Here are this week’s top stories from FarmandDairy.com:
1. Fairfield County dairyman goes back to farm with new approach
Kyle Sharp grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Amanda, Ohio. After college, he spent 15 years working mostly off of the farm as a farm reporter and in the media industry. During this time, he talked to a lot of people and learned about other farms’ experiences, including organic farming.
Once Sharp convinced his dad to make the switch to organic, the farm saw positives, including higher and more consistent milk prices. Watch the video to hear from Kyle and how he’s made improvements on the farm.
2. Oil and gas downturn may not be all bad
In Carroll County, Ohio, there’s been a lull in oil and gas activity, giving the county the chance to get some infrastructure built to support the boom when it returns.
There isn’t much new upstream development, but low prices and a supply surplus mean that there are opportunities for midstream and downstream projects. Pipelines are under construction or are waiting to be constructed, the Carroll County Energy plant is under construction and farmers are investing in their operations again.
3. Columbiana County Fair loses naming donation for grandstand
The Columbiana County Fair Board confirmed last month that one of the donors for the fair’s grandstand has pulled out. The Green Family Trust had pledged $300,000 for the grandstand that was built in 2014. At that time, the grandstand was named in honor of Arnold C. Green, but it will no longer be the name of the facility.
The board received $25,000 from the family trust, and it will still be listed on the board of donors.
4. New drilling permits continue to decline: Just 16 in January
The Ohio Department of Natural Resources issued 16 permits last month, six of which went to Belmont County well sites. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued 126 permits — 114 for new wells and 12 for wells to be dug deeper. In West Virginia’s Northern Panhandle, 10 new Marcellus shale drilling permits were issued.
You can view an infographic of western Pennsylvania’s producing wells here.
5. Overcrowded barns could pose disease risk for cattle
Experts from Purdue University are warning producers about the risks of overcrowded barns during cold weather. Extreme cold or rapidly changing weather affects animals’ immune systems, putting them at greater risk of disease.
To combat the risk of disease, experts recommend that producers limit animals’ access to barns and other shelters. Another tip is to test forage so that animals’ performance requirements can be met.
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