Articles & Notes

Articles | Notes

Ask questions, plan ahead for successful transition to organic dairy

  By Sarah Flack – published in the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service Broadcaster fall 2015 Dairy farmers making the transition to organic production today have some advantages over farmers who did so in the past. Organic farms now have a wider array of approved health care products, more sources of soil amendments and a greatly […]

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What I’ve learned from farmers using zero-grain dairy rations

By Sarah Flack, Organic & Grass-Based Livestock Consultant. In the last few years, due to increased demand for 100% grass-fed milk, a number of dairy farms made a carefully planned transition to zero-grain rations. Other farms made the transition to zero-grain more rapidly, due to financial pressures caused by high grain costs and in some […]

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Fine Tuning Your Grazing System: Addressing the Weakest Link

by Heather Darby – UVM Extension, and Sarah Flack Are you capturing all the sunlight that lands on your farm?  Is sunlight being converted into pasture plants efficiently?  Are soils fertile and biologically active so that plant health and solar conversion is maximized?  Is the water cycling through the farm in the best possible way so that it is available […]

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The Organic Dairy Farm: A Systems Approach

The success of an organic dairy farm depends on the ability to look at the farm as a whole, instead of a collection of individual parts.  Organic dairy farming requires a different approach, because it is not just conventional dairy farming without antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.  Establishing a sustainable organic dairy farm is far […]

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Calf and Youngstock Care on an Organic Dairy

This fall we’ve heard from several dairy farmers who have had calves with respiratory problems, and yearlings heifers coming in from pasture with poor condition and parasites.  A certified organic dairy farm can only use antibiotics, coccidiostats (a drug such as Deccox to treat coccidiosis), and most dewormers to save the life of an animal, […]

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Internal parasites of sheep, goats and young dairy cattle can be a challenge for both organic and non-organic farms.   In the absence of chemical controls, keeping organic animals healthy and productive during the grazing season requires a good understanding of parasite-host  interactions, grazing management strategies and animal selection.  Worms and coccidia and other organisms are […]

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