Farm and Dairy’s week in review: 1/17

Week in Review 1/17

Here are this week’s top stories from Farm and Dairy:

1. Add heritage breed livestock to your farm

There are over 1,600 endangered livestock breeds worldwide. These heritage breeds boast desirable traits like natural endurance and resilience, and they offer genetic diversity to already existing herds and flocks.

Heritage breed livestock naturally adapt to their local environment. They’re excellent foragers, but they still require high quality feed and grain as well as shelter and fenced pasture.

2. Farming in the cold

Just because temperatures drop below zero doesn’t mean that farmers get to take days off of work. Milking, feeding and hauling manure can’t wait until the ground thaws. In the same way, machinery doesn’t always function well in frigid temperatures. Producers’ jobs tend to be more difficult in the winter when water lines are frozen, water bowls are broken and thawing tractors are time consuming. Regardless of the number on the thermostat, farmers continue to perform their normal everyday duties and keep operations running smoothly.

3. Dairy farming helped prepare Farnsworths for careers

Life skills are acquired through experience, and that holds true for Russ and Amanda Farnsworth. The Farnsworth siblings grew up on their family’s dairy farm in Medina, Ohio, not realizing that their daily chores would teach them responsibility, self-motivation, how to take on challenges and workplace skills.

Now, Russ is a licensed auctioneer and realtor, while Amanda is a registered veterinary technician. Both Farnsworths can attest to the impact their farm upbringing has had on their careers.

4. Recent grain market mystery solved

After three years of looking into a strange non-convergence in market prices, researchers have finally arrived at the answer as to why cash prices and futures prices weren’t coming together.

Back in 2005, cash prices and futures prices weren’t converging like they normally do. By September 2008, wheat futures were $2 higher per bushel than the spot price. The blame was put on futures speculators at the time. Now, researchers have determined that a difference in storage rate was behind the confusion that began ten years ago.

5. Tallmadge barn fire kills 15 horses

As of Jan. 12, no cause had been determined for the the barn fire that killed 15 Arabian, Standardbred and a Haflinger gelding at Mindale Farms in Tallmadge. By the time Nancy Csonka, a caretaker on the farm, knew that the barn was on fire, there was nothing she could do to get the horses out or to stop the fire.

Workers had placed portable heaters near frozen pipes to thaw them, but that hasn’t been ruled the cause of the fire. Overheating plumbing-related heating devices to thaw frozen pipes  is one of the most frequent causes of barn fires in the United States.


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