revisit. Seasonal stress The seasonal stress of trying […]
Compensation of farm employees is a critical component of agriculture today. Farm employers must provide adequate levels of compensation if they expect to attract and retain quality employees while also maintaining a profitable farm business. Surveys As Extension professionals we are often consulted by farm owners about employee compensation and what they should expect to […]
The spring of 2010 has been exceptional. It has been great to see the progress our farmers are making across northeast Ohio and northwest Pennsylvania. This spring has just been tremendous! Today, I would like to remind producers about four great OSU Extension resources which are helping farmers keep their management skills on the cutting […]
The events of the past two years have given us cause to stop and ponder the quality of our life. Along the way, it would be good if we could take time to recognize some life-altering moments that provide the secure notion that dairy farming is indeed sustainable AND that we can feel satisfied with the quality of life that a dairy farm offers.
Cash flow planning. These are three words that typically inspire a response along the lines of “ugh,” “why?” or “never done it, never will.” If anything was ever going to happen to change that response, it would be the $1.50 drop in the Class III price from February to March, or more likely, the need […]
Blessed are those producing our food. Their resilience is unequaled; their patience, admirable. To me, they are a blessed mystery. Last year was arguably the worst year ever in our dairy industry. Some dairy farmers lost their lifelong savings — no big bailout for them. Yet, milk is still being produced, plentiful and wholesome. Laboring […]
After reading the Dairy Excel column in the March 25 issue about hiring teen workers and knowing the law, I began thinking, not only is it important to know the law, but also to understand this younger generation of workers. As a manager, you must realize that every generation has its own values and personal […]
It is always important to monitor the yield of milk and the composition of milk, especially for the individual farmer, because the income of the dairy farm depends on this source of revenue. The yields of protein and fat are the primary determinants of the price received by farmers. And the proportions of fat and […]
With the school year coming to a close in another month or so, many students will be looking for employment on farms. But are all students allowed to operate machinery, handle livestock, apply chemicals, or work unlimited hours? For the most part, the answer is no. Know the law As an employer, it is your […]
Farmstead and artisan cheese operations can allow farm families to become price-makers instead of price takers for their milk. A hands-on workshop in Ohio can show you how.
“Thinking outside of the box.” We use the phrase to refer to a nontraditional idea. Perhaps the exact definition isn’t so important, but we should never underestimate the value of such logic. Maybe the following 4-H dairy program is an example of an idea created outside of the normal parameters. Dairy “COW”reers Day will be […]
The cost of production number, combined with the four key numbers outlined in this article, will help each dairy farm define the point where the business is unlikely to be able to bounce back.
Have you thought about developing a public relations plan for your farm? As we look at the challenges facing agriculture, topping the list today is the Humane Society of the US (HSUS) and their attempt to place an issue on the November 2010 ballot. It will take the help of all farmers to help spread […]
While recently catching up on some reading, I saw an article that caught my interest. It was titled “Is your child ready for farm chores?” Since I work with dairy youth programs, this topic captured my curiosity. However, as a parent who had regularly enforced chores upon our sons, I had not posed such a […]