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Reading ‘Cow Signals': Upcoming Workshop

Posted: March 4th, 2015 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

Join us for a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the ‘Cow Signals’ program! Dr. Hubert Karreman will be on hand in both a classroom and a barn session.

When: Tuesday March 24, 2015

Where: Bridport,VT and Shoreham, VT

Cows send out signals continuously about their health, well-being, nutrition, and production. The challenge is how to interpret these signals and use them to maximize cow health and well-being. The ‘Cow Signals’ program teaches farmers how to interpret the behavior and physical characteristics of groups of cows and individuals.

Learn More: Click on the picture below to view the pdf of the event.

Cow Signals March 15

 

 

 

 

 

Register: https://www.regonline.com/cowsignals

Enter to Win a Door Prize

Posted: March 4th, 2015 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

The survey helps us gauge local farmer practices, adoption, needs, and interests.

It also helps direct our future workshops, events, and research.

Click on the picture to go to the survey.

2015 Survey

Win a free year of goCrop!

Or one of these great books from SARE:

Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition

Building Soils for Better Crops, 3rd Edition

Symposium Success!

Posted: February 25th, 2015 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

 

The 2015 No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium was a huge success! We are already processing the evaluations to continue to   improve and advance the conversation. If you missed the symposium, or would like to revisit the information, we have posted the pdf files of the presenters.

Check it out!

 

 

Participate in the Annual Vermont Farm Show!

Posted: January 12th, 2015 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

Judging hay at the 2014 Vermont Farm Show.

Judging hay at the 2014 Vermont Farm Show.

The annual Vermont Farm Show will be held on January the 27th-29th (Tues-Thurs), at the Champlain Valley Expo, in Essex Junction, VT. All community members are welcome and there is something for everyone! Children, and children at heart, always enjoy the equipment and animals on display, the public can come learn about innovative agriculture practices happening in their community, and ‘foodies’ will enjoy the Wednesday ‘Buy Local Market’. There will be opportunities to have friendly and engaging conversation with a variety of representatives in the agricultural community – from seed, machinery and product vendors, trade organizations, Extension agents, state and national technical advisers, and financial organizations.

Growers, artists and home-chefs can submit products for the annual product competition. Many types of products will be on display including maple syrup and maple products, vegetables, apples, field crops, Christmas trees and wreaths, honey, eggs, home goods, and fiber arts. The UVM Middlebury Extension office is your local drop-off site for product entries. Please drop off entries by noon on Monday January 26th. Just be sure to fill out your tag with appropriate information and follow product entry rules. For more information about the Farm Show and the product entry rules, visit the website: http://www.vtfarmshow.com or call (802) 461-8774. Feel free to contact the UVM Extension Middlebury office, (802) 338-4969 or (800) 956-1125, e-mail: champlain.crops@uvm.edu or stop by: 23 Pond Lane Suite 300, Middlebury, VT.

Save the Date!

Posted: December 23rd, 2014 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

Don’t miss this event! Our No-Till and Cover Crop Symposium with be held February 19th, 2015.

It will be located at the Sheraton, in Burlington, VT.

More information to come (see link in side panel).

COVER CROP FIELD DAYS…Don’t Miss This!

Posted: October 23rd, 2014 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

Join the UVM Extension’s Champlain Valley Crop Soil & Pasture Team and Northwest Crops & Soils Program, the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition and local farms to check out what farmers around the Champlain Valley are doing on their farms to fit cover crops into their cropping systems.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FIELD DAY FLYER

RSVP Today @ (802) 388-4969 or  champlain.crops@uvm.edu

Friday, October 31st • Pouliot Farm • 1:00-3:00 PMpouliot cc
1478 VT Route 128, Westford, VT  05494
See annual ryegrass, white clover and forage radish mixed right in with Urea and seeded at sidedress time in July.  The Pouliots got a great catch, and now we can see how it survived the traffic during harvest, talk to the farmers about whether or not it competed with the corn, their herbicide program and see what they might change for next year.  An added bonus…Tony will bring out the Great Plains twin-row corn planter.

Thursday, November 6th • Vorsteveld Farm • 1:00-3:00 PM
1/3 Mile East of Panton Village on Panton Rd.
The Vorstevelds welcome us back to get a look at the cover crops that have been growing since mid-August, see the results of manure injection and more.  We’ll also see how their winter rye, winter wheat, oat, radish  cover crop is doing  that they seeded immediately after corn harvest…and how that cover crop did after manure was injected right after seeding.  We can also talk to the Vorstevelds about their ‘minimum till’ system they have been using on their heavy clay soils.  clifford_cig

Friday, November 7th • Clifford Farm • 1:00-3:00 PM
6147 VT Route 116, Starksboro, VT 05487
Check out results of two different cover crop studies – all in one field.  See 10 different three-way cover crop mixes, each planted in July, August and September.  We’ll also take a look at a research plots with winter rye drilled and broadcast, with and without Tillage Radish planted in mid-September.  All of these plots also have portions with and without manure applications.  We’ll also take a look at winter rye broadcast and rolled – per NRCS specifications.

RSVP Today @ (802) 388-4969 or  champlain.crops@uvm.edu

PLUS…Two more workshops in Franklin County:

Nov. 10th 1:00—3:00: A Tour of Cover Crops in St. Albans Bay (St. Albans)

Meet us at our office at 278 S. Main St, St. Albans BEFORE 1pm to join this tour. Depending on numbers, we may rent some vans.
Please RSVP by November 6.

Nov. 12th 1:00—3:00: Cover Crops at Borderview Research Farm (Alburgh)

Come learn about cover crops and our NWCS research looking at cover crop varieties, planting dates, and seeding rates at this field day at Roger and Claire Rainville’s Borderview Research Farm, 146 Line Road, Alburgh, VT
Directions: From Route 2 in Alburgh, turn onto Route 225 (Border Road). Drive toward the Canadian Border. As you approach the border, turn Left just BEFORE Customs. In front of you, there will be a dirt road (Line Road) that
goes West along the border. Borderview Farm is the first farm on the Left.

To RSVP for the Franklin County workshops by Nov. 6th:
Susan Brouillette at (802) 524-6501 x432 or susan.brouillette@uvm.edu

 

Manure and Cover Crops

Posted: July 7th, 2014 by Kirsten Workman

Manure and Cover Crops…A Winning Combination

by Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional

Fall applied manure is often a subject of concern – for farmers, water quality advocates and even the general public. As you know, most farmers have the conundrum of having ideal field conditions for spreading manure in the fall (dry, open, great weather oftentimes) and a need for making sure they have adequate winter storage, but not wanting to lose out on the nutrients in that manure.. Especially producers who farm heavier soils with higher clay content, that try and avoid as much spring tillage as possible. If you are a no-till farmer, you know even better that fall applied manure without incorporation will not yield much of that nitrogen for you next year’s corn crop. You can lose up to 90% of your ammonium nitrogen with the right (or rather wrong) conditions.

fall manure credits

from Nutrient Recommendations for Field Crops in Vermont

So how do we make the most of fall applied manure… plant a cover crop, of course!! Fall applied manure as part of the establishment of a cover crop can be a win-win. Not only do you better utilize your manure, potentially doubling the amount of nitrogen retained, but your cover crop will perform better too. This all leads to better soil coverage, less erosion, better nutrient cycling, and lower fertilizer costs. Not a bad deal!

Last fall, we conducted a small demo/experiment at the Farm at VYCC in Richmond, Vt. Although this is not ‘scientific research’ per se, we did utilize a randomized split block design with three different treatments with and without manure. On October 2nd, we seeded 100 pounds of winter triticale per acre with different treatments of ‘Purple Bounty’ hairy vetch…either 10, 20 or 30 pounds per acre with the triticale. Five days later, liquid dairy manure was broadcast over half of all the plots at a rate of around 4,000 gallons per acre. We then measured percent cover one month later in November 2013 and then collected forage samples to analyze nutrient content, measured biomass, and re-measured percent cover on May 15th, right before the cover crop was plowed down. We found that the plots that received manure out performed those that didn’t in all aspects that were measured. Not surprisingly, a fertilized cover crop does better!! Plus you have better utilized your fall manure. The manured plots had double the biomass, double the nitrogen and phosphorus and potassium, and roughly one and half times the soil coverage in the fall and spring.

These plots have now been plowed down and were planted to ‘Early Riser’ corn (an 80 day flint/dent variety) on June 7th. No starter fertilizer was applied, and PSNT’s will be taken to make a recommendation for nitrogen later in the season.

vycc data

There is more to come on this topic. This fall will be commencing a two year research project that will investigate combinations of winter rye and tillage radish (in comparison to straight winter rye) established with diary manure. We hope to determine if the addition of the radish in manured systems can amplify winter rye’s effectiveness as a winter cover crop. We also hope to determine the most effective seeding rates and establishment methods.

vetch-cropped

Innovation is in the air…and on the ground

Posted: June 23rd, 2014 by Kirsten Workman

by Kirsten Workman, Agronomy Outreach Professional

(Originally published on the WAgN Blog on May 28, 2014)

 

The growing season if finally starting to take hold. I have seen corn plants poking through the ground, vegetable crops starting to look like something edible, and first cut hay is on the ground in some places with hopes of a dry day to bale tomorrow. And with a new growing season comes all the hope and suspense of another year…all the potential for the best year ever or the worst, or maybe something in between. Farmers are going all out this week. We may not be able to predict what the weather will do this year, but one thing is for certain. Farmers in Vermont are innovative.

Planting Green:  no-till planting corn into a standing crop of winter rye

Planting Green: no-till planting corn into a standing crop of winter rye

As I traveled from farm to farm today, I had the pleasure of talking with several different farmers – all of whom are trying something new this year. I saw fields of winter rye that were ‘planted green,’ that is no-till planted corn into standing rye before the cover crop was terminated. Innovation. I measured out 16 strips in a soon-to-be corn field with one farmer to help analyze two different reduced tillage systems this year. Innovation. He wants to interseed three different cover crops over those strips once the corn is up. Innovation. Another farm rounded out a SARE partnership project that analyzed two different cover crop mixes by no-till planting corn into those cover crops right next to a conventionally managed part of the field to see how these two systems will perform on his farm. Innovation. Another farm asked to borrow our GPS and try their hand at some precision agriculture. Innovation. A vegetable farmer is trying out different strategies to implement cover crops in his rotations for green manure, weed suppression, mulch and livestock forage. Innovation. A soybean grower has just modified his corn planter so he can no-till soybeans in 30-inch rows and will be trying out higher populations and some interseeded cover crops in those same soybeans. Innovation. I talked to three farms who have agreed to partner on a cover crop mixture demonstration project and will be hosting field days on their farms to share the results. Innovation. I have spoken with several farmers this week growing new crops like chicory, quinoa, and berseem clover.  Innovation.  I emailed with a new member of the Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition who is excited to be part of a farmer-based watershed group looking to protect Lake Champlain and thriving agriculture in Vermont. Innovation.

As you walk around your own farms, identify the many ways you are being innovative. As you drive down the road, what are your neighbor farmers doing to be innovative? If you see some fields this year that look a little different – instead of wondering if something went wrong, maybe its just another Vermont farmer trying something new.

Here’s to Innovation!

A grain grower marking out strips in a field to compare tillage practices.

A grain grower marking out strips in a field to compare tillage practices.

Winter rye with hairy vetch used for a green manure before vegetables and ear corn.

Winter rye with hairy vetch used for a green manure before vegetables and ear corn.

Chicory planted with grass, clover and alfalfa in a pasture

CVFC Hosts Annual Meeting

Posted: December 6th, 2013 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

Champlain Valley Farmer Coalition invites you to listen, learn, & add your voiceCVFC_Header

All farms in Vermont will be impacted by environmental regulations around water quality.  Join the discussion to find out how to work together as farmers and take the initiative to be proactive and be part of the solution.

Join us on January 8th at the Vergennes American Legion at 6:30 pm to:

  • Hear from fellow farmers about how they have dealt with water quality on their farms and the value they have gotten from their efforts
  • Hear from fellow farmers and the Secretary of Agriculture, Chuck Ross and DEC Commissioner, David Mears about what the state is doing to help farmers meet existing and new water quality standards affecting farms of all sizes in our state
  • Have your voice heard…join CVFC members and other farmers as we give input to state agency leaders about what framers are doing to protect water quality and how new and eixisting regulations will impact your farming operation
  • Learn about the CHAMPLAIN VALLEY FARMER COALITION, its vision and why you might want to joinCVFC_Tagline
  • Enjoy a social hour with h’orderves and a cash bar to catch up with farmers from around the Champlain Valley…it’s been a busy field season, so come enjoy some ‘chat time’ with your neighbors

CVFC Annual Meeting
January 8, 2014 | 6:00 – 8:30 PM
Vergennes American Legion

AGENDA

6:00 – 6:30
CVFC ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

6:30 – 7:00
SOCIAL TIME
Cash Bar & H’orderves:  catch up with friends & neighbors after a busy field season

7:00 – 8:30
PROGRAM
Farmer Panel, Chuck Ross, & David Mearsworking with farmers

8:30
Travel home or stick around for some more social time!!

RSVP

info@champlainvalleyfarmercoalition.com | (802) 388-4969

www.champlainvalleyfarmercoalition.com

Two Great Upcoming Events…Pastures & Cover Crops

Posted: October 26th, 2013 by Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team

The Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team is pleased to announce two fantastic events in November:

November 8th * 10:00 am to 11:30 pm  *  Ferrisburgh, VT
No-Till Cover Crop FIELD DAYinterseed

Can no-till, cover crop mixes and manure work in corn silage on the clay soils of the Champlain Valley??  We’re trying to find out.  Please join us at the site of one of our on-farm research trialsJoin the Champlain Valley Crop Soil & Pasture Team and Deer Valley Farm as we share our preliminary results from our  Cover Crop Diversity in No-Till Systems SARE Partnership Project.  Come check out our on-farm research plots of two different cover crop mixes in corn silage on CLAY SOIL

Click HERE for the Field Day flyer

RSVP to (802) 388-4969 or kirsten.workman@uvm.edu

 

November 14th  *  10:00 am to 2:30 pm  *  Bridport Community Hall
Champlain Valley Grazing SymposiumOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Join us as we wrap up this year’s grazing season and think ahead to next year! Come hear how planned grazing can be fun
and profitablee. Troy Bishopp, aka “The Grass Whisperer” is an accomplished grazier on his own farm in NY state, in addition to working with the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District/Upper Susquehanna Coalition as their regional grazing specialist. Troy brings a holistic approach to grazing planning by helping farmers chart a course that pays attention to their personal goals as well as their profits. Julie Smith, UVM Extension Dairy Specialist, will also be here to discuss how to manage and troubleshoot common herd health issues including Johne’s, BVD, and nutritional deficiencies. Julie’s focus is on biosecurity and preventive animal health management. Hope to see you there!

Click HERE for the Grazing Symposium flyer

Register & purchase tickets:  http://grazingsymposium2013.eventbrite.com/

 

Please join us for one or both of these fantastic events. 

If you have  any questions or need more information, please give us a call at (802) 388-4969 or email us at champlain.crops@uvm.edu.

SEE YOU THERE!

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