Tag: Pasture

Questions About Poisonous Pasture Plants

Toki Oshima drawing By Jacki Perkins I’ve received a few questions this summer about the effects of poisonous pasture plants on livestock. Here are my responses, along with a reference to a longer article on the subject in The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. Q: How much should I worry about my livestock eating poisonous

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Pasture Management Tips

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Deciding how to rotate pastures on your farm can be confusing! You have to consider many stable factors, such as soil type and slope of the land, and shifting factors, such as the amount of feed in the field at a given time and the weather. Many resources are available to

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Evaluating Sericea Lespedeza and Big Trefoil

Goats grazing lespedeza at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Goats grazing big trefoil at Little Falls Farm. Photo by Katy Green Pots of lespedeza (left) and trefoil planted by Jean Noon. Photo by Jean Noon Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Diane Schivera Trefoil regrowth in 2017. Photo by Jean Noon Lespedeza regrowth

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Livestock Meeting Notes 2015

Toki Oshima drawing By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This is my annual wrap-up of meetings I attended in 2015, beginning with the Northeast Pasture Consortium meeting in Morgantown, W. Virginia.   Using a conservation planning computer tool created in response to concerns expressed last year at the Northeast Pasture Consortium, Peter Kleinman demonstrated effects of grazing

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The Many Uses of Salsify

‘Hoffmann’s Schwarze Pfahl’ black scorzonera, growing at Khadighar. Will Bonsall photo. By Will Bonsall As a youth, I knew salsify only as an obscure reference in an Uncle Remus tale, along with persimmons and calamus root. When I began gardening, I saw salsify in the novelty section of seed catalogs, along with plants such as

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Livestock

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Part of my job is to attend meetings where experts, including farmers, talk about livestock. This year those meetings included the Maine Agricultural Trades show, which had a session for the Maine Grass Farmers Network, the Common Ground Country Fair, and the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) meeting. Tips from

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Highlights

Toki Oshima drawing By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Conferences and workshops are rich sources of tips for livestock care, pasture management, marketing and more. Here are some ideas gleaned from 2011 events that I attended. At the Maine Grass Farmers Conference, Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC in May, Idaho, said that to raise meat,

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Pastures

Water hemlock, Cicuta maculata Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana Lupines, Lupinus spp. Rhododendron spp. Milkweed, Asclepias syriaca St. Johnswort, Hypericum perforatum Yews, Taxus spp. By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Jean English photos If a pasture has enough palatable plants to eat, livestock will generally avoid the poisonous plants. But livestock are individuals, and there are

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Pasture

By Diane Schivera Eating livestock products can benefit our health and the environment, particularly when the animals are raised eating a pasture-based diet. More and more research is establishing this viewpoint. At MOFGA’s Spring Growth Conference last March, Joel Salatin from Polyface Farm in Virginia addressed these benefits as well as the profitability of raising

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NOP Requires Grazing

By Gwyneth Harris, dairy certification specialist, MOFGA and Diane Schivera, M.A.T., organic livestock specialist, MOFGA The National Organic Program’s new Pasture Rule becomes law on June 17, 2010. It will be enforced for currently certified producers on June 17, 2011, while new applicants for livestock certification must meet all aspects of the new rule when

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