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Avoiding Summer Risks on Pasture

Small Dairy Educator Fay Benson and the South Central Dairy Team have scheduled three pasture walks designed to show how New York Farmers are using management practices to to mitigate summer challenges..  Farmers who graze their livestock know that May and June are the best months for grazing in the Northeast. Grazing is still good for the rest of the summer but has challenges: heat stress for the animals, lack of rain for the pastures and low production of the cool season grasses in the pastures.

Wed.  July 31 10:30 AM-2PM
Chedzoy’s Angus Glen Farm, 3050 Station Road, Watkins Glen, NY. 
Brett Chedzoy has given many talks on silvopasturing. His talks focus on animal welfare as well as benefits to the forest’s production. This event will give participants a chance to see what silvo-pasturing looks like after it has been in use for a number of years. Angus Glen is a multi generational farm that has used a number of conservation practices that benefit their beef herd. We will see areas that have been managed for silvopasturing for many years as well as areas they are currently transitioning to the practice.
Wed.  Aug 14th 11AM-2PM
Benson’s Bensvue Organic Dairy, 295 Lansingville Rd, Lansing, NY.
 2012 was a dry year for most of us in the Northeast. This was a problem for organic dairies that are required to provide 30% of the cow’s diet from pasture for 120 days. Last summer Chandler Benson struggled to find fresh pasture for his 350 milking animals. His solution for the future was to have his father, Chuck Benson, dig a 5 million gallon pond in the middle of their grazing system. For those attending this event we will see the irrigation system and how it can be used to mitigate the risk of drought to a grazing system.
Chandler also planted Sanfoin, a legume used in Russia and Saskatchewan Canada. We will take a tour of the plot to see how it works in Central New York.
Wed.  Aug 21st 11AM-2PM
Doug and Martsje Riehlman, 6242 Rt 11, Homer, NY
The Riehlmans intensively manage their high value acreage to provide feed for their dairy. After the shortage of forage last year, they sought to maximize yields during the summer months. They took off the 1st cutting and intend to plant a Sudan Grass Hybrid. Dairy Consultant, Aden Landis from Kirkwood, PA, will discuss how summer annuals can maximize production through the use of double cropping on dairy farms.
These pasture walks are supported by the USDA’s Risk Management Agency and the NYS Dept. of Agriculture & Markets. Fay Benson will provide information on crop insurance tools to manage risks on farms. For more information on crop insurance go to: http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/AP/CropInsurance.html
Please RSVP to help us plan lunch, which will be provided at each of the events with funding from the NY GLCI. Contact Sharon VanDeuson at 607-753-5078 or shv7@cornell.edu
For more information on the series contact Fay Benson at Cortland Cooperative Extension, 607-753-5213 or afb3@cornell.edu

Violet Stone

Violet Stone

Violet is the coordinator of the Reconnecting with Purpose project, which offers farm and food system educators and change makers a retreat space to explore challenges and renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives. She is also a collaborator on the Be Well Farming Project. This project creates reflective spaces for farmers and food producers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster quality of life. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.
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