California Dairy Farmer Protects Blackbirds

Kelly Marshall

A dairy farmer from Tipton, California was recognized for his work in protecting the Tricolored Blackbird. Frank Mendonsa is the President of Western United Dairymen and the owner of the silage fields that became a temporary nesting grounds for the emergency-listed birds. Mendonsa delayed his harvest to allow the birds to raise their young. “When the birds first appeared on …

Conservation, Dairy, environment, NRCS

Landmark's Forage Forecasting and Conservation Strategies

John Davis

Margins for dairy producers are expected to stay pretty tight in 2015, so the folks at Landmark Services Cooperative are offering some advice to better forecast forage production and conserving the feed on hand. “One of the biggest areas of improvement that we continually see is that producers do not conduct an animal inventory or a forage usage projection,” says …

Agribusiness, Conservation, cooperatives, Dairy, Forage

Study Finds Cover Crops Can be Grazed

Cindy Zimmerman

A new study shows that allowing cattle to graze on cover crops does no damage to the soil. This article from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the Agricultural Research Service study could encourage more producers to put down the crops that help reduce soil erosion, boost organic matter, keep more moisture in soil and sequester carbon in the soil. …

Conservation, Forage, usda

Ranchers Positively Impact Sage Grouse

Cindy Zimmerman

A new report released today finds that USDA’s Sage Grouse Initiative has helped to restore 4.4 million acres of habitat for sage-grouse since 2010 while still maintaining working landscapes across the West. “We’re working with ranchers who are taking proactive steps to improve habitat for sage-grouse while improving the sustainability of their agricultural operations,” Under Secretary for Natural Resources and …

Conservation, farm bill, Ranches, usda

Grant Supports Imperiled Tricolored Blackbird

Jamie Johansen

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) teamed with Audubon California and the Western United Dairymen organizations to announce an innovative new conservation project to boost habitat and outreach work for the threatened Tricolored Blackbird. The partnership was announced at an event held at the Sacramento Zoo, which has been collecting donations to help the struggling bird. “We are excited …

Ag Group, Conservation, dairy farming, NRCS

Sustainability Is a Continuous Improvement, Not an Endpoint

Jamie Johansen

“Sustainability is a continuous improvement, not an endpoint,” said Dr. Marty Matlock, executive director, Office for Sustainability, University of Arkansas, during his presentation on Science Based Metrics for Sustainable Outcomes in Poultry and Egg Production at USPOULTRY’s 2014 Environmental Management Seminar in Destin, Fla. The annual conference is sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and was held in collaboration …

Ag Group, Conservation, Poultry, sustainability, Water

EPA Finally Hands Over Maps of their WOTUS Proposal

Jamie Johansen

The House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology released maps of waters and wetlands the Environmental Protection Agency has to-date refrained from making public. After multiple requests, the Agency finally handed over the maps to the committee, which appear to detail the extent of the “Waters of the United States” proposal. “Given the astonishing picture they paint, I understand the …

Ag Group, Conservation, environment, EPA, NCBA, Water

Guidance Hindering Water Conservation on Farms

Jamie Johansen

The National Milk Producers Federation asked the EPA to withdraw recent guidance concerning when farmers must seek Clean Water Act permits for a long list of normal farming activities near wetlands. NMPF, said the EPA’s proposal could have the perverse effect of discouraging water conservation, by changing the long-standing relationship between farmers and the Agriculture Department’s Natural Resources Conservation Service. …

Ag Group, Cattle, Conservation, Dairy, EPA, National Milk, NRCS

Conservation Tour Features Ohio Dairy

Cindy Zimmerman

One of the stops on the 2011 CTIC Conservation In Action Tour in northwest Ohio last week was Bridgewater Dairy in Montpelier, where tour participants heard from owner Dr. Leon Weaver about the conservation practices they use to protect water quality in this area so close to Lake Erie. “We explained the operation of our large dairy farm where we …

Audio, Conservation, dairy farming, environment

Dairy Farm Conservation

Chuck Zimmerman

Last week the Conservation Technology Information Center conducted a field tour as part of their Indian Creek Watershed Project in Livingston County, IL. This project is funded in part by the Illinois EPA and other stakeholders. I participated and was pleasantly surprised to find a dairy farm on the tour! We visited Kilgus Dairy. The family dairy farm is the …

Agribusiness, Audio, Conservation, dairy farming, environment, Ice Cream