Farm and Dairy’s week in review: 10/31

Week in Review 10/31

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

1. Organic farming conference touts benefits of less inputs

As some farmers have tight profit margins and may even be struggling to make a profit, about 300 of Ohio’s organic farmers met at the fall version Organic Educational Day to discuss production and profitability.

One organic dairy farmer at the conference spoke about the benefits that hay has for soil. He also mentioned that for him, organic farming has led to high-yielding crops with fewer inputs.

2. International panel warns that meat causes cancer

According to decisions made by the International Agency for Research on Cancer earlier this week, red meat has been classified as “probably” carcinogenic and processed meats have been classified as carcinogenic. Consumption of red meat and processed meats is thought to increase the risk of colorectal cancer, based on studies.

However, the amount of meat that could cause cancer wasn’t disclosed, and experts have divided opinions.

3. California drought could boost indoor farming demand

Due to the ongoing drought, California has lost 1.2 million acres of food production over the past year. To fill that gap, Ohio’s indoor, controlled environment agriculture could be used.

Greenhouse growing and marketing isn’t easy, and basic business principles are needed to make operations profitable. New technology is being developed and new research is being conducted as growers find ways to maximize production and make the best use of inputs.

4. Compost barns a viable option for Ohio dairies

Described as “one-size fits all,” compost barns provide more comfort for cows and they’re more economical. A research study conducted by Ohio State University Extension from 2008-2009 found that compost bedded systems combine living and bedding systems with manure storage.

A compost barn is like a freestall barn, but instead of freestalls, the area is open. To begin the pack, one to two feet of sawdust is put down, fresh sawdust is added as cows lie down and the compost is stirred twice daily. The barn is cleaned out before winter and again in the spring.

5. How to put pick-your-own apples to good use

Oh, the joys of fall: crisp, cooler weather, pumpkin carving, hearty recipes and, of course, apple picking.

Farm and Dairy online columnist Ivory Harlow offers a couple resources for finding a pick-your-own orchard near you, plus her favorite apple varieties. And you don’t want to overlook her crockpot apple butter and apple crisp recipes. They’re sure to be crowd-pleasers!


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