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The Grass is Green and the Organic Dairy Industry is Growing!

The Grass is Green and the Organic Dairy Industry is Growing!

Well, it finally feels as though spring has sprung in the Northeast, despite a few cold nights that surely are still to come. It’s likely that many of you already have your cows out on pasture and are moving fences or rotating pastures to prevent them from grazing too close, and punching up some of those still “soggy” spots. Or maybe you are one of the growing group of dairymen looking at this season as your first pasture experience as a transition to organic management.

black cow 183261The continuing low price of conventional milk has more farmers looking at organic management to provide price stability on their farms. NOFA-NY LLC is currently working with the largest group of transitioning farms since the rule change mandating 100% organic feed for a full year to transition. We currently certify 312 dairy operations, 22 of which are grass-fed certified as well. Transition numbers are continually growing, with 55 farms in transition and an additional 13 farms looking to bring in organic animals to start shipping organic milk. Grass-fed is on the rise too, with nine farms pending certification at NOFA-NY.

 

For those farmers who are working to build pasture, balance pasture rations, and transitions their cows and themselves to a new way of management, NOFA-NY has some really great resources to help along the way. First, check out our website for the Transitioning to Organic Dairy Handbook.  Not only will you find information on pasture management, you can also read up on healthcare, soil management, crop management, nutrition and much more.  Find out more about organic certification here.

If you’d like to speak to one of our staff, please call our technical assistance hotline at 1-855-2-NOFA-NY or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Advanced farmers looking to tweak your pasture management should check out these sites and resources:

Many experienced grass farmers follow the articles in Stockman Grass Farmer to learn the upcoming ideas in pasture planning and maintenance.

Finally NOFA-NY Inc. is excited to be hosting a wide variety of dairy Field Days this summer, many of which will focus on aspects of dairy management. Here are some of the offerings: 

  • Reduce Fly Pressure on Your Dairy: Wednesday June 22, Morse Farm (Jefferson County)
  • Grass Based Milk Production! Wednesday, August 31, Mark Yoder’s (Madison County)
  • Diversified Marketing, Meeting Consumer’s Needs, Monday, September 12, Sunnycove Farm (Alleghany County)
  • Continuing the Organic Tradition with the Second Generation, Thursday September 22, Hardy Farm (Herkimer County)

For full workshop descriptions, keep your eyes open for our Field day Brochure in your mailbox in early June, or check out our website at www.nofany.org for a complete listing of events.

Thanks and Happy Grazing!

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