Home » Archives for Fay Benson

Posts by Fay Benson

Pasture Soil Compaction: A Slow, but Stealthy Thief of Pasture Productivity

By Fay Benson / July 5, 2021

Soil compaction by grazing animals leads to loss of pore space, which can have tangible impacts on pasture productivity. I had a pasture soil compaction epiphany while working in a St. Lawrence County pasture on a NE SARE-supported project. The project was to plant radishes and other brassicas into established pasture swards. The goal was…

Read More

New York Organic Dairy Market: The Silver Lining to the Dark Cloud of COVID-19

By Fay Benson / October 20, 2020

With more than 600 dairies, New York has more organic dairies than any other state.  Four months have passed since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shutdown of nearly all aspects of people’s lives. In the food markets, the shutdown impacted everything from production to processing as well as how consumers purchased their food. Even though…

Read More
dairy cows grazing fay benson

Reducing Dairy Production Costs Through the Use of Pasture

By Fay Benson / May 6, 2020

The current and future disruption of the dairy industry will require producers to think outside the box and possibly inside the fence. Two dairy enterprises that can benefit the most from pasture are the heifers and cull cows. Raising livestock on pasture can reduce the cost of production for certain groups of dairy animals. Allowing…

Read More
dairy cows grazing fay benson

USDA Puts Northeast Organic Dairies at a Disadvantage

By Fay Benson / January 13, 2020

Raising an organic dairy heifer can be costly.  The first year of a dairy heifer’s life has the highest per day costs mainly due to the whole milk fed and labor required for young calves. This fact is the reason why the inaction of the USDA to close a known loophole in the National Organic Program (NOP) has allowed certain dairies to raise their young stock with conventional methods…

Read More
heads of grain against a blue sky

How to Establish Crop Production History for Crop Insurance

By Fay Benson / July 1, 2019

As the government moves away from disaster payments and programs, New York farmers are increasing their reliance on crop insurance to take some of the risk out of their cropping enterprises. During the period between 2007 and 2017, liabilities covered by New York farmers increased by 46% according to the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA)…

Read More
gran-crop-head-blue-sky

How to Establish Crop Production History for Crop Insurance

By Fay Benson / May 13, 2019

  As the government moves away from disaster payments and programs, New York farmers are increasing their reliance on crop insurance to take some of the risk out of their cropping enterprises. During the period between 2007 and 2017, liabilities covered by New York farmers increased by 46% according to the USDA Risk Management Agency…

Read More

Consider Bedded Pack Barns for Cow Comfort and Manure Management

By Fay Benson / January 14, 2019

Farmers who have used bedded packs were featured at the NY Certified Organic (NYCO) meeting on January 8, 2019. Small dairy farm operators in New York may soon be faced with the prohibition of winter spreading of manure by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. As an option to winter spreading, farmers considering updating barns…

Read More

Consider Deep Pack Barns for Cow Comfort and Manure Management

By Fay Benson / January 9, 2012

Small dairy farm operators may soon be confronted by the prohibition of winter spreading of manure. Any farmer looking to update their barns should consider a design that can accommodate a deep bedded pack (DBP) system. A DBP system incorporates animal feeding and manure storage into one open barn, and can be especially helpful to…

Read More

Why Consider Off-Farm Dairy Processing?

By Fay Benson / July 4, 2011

The purpose of this article is to help dairies that are interested in having their milk processed into salable dairy products. Off-farm processing will alleviate the considerable time, effort, and expense of creating a farmstead cheese house.  This alternative method of dairy processing can have benefits such as: Off farm processing reduces capital to enter…

Read More

Ghana: Putting A Face On 7 Billion People

By Fay Benson / July 4, 2011

How to feed the approaching world population of 7 Billion people has been a compelling question for me as I talk to farmers and educators in my work with Cornell Extension. There are many graphs and tables stating where the population is growing and rate that it is growing. Until recently, I assumed the general…

Read More