Avoid Risks of Summer Pasturing


Grazing livestock in the Northeast after the lush pasture months of May and June poses some risks. The Cornell South Central Dairy Team has organized on-farm Pasture Walk events for July 31, August 14 and August 21 to help farmers maximized their management of late-season grazing resources in New York.

Farms in Watkins Glen, Lansing and Homer are hosting the events that include a presentation by Cornell Cooperative Extension Dairy Educator Fay Benson on using crop insurance to manage risks.

The events are free; lunch is provided by the New York Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative. The USDA Risk Management Agency and New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets are providing support. Register with Sharon Van Deuson at 607-753-5078 or shv7@cornell.edu.

Wednesday, July 31, 10:30 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Reducing Heat Stress with Silvopasturing
Chedzoy's Angus Glen Farm, 3050 Station Road, Watkins Glen, N.Y.
Brett Chedzoy talks on silvopasturing--grazing livestock in wooded areas--and the benefits to both animal welfare and forest production. The multigenerational Angus Glen Farm has used several conservation practices to benefit its beef herd. Walk participants will see areas managed for silvopasturing for many years, as well as areas currently transitioning into the practice.

Wednesday, August 14, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Irrigation for Dairy Pastures
Benson's Bensvue Organic Dairy, 295 Lansingville Road, Lansing, N.Y.
2012 was a dry year in the Northeast, creating a problem for organic dairies that are required to provide 30 percent of the dairy cow diet from pasture for 120 days. Last summer Chandler Benson of Bensvue Organic Dairy struggled to find fresh pasture for his 350 milking animals. His solution: his father, Chuck Benson, dug a 5 million-gallon pond in the middle of the grazing system. Walk participants will see the irrigation system and how it can be used to mitigate the risk of drought to a grazing system. Chandler also planted sanfoin, a legume used in Russia and Saskatchewan. The walk includes a tour of the plot to see how it grows in central New York.

Wednesday, August 21, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Summer Annuals Augment Cool-Season Grasses with Arden Landis
Riehlman Farm, 6242 Route 11, Homer, N.Y.
Learn how Doug and Martsje Riehlman intensively manage high-value acreage to provide feed for their dairy. After the shortage of forage last year, they sought to maximize yields during the summer of 2013. They have taken first cutting off their fields and intend to plant a Sudangrass hybrid. Walk participants will learn from dairy consultant Arden Landis of Kirkwood, Pa., how summer annuals can maximize production through the use of double cropping on dairy farms.

For more information on the 2013 Pasture Walks series, contact Fay Benson, Cortland County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 607-753-5213, afb3@cornell.edu. For more on crop insurance, visit www.agriculture/ny.gov/AP/CropInsurance.html.