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Last updated on  February 4th, 2014

Sustainable Food Trade Association Says Members Reducing Environmental Footprint: Click here
According to the Sustainable Food Trade Association's (SFTA) second annual Member Sustainability Progress Report, the organic food industry is taking giant strides to reduce its footprint in 11 areas from farm to retail. The 64 SFTA member companies make…

APHIS Determines Nonregulated Status for Genetically Engineered Soybean: Click here
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has determined that Dow AgroScience's soybean DAS-81419-2 is unlikely to pose a plant pest risk and will have nonregulated status. The soybean variety has been genetically engineered to resist the herbicide…

Santa Rosa High School Students Invited to Sustainable Agriculture Summer Academy: Click here
Santa Rosa Junior College's Shone Farm is offering a free, two-week Sustainable Agriculture Summer Academy for current high school students from June 16 - 26, 2014. The Sustainable Agriculture Summer Academy is designed to introduce high school students…

UGA Researcher Studying Durana White Clover as Living Mulch in Corn Fields: Click here

A UGA scientist hopes to help lower the cost of nitrogen fertilizer by planting clover and corn together.


Growing the eOrganic Community: Annual Report 2013: Click here

Growing the eOrganic Community - Annual Report 2012: Click here

Organic Soil Fertility: Click here

Strategies to Increase Throughput: Click here

Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Releases Research Results: Click here
Summaries of six recently completed projects sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture are now available online. Multi-page summaries and one-page briefs are available for each project. The latest projects concern bird use of prairie co…

USDA Research Shows Potential Impact of Climate Change on Rangeland Plants: Click here
USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists have published research in Nature showing the potential response of rangeland plants in arid regions of the United States to the conditions that will occur with climate change. In a five-year investigation,…

IATP Releases Interactive, Online Food System Tour: Click here
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released Justice and Health: Missing Ingredients in the U.S. Food System, an interactive tour of the U.S. food system. The online presentation explores increasing concentration in the food market, compar…

Vernon Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension: Click here

Articles on Organic Agriculture by eOrganic: Click here

Grants Awarded to Study Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture: Click here
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded $6 million to 10 universities to study the effects of climate on agriculture production and develop strategies to provide farmers and ranchers with the solutions they need to supply the nat…

USDA Announces Creation of Rural Business Investment Company: Click here
USDA has announced the creation of the Rural Business Investment Company, a new investment fund that will allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-related businesses. Advantage Capital Partners, which will manage the new fund, a…

Big Ten Real Food Challenge Leadership Team Accepting Applications: Click here
The Big Ten Real Food Challenge Leadership Team is currently accepting applications. Leadership Team members will have the unique opportunity to make a big impact on the food system by working to leverage the purchasing power of Big Ten universities. The…

Webinars by eOrganic: Click here

Organic Dairy Cropping Systems: Click here

Grazing Management on Organic Farms: Click here

Organic Dairy Production Systems: Click here

Birdsfoot Trefoil as a Forage on Organic Dairy Farms Webinar by eOrganic: Click here

How are sheep different than cows when designing paddock systems?: Click here

Answer: Most of the differences between paddock systems for sheep and cattle will be based on diet preferences, pasture composition, fencing, and grazing habits. Sheep tend to browse, preferring forbs over grass while cattle diets consist primarily of grass. Sheep have a higher preference for leafy forage over stemmy ones, when compared to cattle. For both species, the best pastures usually contain a mixture of grasses and legumes. It is recommended to have more than one species of grass and legumes in your pasture. It is important to remember that each paddock needs water and shelter.

Fencing for the two species is accomplished differently. Perimeter fencing is most commonly permanent fence, either electric or unpowered. Cattle can be fenced with non-electrified barbed or woven wire. Perimeter fencing for sheep or multi-species normally requires woven wire. Temporary fencing of pasture paddocks for cattle can be accomplished through the use of a single line of polywire and "tread in" temporary posts. While some graziers are successful in fencing sheep by this method, most are not. It all depends on the stocking density (number of animals per acre) and how well the sheep are trained to the electric fence. Alternatively, electric nets effectively keep sheep and goats in and predators out. The electric nets can also be moved very quickly. As with all powered fence systems, an adequately sized fence energizer and a well-constructed fence are paramount to your success.

More information on fencing techniques and stock-watering systems can be found in the ATTRA publications Paddock Design, Fencing and Water Systems for Controlled Grazing, available at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=249, and Rotational Grazing, available at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=245.

Diet Preferences of Sheep vs. Cattle
Sheep prefer a forage diet of 40% grass, 40% forbs, and 20% browse, while cattle prefer a forage diet of 60% grass, 20% forbs, and 20% browse.

The stocking rate is the number of a specific kind and class of animals grazing a unit of land for a specified time period. The carrying capacity is the maximum stocking rate possible while maintaining or improving vegetation or related sources. Both are often expressed as Animal Unit Months (AUM).

Definition of Animal Unit (AU): 1,000 pounds of body weight
Definition of Animal Unit Month (AUM): Amount of forage that an animal unit will consume in one month.

The stocking rate for your paddock will depend on animal species, quality and quantity of forage (total available forage), and animal demand for forage. Therefore, the stocking rate for sheep and cattle will differ.

Multi-species grazing (cattle and sheep) is an excellent management strategy. Not only is pasture utilization improved, parasite control is enhanced to the point that in many areas of the country, chemical dewormers are not neccessary. This is especially true if the grazing management techniques of adequate pasture rest, residual management, and short paddock grazing periods are employed.

For additional information on pasture design and utilization, consult the following ATTRA publications:

Pasture, Rangeland and Grazing Management
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=246

Irrigated Pastures: Setting Up an Intensive Grazing System that Works
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=449


How are paddock systems designed for sheep different from those for cows?: Click here

Answer: Most of the differences between paddock systems for sheep and cattle will be based on diet preferences, pasture composition, fencing, and grazing habits. Sheep tend to browse, preferring forbs over grass while cattle diets consist primarily of grass. Sheep have a higher preference for leafy forage over stemmy ones, when compared to cattle. For both species, the best pastures usually contain a mixture of grasses and legumes. It is recommended to have more than one species of grass and legumes in your pasture. It is important to remember that each paddock needs water and shelter.

Fencing for the two species is accomplished differently. Perimeter fencing is most commonly permanent fence, either electric or unpowered. Cattle can be fenced with non-electrified barbed or woven wire. Perimeter fencing for sheep or multi-species normally requires woven wire. Temporary fencing of pasture paddocks for cattle can be accomplished through the use of a single line of polywire and "tread in" temporary posts. While some graziers are successful in fencing sheep by this method, most are not. It all depends on the stocking density (number of animals per acre) and how well the sheep are trained to the electric fence. Alternatively, electric nets effectively keep sheep and goats in and predators out. The electric nets can also be moved very quickly. As with all powered fence systems, an adequately sized fence energizer and a well-constructed fence are paramount to your success.

More information on fencing techniques and stock-watering systems can be found in the ATTRA publications Paddock Design, Fencing and Water Systems for Controlled Grazing, available at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=249, and Rotational Grazing, available at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=245.

Diet Preferences of Sheep vs. Cattle
Sheep prefer a forage diet of 40% grass, 40% forbs, and 20% browse, while cattle prefer a forage diet of 60% grass, 20% forbs, and 20% browse.

The stocking rate is the number of a specific kind and class of animals grazing a unit of land for a specified time period. The carrying capacity is the maximum stocking rate possible while maintaining or improving vegetation or related sources. Both are often expressed as Animal Unit Months (AUM).

Definition of Animal Unit (AU): 1,000 pounds of body weight
Definition of Animal Unit Month (AUM): Amount of forage that an animal unit will consume in one month.

The stocking rate for your paddock will depend on animal species, quality and quantity of forage (total available forage), and animal demand for forage. Therefore, the stocking rate for sheep and cattle will differ.

Multi-species grazing (cattle and sheep) is an excellent management strategy. Not only is pasture utilization improved, parasite control is enhanced to the point that in many areas of the country, chemical dewormers are not neccessary. This is especially true if the grazing management techniques of adequate pasture rest, residual management, and short paddock grazing periods are employed.

For additional information on pasture design and utilization, consult the following ATTRA publications:

Pasture, Rangeland and Grazing Management
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=246

Irrigated Pastures: Setting Up an Intensive Grazing System that Works
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=449


Vernon Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension: Click here

Vernon Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension: Click here

Online Courses about Organic Farming by eOrganic: Click here

Safe Food Sampling Legislation Signed in Minnesota: Click here
Newly signed legislation in Minnesota is aimed at assuring food safety for shoppers and providing vendors with consistent regulations statewide. The Minnesota Farmers' Market Association has been working on the legislation for the past year and a half, i…

NODPA Posts Information on Preventing and Treating Cow Lameness: Click here
The Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) has posted Preventing & Treating Lameness in Cows. This online article by veterinarian Hubert Karreman looks at the nutritional and environmental factors affecting hoof health and the practical t…

Farm-to-School Initiative Involves Culinary Arts Program in Preparing Local Food: Click here
Through a new grant, Rural Action in Ohio will partner with the Hocking College Culinary Arts Program to introduce a new Farm-To-School Initiative and provide two school districts with fresh, local produce. Produce from the Chesterhill Produce Auction wi…

Vernon Grubinger, University of Vermont Extension: Click here

Online Courses about Organic Farming by eOrganic: Click here

Open Source Seed Initiative Releases 29 New Crop Varieties: Click here
On April 17, the Via Campesina global day of action, the Open Source Seed Initiative held a launch event in Madison, Wisconsin, where activists and scientists announced the release of 29 new varieties of crop seed, reports National Public Radio. Plant br…

Locavore Index Ranks States' Commitment to Local Food: Click here
Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont-based local food advocacy group, has released its third annual Locavore Index, a state-by-state ranking of commitment to local foods. The 2014 Locavore Index incorporates four measures for which current data is availab…

New Jersey Program Recognizes Farm to School Participants: Click here
New Jersey Department of Agriculture has instituted a program to recognize schools and farmers who work together to ensure students have access to healthy Jersey Fresh fruits and vegetables in their school cafeterias. Applications for the 2014-2015 Jerse…

Cost Analysis: Are You Making Money?: Click here

Resources from CenUSA - Sustainable Production and Distribution of Bioenergy for the Central USA: Click here

Research Summary: Near-Infrared (NIR) Analysis Provides Efficient Evaluation of Biomass Samples: Click here

Webinar: Lessons Learned from a Reduced-Tillage Organic Cropping Systems Project: Click here

NMPAN Webinars: Click here

How can I treat frothy bloat in my cow?: Click here

Answer: Frothy bloat refers to a condition when a ruminant consumes forages that produce a frothy gas in the rumen and the animal cannot pass the gas. The rumen gets so full of gas that it eventually presses against the heart or lungs and the animal expires. Legumes such as alfalfa and clovers can cause bloat. In Montana, for example, alfalfa hay from first and second cuttings will generally not bloat cows, but alfalfa hay from third cutting can. Clovers and alfalfa in pastures can also bloat cows. Birdsfoot Trefoil and Sanfoin are legumes containing tannins that do not let the frothy gases form, hence no bloat.

Whenever you look at a cow, always critically evaluate five areas: eyes, ears, rumen, udder, and manure. After a while, this will become second nature to you. The rumen "triangle," or paralumbar fossa (see www.merckmanuals.com/media/vet/figures/DIG_cannulation_of_rumen_cow.gif for a useful graphic) should be not be expanded; if it is, the animal is going to bloat or already bloating. The following link shows what a cow looks like when she is bloating: www.ianrpubs.unl.edu/epublic/live/g2018/build/graphics/g2018-1.jpg.

The paralumbar fossa is also known as the "death triangle." Besides checking for bloat, it is an easy way to check if a cow's feed intake is normal. If you see a severely "dished in" triangle, the cow’s feed is incorrect—either you are under-feeding her or she is off her feed for some reason.

To treat bloat, use Therabloat from your vet. It comes in a two-ounce vial. Pour the vial into a 16-ounce soda bottle, add about 10 ounces of water, and drench the cow with it. If you have not drenched a cow before, it is probably best to call your veterinarian for assistance, as it is possible to get the fluid into her lungs by mistake. It does not hurt to keep the cow walking for 30 minutes. About 10 minutes after administering the drench, the cow will start to belch. Generally, in one hour, the bloat is relieved. This treatment must be administered before the cow is down. When she is in a prostrate position, your chances of saving her are reduced. It is not a bad idea to have vial or two of Therabloat on hand at all times.

Inserting a needle, knife, or trocar into the rumen via the paralumbar fossa is not recommended to treat bloat. While effective in relieving the bloat condition, this procedure also almost always causes peritonitis, which is an intense systemic infection that is often untreatable. Peritonitis will kill the cow in about three to five days.

To prevent bloat, you can feed a bloat block that the cow can lick on. It is a molasses base, so intake is generally assured. The key to prevention is also to always keep feed in front of the cow—keep her full.

For more information on ruminant nutrition, see the ATTRA publication Ruminant Nutrition for Graziers at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=201 .


HACCP in an Hour: Click here

Bioenergy Resources from the Sun Grant Initiative: Click here

Poplar (Populus spp.) Trees for Biofuel Production: Click here

Soil Nematodes in Organic Farming Systems: Click here

Feedstocks for Biofuel Production - Table of Contents: Click here

Land Link Programs in the Northeast: Click here

This report summarizes the results of data collected by Pennsylvania State University researchers on 21 land link programs in the Northeast and provides recommendations to existing and new programs. Land link programs connect farmland seekers to farmland owners, and/or connect participants to services that support land access and use decisions.


Finding a Fit for Native Pollinators in North Florida Sustainable Farm Management: Click here

University of Florida ecologists are studying how natural landscapes and on-farm vegetation contribute to native bee populations.


Cover Crop Management and Termination: Click here

The spring can be a challenging time for farmers busy to get into the field and start planting. Killing a cover crop is not business as usual. Planning for proper spring management of your cover crop needs to happen before April. Learn from two experts in the field on a couple different methods for termination.

Watch the webinar now.

Panelists include Illinois consultant Mike Plumer and Iowa farmer Steve Berger. The webinar was recorded on March 27, 2014.

This webinar series was produced by the American Society of Agronomy and was co-sponsored by SARE.


Cover Crops Seed Selection and Planting: Click here

Knowing which cover crops to pick for your farm's goals can be daunting. So many options exist that it is sometimes hard to know what to pick and then how to plant it. Whether you are new to cover crops or an advanced user, hear from two experts in the field on how they best chose and seed their cover crops.

Watch the webinar now.

Panelists include Ohio State University Extension's Jim Hoorman and Keith Berns of Green Cover Seed. The webinar was recorded on March 20, 2014.

This webinar series was produced by the American Society of Agronomy and was co-sponsored by SARE.


Combining Livestock, Manure and Cover Crops: Click here

A livestock and cover crop combination is the fastest way to profit from your investment. Cover crops not only provide feed for livestock, they also hold and scavenge precious nutrients to reduce potential offsite pollution.

Watch the webinar now.

Panelists include Michigan State University's Tim Harrigan and Minnesota farmer Kent Solberg. The webinar was recorded on March 13, 2014.

This webinar series was produced by the American Society of Agronomy and was co-sponsored by SARE.


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