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May 2013 Archives

A new, tri-state collaboration has resulted in a website to assist rural community food system development.

Earlier this month, the choice between the safety net programs - Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program and the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP) - seemed to be tilting toward signing up for DCP in 2013.

New technologies available to dairy farmers are changing the way milk is produced on many U.S. dairy farms.

"Precision dairy is the name used to describe several different areas of innovation on dairy farms. The thing all of the various new tools have is that they increase efficiency in milk production," says Marcia Endres, University of Minnesota Extension Dairy Scientist.

Robotic milkers, individual cow sensors, automated calf feeders and inline parlor technologies are some of these innovations.

It's 8 a.m. inside the WCCO-AM studios and callers are already in the queue, seeking expert help from University of Minnesota Extension and Master Gardeners as "Smart Gardens" begins.

Bev Durgan, On the Farm (Listen to the Audio)

May 24, 2013

Lawmakers in Minnesota wrapped up another legislative session earlier this week and I'd like to take this opportunity to thank state senators and representatives for their support of University of Minnesota Extension and other initiatives at the University of Minnesota.

A new University of Minnesota Extension program offering farm families strategies and practical information on regulatory and management aspects associated with a hired workforce will be available in June in Rochester and St. Cloud.

Bev Durgan, dean of University of Minnesota Extension, recorded three public service announcements to encourage safe practices on the farm this season. The announcements may be used by Minnesota, regional, and farm radio stations and other media.

Alfalfa and a shovelSeveral reports have come in indicating varying levels of winterkill in alfalfa. For dairy producers, this is an unwelcome start to the late spring. University of Minnesota Extension provides recommendations on alternative forages to replace damaged alfalfa and feed livestock affordably.

An unusual amount of winter injury and winterkill of alfalfa stands occurred in south central and southern Minnesota. While reports do not represent a detailed analysis of where injury to alfalfa occurred across Minnesota, they suggest a need for producers to check on stands and evaluate them for potential winter injury.

The extension of the 2008 Farm Bill opens up the decision to participate in either of the safety net programs: the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program or the Direct and Countercyclical Program (DCP). Farmers have until June 3, 2013 to sign up for the ACRE program and August 2, 2013 for the DCP program.

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