Archive for the ‘dairy’ Category

American Dairymen Have the Blues

September 17, 2009

The US dairy industry is really struggling to survive. Milk prices are depreciated which is causing significant financial hardship. In Canada, this seems to a bit of a foreign concept considering that Canadian dairies are supply managed. The current situation will definitely provide argument from the US to file to WTO and will entice Canadian dairyman to fight even harder to keep their sacred quota. It is no doubt that Canada’s quota system will be coming up on many occasions as the US negotiates any sort of agricultural trade. I think that it is going to become ever more difficult for the Canadian dairy industry to justify internationally the supply managed concept. In Canada, if I was a dairy farmer I would fight with every last breathe to hold on to the quota system so that I could avoid the situation the US is in.

Whether it is the economy, demand supply or other factors, the US dairy industry needs to stabilize because milk products are so integral to the foundation of human health. Please support your local dairy and drink milk eat cheese.

On a humorous note, here is a video by Will Gilmer of Alabama, who tells us why his dairy has the blues during this hard financial time for the industry.

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Is Winter Wheat a Silage Option?

September 8, 2009

Ross McKenzie discusses if winter wheat is a good silage option. More and more farmers are curious if winter wheat will be good for silage. From a time management stand point, Ross thinks definitely.

Breaking Down the Sustainable vs. Conventional Farming Debate

May 8, 2009

Tuesday on #agchat there was quite the discussion about many agricultural topics (see the Agwired review). The whole goal of agchat is to discuss the five questions posed by the moderator @mpaynknoper. The goal is not to have specifically a pro GMO or organic discussion but rather a pro agriculture discussion with all stakeholders.

I will save you from all the details of the battle that has been raging on twitter this week regarding sustainable versus conventional farming but the reality is that both sides need to start to listen to each other. We need to get past the rhetoric that Monsanto is the evil empire and all people that eat organic food smoke pot and live in a grass hut down by the river. Today, a pro sustainable ag blogger posted some thoughts that showcase how strong the rift is between sustainable and conventional agriculture.

There is a place for both sustainable and conventional agriculture in the marketplace. For either side to suggest that we should do away with the other would be ignoring the demands of the end user. There is demand for both sustainable products and conventional products in the marketplace.

My wish is that the pro sustainable (organic) believers would take off the “Monsanto is evil” blinders and start realizing that transgenic traits do serve a beneficial purpose to the marketplace. I have many friends at Syngenta, Monsanto, Dow Agro, Bayer and Pioneer Hybrid and I can tell you none of those people are evil or want to control the food system. I would encourage all of my sustainable (pro organic) friends on Twitter and abroad to start opening their mind to what is really happening in agriculture (get it…….RealAgriculture).

My Chile Trip: A Chilean Silage Pit

February 16, 2009
While looking at fields on a country back road we spotted a silage pit.  Immediately I was interested because of the look of the pit.  It was made very low to the ground due to small equipment owned by the farmer.  The other key characteristic was that the pit was covered in dirt and plastic and not tires.  The dirt was quite loose on the top of the pit and was not packed itself.  To feed his dairy animals, the farmer would pull up to the pit with his small wagon and tractor and pitch the silage into the wagon by hand.  Yes I said by hand.   
Here is a picture of the dairy that owned the silage pit.