- Focus on Agriculture, by Jeff Carter
- News & Events
- Welcome Jonas & Merritt
- NCIS Crop Insurance, by Jake Jacobs
- Knowing Your Nutrient Mass Balance, by Rachel Orr
- Grazing at Islandacres Farm, by Cheryl Cesario [Feature Article]
- Water Quality Financial Analysis, by Tony Kitsos
- Putting a Public Face on the Pursuits of Farming, by Kirsten Workman
- Soil Depth and Nutrient Accumulation, by Kristin Williams
2018 Annual Crops & Soils Field Day
July 26 – Borderview Farm, Alburgh, Vt.
Join Heather Darby’s crew to learn about the many research projects going on behind the scenes at Borderview Farm. For more information visit go.uvm.edu/nwcropsoil or contact Susan Broulliette, 802-524-6501 ext.
432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Breakfast on the Farm
July 28 – Kayhart Brothers Farm, West Addison, Vt.
Join us and a host of event volunteers for an exciting free breakfast and tour of the Kayhart Brothers Farm. Steven and Tim operate 1,800 acres of farmland in the heart of Addison County. The Kayharts are also members of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition. Breakfast on the Farm is in its
fourth year, offering the public a unique opportunity to tour state-of-the-art facilities, meet farmers, pet cows (maybe even see one giving birth!), learn about conservation initiatives, and enjoy a free breakfast made with local dairy products. Tickets are required so get yours now online! Volunteers are also needed. Check out the website and spread the word:
Innovation in Crop and Nutrient Management Field Day
August 3 – Location TBD
Join us to learn about new and exciting ways to manage crops and nutrients on farms. Hear from regional and international speakers about innovative practices and equipment that can improve farm economics and natural resources. There will even be a live equipment demo after lunch! Contact Nate Severy for more information, 802-388-4969 ext. 348 or email@example.com.
Addison County Fair and Field Days
August 7-11 – 1790 Field Days Road, Vergennes, Vt.
We can’t believe it’s already that time of year again! Grab your maple creemee, come watch a hand mowing competition, see the latest 4-H projects, and be sure to visit our crop display located in the southeast corner of the 4-H Exhibit Hall. Our team spends the whole week at the fair in rotating shifts. We will show off our new grassland manure injector, the NRCS rainfall simulator and loads of info on our projects. AND of course,
we will be displaying your crops! Farmers, we NEED your entries to make our display a success! Contact our office (802-388-4969) with entry questions and drop off entries at the fairgrounds by noon Monday, August 6.
Agricultural Water Quality Business Help Ongoing through September
We know these are tough times to be in business, and the UVM Extension Agriculture Business Program is still offering financial reviews and cash flow analysis on projects related to compliance with the RAPs water quality regulations. This grant-funded assistance will end in the fall and if you are thinking of contacting them, do so before the funding ends! See page 5
for more information on this program or contact Tony Kitsos, 802-524-6501 ext. 440, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions can be directed to our office, 802-388-4969
By Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional
As seen in our Summer 2018 Newsletter – but including additional links below.
Farming is often a solitary pursuit. While it takes a team to make a farm succeed, daily activities often happen in solitude. Whether it is in the milk house, greenhouse, fields, tractor, shop or office, very few people will
ever “see” you at work. While that is often viewed as a positive, it also leads to a disconnect between farmers and neighbors.
Why does this matter? Try to remember the last negative interaction with someone outside the farming industry. Was this a result of lack of knowledge and understanding? Misinformation? Perhaps partially your responsibility for not considering how farming endeavors impact a neighbor? Regardless, I have found that when the farming community
opens up to the nonfarming community, the results can be powerful.
Many neighbors have no idea what you do and may be too uncomfortable to ask. I have been at public farm tours where neighbors came into a dairy barn and said, “I drive by here every day and never knew there were cows in these buildings.” People who drive by your farm often think bunker
silos are compost bins. Gone are the days when everyone’s grandparents or aunts and uncles were farmers. Folks no longer spend summer weekends helping family or neighbor bring in hay or crops. Seeing a tractor in
front of them on a state highway only makes them think about being late to an important appointment. Landlords who own your rented fields don’t always understand that manure is an organic fertilizer which makes their
hay field greener, replenishes nutrients, and builds soil health. Herbicides and insecticides, regardless of their form, are as taboo a topic as politics
It is difficult to make time to share farming information and justify the hours away from “productive” pursuits. However, I argue that putting a face on farming is a worthwhile endeavor. It isn’t always comfortable or easy. Without a personal connection to a farm it is easy to lump you in with all the negative press and assume all farms are the problem. However, when these folks are invited to visit your farm, they learn just how much goes into
your daily farming pursuits and hopefully that will have a lasting effect.
Looking For Ways To Get Involved With The Public? Here Are A Few Examples:
Breakfast on the Farm – Don’t be intimidated by the scale of this event. It is well-organized and supported by hundreds of volunteers and experts who are there to represent you and the farming community well. Want to learn more? Volunteer on July 28 and see what it’s all about.
Social Media – A low impact way to share your farming endeavors. Here are some great local examples:
- Gervais Family Farm
- Richardson Family Farm
- Champlainside Farm
- Jericho Settlers Farm
- Wayward Goose Farm
- Champlain Orchards
- Golden Russet Farm
- North Williston Cattle Company
Open Farm Week – A Dig In Vermont coordinated, week long event. For a small fee, any farm can participate and be promoted across the state. You must welcome visitors and host some sort of farm activity. However, technical assistance is available to help create a valuable on-farm experience for participants.
Crops Exhibit and Farm Product Contests – Join the competition at Addison County Field Days or Vermont Farm Show with hay, crops, honey, eggs and vegetables. Not only can you earn blue ribbons, premiums and bragging rights; you help us educate the public about farming in Vermont.
Cabot Open Farm Sunday – Cabot Creamery and AgriMark Farms can participate in Cabot’s Open Farm Sunday in October.
Workshops/Field Days/Tours – Volunteer! The next time your friendly Extension Agent, Crop Consultant, Feed Consultant, or Politician asks if you’ll host a group at your farm…just say YES!
Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition – Join the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition and find like-minded farmers with good tips and tricks on engaging the public on your farm. Other farmer organizations in Vermont include Farmer’s Watershed Alliance and Connecticut River Watershed Farmers Alliance.
Contact Kirsten Workman if you’d like to host an event! 802-388-4969
Sign Up – Coming Soon – For Our Fall Grazing Class 2018!
Middlebury, VT October 18, 25, November 1, 8, 2018
Poultney, VT November 27, December 4, 11, 18, 2018
The fee is $40 which includes The Art and Science of Grazing book by Sarah Flack.
- Want to change from confinement or set rotation to management intensive grazing?
- Have a grazing plan, but want to better understand how to implement it?
- Need grazing infrastructure (e.g. fence, water, animal trails) and would like to design a system that may qualify for NRCS financial assistance?
- Pasture nutrition and animal performance
- Carrying capacity, stocking rate vs. density
- System design and infrastructure needs
- Management to avoid overgrazing
- Soil, plant and animal health
- Record keeping
In addition to 4 class dates, there will also be opportunity for one-on-one consultation.
Registration Online Coming July 2018!
For more information or questions, contact Cheryl Cesario- 802-388-4969 ext. 346 or 1-800-956-1125
This program is supported with a grant from:
- Veenhuis Euroject 1200 grassland injector.
- Dragline manure application.
- Hicks Sales LLC (Vermont Veenhuis dealer) will be on hand to talk about this technology and other models available in the United States.
- Eric Severy, Matthew’s Trucking, will share his experience and expertise with manure injection and talk about how the equipment works and what situations might be best suited for it.
- UVM Extension Agronomists will discuss the benefits of injection and how it can reduce runoff and increase yields.
- Farmers will share their experience using other forms of manure injection.
- Find out more about how to get this grassland injector on your farm.
Grazing Field Day at Islandacres
Thursday, June 14th – 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
353 Route 2 , South Hero, Vt 05486
Join us for a grazing field day at Islandacres Farm in South Hero. Grazing consultant Sarah Flack and Cheryl Cesario of UVM Extension will lead a pasture walk with farmer Steve Robinson of Islandacres. Steve and his family are transitioning their 70-cow dairy to management-intensive grazing. They have seeded down 60 acres to perennial pasture as a way to mitigate the risk of annual cropping systems. We will look in-depth at this newly designed system and hear about the benefits and challenges of a transition to grazing. Discussion on grazing topics will be from both the plant’s and the animal’s perspective. With help from NRCS funding, this farm is investing in fence, animal trails, and a water system for efficient grazing to maximize the land base. Islandacres has been a top quality milk producer for 30 years with a focus on animal health and production. Come see how they are adopting these new management practices!
$20, including lunch provided by NOFA-VT Mobile Pizza Oven
Funding provided by:
- Northeast SARE
- Ben & Jerry’s Caring Dairy
- South Hero Land Trust
Special thanks to The Robinson Family
Contact Cheryl Cesario with questions.
Focus on Agriculture, by Jeff Carter
News and Events
Remembering Bob Parsons
Managing Agricultural Risk, Jake Jacobs
Welcome Rachel Orr!
SMART Goals and Grants, Cheryl Cesario
The Things You Discover on Your Way to Discovery, Kristin Williams
Nutrient Management is More than Just a Plan, Kirsten Workman
Spring into No-Till Seedings, Nate Severy
Got Questions? Contact Us! 802-388-4969
April 1 or 14: Manure Spreading Ban Reminder.
The annual manure spreading ban Dec 15-April 1, OR Oct 15 – April 14 on mapped “frequently flooded soils” is lifting; please remember that the RAPs dictate manure should not be spread on frozen, saturated or snow covered ground (without exemption). For questions about spreading contact VAAFM (802) 828-2431.
April 11: No-Till and Cover Crops: A Systems Approach.
10:30 am-12:30 pm. Monument Farms Hamilton Shop, Hamilton Rd, Weybridge, VT. Hosted by Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition, The Champlain Valley Crop, Soils, and Pasture Team, along with Jeff Sanders of the Northwest Crops and Soils Program. We will lead a hands on discussion of practical tips, advice, and steps farmers can make to be successful when moving to a reduced or no-till system on their farm. We will have a no-till planter on display, and share research and observations of what does and doesn’t work with no-till and cover crop systems in Vermont. RSVP online, or by contacting Nate – 802-388-4969 ext. 348
April 18: McKenzie Brook Meeting.
10:00 am-12:00 pm. At Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team office, UVM Extension, Middlebury, VT. This is only for farmers in McKenzie Brook Watershed and for those providing technical assistance. RSVP or for questions, contact us at 802-388-4969 or George Tucker at 802-771-3032.
April 19: Compost Farm and Barn Tour.
10:30 am-12:00 pm. 1090 South Middlebrook Rd, Vergennes, VT. Join the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition and UVM Extension as we visit a compost bedded pack barn. We will tour the entire facility to see and discuss how the pack is managed daily and seasonally, and we will discuss the economic and animal health benefits of this new housing system in comparison to a tradition manure management system. Contact Nate Severy for more information 802-388-4969 ext. 348.
April 20: Next VT NRCS EQUIP Funding Pool Deadline.
VT NRCS Deadline: EQIP Cropland Funding Pool application deadline of 4/20/2018 for fall 2018 cover cropping, erosion control projects, nutrient management practices. This maybe the last opportunity for 2018 funding. For questions call your local USDA-NRCS office. In Middlebury, contact 802-388-6748.
April 27: Cover Crop Demo and Research Field Day.
10:30 am-12:30 pm. Hemingway Hill Rd, Shoreham, VT. Come see our demonstration project looking at strips of winter wheat, barley, rye, triticale with and without oats. We will also be discussing the various research and demonstration projects we have going on in the area, including work with NRCS on watershed planning in McKenzie and East Creek. Contact Nate Severy for more information 802-388-4969 ext. 348.
Deadline April 30: Nominate Dairy Farmer of the Year.
This program through UVM Extension awards a farm each year. Great milk quality, innovation on the farm, progressive management practices, community service and ambassadorship for the industry are all characteristics of past recipients. To submit a nomination, go here, and click on the right hand link “nominate a farmer”.
Through April On-Going: Farm Business Clinics.
This is an opportunity for farmers to meet privately, one-on-one, for 90 minutes with a UVM Extension Farm Business staff member. Meetings are conveniently scheduled at various locations across Vermont. Use the time to develop a balance sheet, update financial statements, review a business plan, consider changes to your business, and more. Registration is $25. For more information about this program contact 1-866-860-1382, or register online at go.uvm.edu/businessclinics2018
On-Going Survey: Voluntary, Anonymous, Subsurface Tile Drainage Survey of VT Farms.
By gaining a better understanding of the acreage and cropland impacted, as well as the conservation opportunities made available by installing drainage systems, the NW Crops and Soils team is evaluating how tile drainage has mitigated financial and environmental risk on VT Farms. All VT Farmers are invited to participate in this survey. You are free to not answer any questions and/or withdraw at any time. If you choose to participate in the survey, it will take about 10 minutes to complete, and all information collected is anonymous. More information can be found here, or to take the survey, click here.
2018 Vermont Farm Show – January 30, 31 and February 1, 2018 Your product entries for the Vermont Farm Show can be dropped off at a nearby Extension office or other location by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 26 or drop them off at the Champlain Valley Expo on Monday, January 29 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (judging starts at 4:00 p.m.). Give us a call to find out which offices are participating and what the rules are. Read more about the farm show at www.vtfarmshow.com. We hope to see you there!
Nutrient Management Planning (NMPs)
Winter is the time to create and update your plan. NMP classes begin in January. If you need an NMP but don’t have one, please contact your local conservation district to get the process started for next winter’s classes. NMP update sessions for those farmers who have already taken our class and finished an NMP with us will be held in February and March. Tentative dates in Middlebury are February 8 and 15, and March 8 and 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. An RSVP is requested – please call our office to confirm you are coming. Remember, an NMP has to be updated every year to be accurate and reflect Vermont RAPs regulations. If you need to find out whether your operation is required to have an NMP call us, 802-388-4969, or check out Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) online at go.uvm.edu/raps.
8th Annual Organic Dairy Producers Conference
Thursday, March 15, 2018 at Vermont Technical College. More details to follow at go.uvm.edu/crop-soil-events.
Farm Business Clinics
The clinics will run from January through April 2018. This is an opportunity for farmers to meet privately, one-on-one, for 90 minutes with a UVM Extension Farm Business staff member. Meetings are conveniently scheduled at various locations across Vermont. Use the time to develop a balance sheet, update financial statements, review a business plan, consider changes to your business, and more. Registration is $25. For more information about this program contact 1-866-860-1382, or register online at go.uvm.edu/businessclinics2018. Ongoing Water Quality Business Planning is an additional in-depth program also offered by UVM Extension.
5th Annual No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium – March 1, 2018 DoubleTree by Hilton (formerly the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center) in Burlington, Vt.
Registration Is Now Open
Learn the latest techniques! Discover how your neighbors are using this integrated system of cover crops and no (or less) tillage to create better soil health, increase profitability and meet water quality goals. Learn from other farmers, talk to your local ag dealers about equipment or seed, speak to NRCS about funding, listen to regional and national experts, and hear about research at UVM and in nearby states. This is the fifth year of this conference! If you haven’t come in a couple years, now is the time to come back and celebrate. Let’s keep the momentum going! For more information and to register go to go.uvm.edu/ntcc.