UVM Extension - Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture TeamJULY 2012 
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Jeff Carter
Extension Agronomist
(802) 388-4969 ext.332

Rico Balzano
Agronomy Outreach Professional
(802) 388-4969 ext.338

Kirsten Workman
Agronomy Outreach Professional
(802) 388-4969 ext.347

Cheryl Cesario
Grazing Outreach Professional 
(802) 388-4969 ext. 346 

Poultney Mettowee NRCD
(802) 558-6470
CV Crop Soil Pasture Team
UVM Extension helps individuals and communities put research-based knowledge to work.

  Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture. University of Vermont Extension, Burlington, Vermont. 


University of Vermont Extension, and U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooperating, offer education and employment to everyone without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or familial status.

?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?

Q: ELSIE...Have Rico Balzano and his wife, Jill had their baby yet??  I haven't heard.


A: YES...I am proud to announce that Rico Balzano and Jill Perry Balzano welcomed a little baby boy to their family on June 25th!!!  The Team here in the Middlebury Extension office are excited to have one more member.  Welcome Baby Leo!!

Click HERE for the full
birth announcement.

If you would like to Ask ELSIE? a question, please email her by clicking  HERE.

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UVM Extension
Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture
July?!  Did someone say it is July already?  I don't know how it happened but July is here and with it the full swing of Summer.  Corn is planted, animals are rotating through pastures more quickly now, hay has been cut (twice already in most spots), small grains are already starting to be harvested and every bit of daylight is being put to use.

A few highlights of our July edition:  an update on our new Haybuster No Till Seed Drills, a reminder about entering your crops into Addison County Field Days, a birth announcement, and some great grazing tips from Cheryl.

We have lots of useful information in our newsletter and hope you take the time to read it.  If you would like to see more or different things included in this newsletter, please let us know.  We want this to be a useful form of communication with information YOU want to know and READ.  Be sure and share it with your friends and neighbors!!

News and Events
For Vermont Farmers in the Lake Champlain Watershed


Enter Your Crops at the Addison County Fair and Field Days!!  

Amaze your friends and family, earn bragging rights with your neighbors, decorate your barn with blue ribbons, and even take home some cold, hard cash!$!$!  If you enter your crops by Monday, August 6th at 12:00 for judging, you can win rosettes (and $$) in the following classes:


Field and Forage Crops 

  • Corn Plants
  • Soybean
  • Wheat, Barley, Oats
  • Corn Silage
  • Haylage Chopped
  • Corn Grain
  • Soybean Grain
  • Wheat, Barley, Oat Cereal Grain
  • Dry Hay-Grass
  • Dry Hay-Mixed
  • Dry Hay-Legume
  • Wrapped Baleage

Rosettes are awarded as follows: Excellent (Blue Rosette, $15); Good (Red Rosette, $10); Fair (White Rosette, $5); Best of Class (Rosette, $25); Best of Show (Rosette, $50).


For specific rules, entry instructions, and judging criteria click HERE for the 2012 Exhibitor's Handbook (turn to page 40 for the Field Crops Department).  


If you have questions about how, when or where to bring your entries or judging criteria, contact Jeff Carter, Superintendent at (802) 388-4969 or jeff.carter@uvm.edu.   


No Till Seed Drills Arrive in Addison, Rutland Counties

BMR Sudangrass Germinating in a Newly Drilled Hay Field

The UVM Extension Champlain Valley Crop, Soil and Pasture Team is excited to announce the arrival of two Haybuster No Till Seed Drills.  Thanks to funding from Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation's Ecosystem Restoration Grant program, we took delivery of two of these drills to loan out to farmers in the Lake Champlain Basin.  Although they arrived a little later than we would have liked, we have been getting them out on the ground and they've been busy despite the late start.  In fact, the drill based out of the Addison County Extension Office has over 300 acres on it already.  We have been out in farm fields drilling in clover, grass, sudangrass, sudex, millet, radish, soybeans and grazing mixes galore.  If you are interested in using one of the drills, please call the office to get your name on the schedule.  The drill based in Addison County even has a GPS unit with it, so try your hand at a little 'precision agriculture' while you improve your hay fields and pastures, increase forage production and drill in cover crops.   


Jeff & Justin Prepping to Drill


A Newly Drilled Pasture

Give us a call at (802) 388-4969 if you are interested in using one of the drills, and stay tuned for more in depth coverage of the drills and what we've been doing with them!!   



by Pam Smith


Many parts of the country are experiencing very dry conditions. According to the map of the Northeast on the US Drought Monitor's web page, a portion of northern Vermont is unusually dry. For details, visit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/DM_northeast.htm. UVM Extension's Pam Smith reminds insured producers that crop damage or loss from adverse weather related events, such as drought, is an insurable cause of loss. Anyone suspecting damage should contact their insurance agent immediately. Most policies require notice of damage with a crop insurance agent within 72 hours of discovery.

JULY 2012
 July 24 - Integrating Oilseeds into Diversified Agriculture (Brandon, VT)

July 12 - Value-Added Grains  (New Haven)
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm...Wood's Market Garden 

Jon Satz will describe how they have integrated oilseed production into their vegetable operation, and the benefits and challenges they have had in doing so.  Satz harvested about 5 acres of sunflowers for oil and meal in 2011, and will  talk about some of the production, management, harvesting, and processing issues that are specific to his operation.

More Information, including where to register HERE.  



August 1 - FAP Cost Share Applications are DUE for Winter Cover Cropping

To qualify for up to $30/acre for winter cover crop that is seeded before October 15.  Contact Nate Sands at Vermont Agency of Agriculture 


August 6 - Field Crops Entries DUE (by 12:00) for Addison County Field Days

See the announcement above for more information or contact Jeff Carter for more information. 


August 7 - 11 - Addison County Fair and Field Days

Click HERE for more information 


August 9 - Annual UVM Extension NW Crops & Soils Field Day 

10:00 am to 4:00 pm...Borderview Farm (Alburgh, VT)

Join the NW Crops and Soils Team and Heather Darby and tour the research farm to view experiments from the 2012 season.  This year's theme is "Farming to Enhance Resilient Soils and Crops."  Join your fellow farmers, Extension professionals, service providers and policymakers  to celebrate the year's experiences and  learn how to build healthy soils and be more resilient in the face of warmer, wetter growing seasons in Vermont.  Click HERE to register and for more information. 


August 15 - Insurance policy premium billing date for most spring seeded crops

This includes silage and grain corn, soybeans, fresh market sweet corn, and spring barley and wheat. You may notice that Buy-up polices are discounted up to $225 by an additional financial assistance credit.    

Click HERE for more RMA information and deadlines    



by Nate Sands, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets  


Winter Cover Cropping applications for fall 2012 are due by August 1. Applications received after August 1 will be funded at $15/acre.



The Agency is also accepting applications for the remaining program practices that will be implemented July 1, 2012 - December 15, 2012. The practices include: conservation crop rotation, summer and nurse crop cover cropping, alternative manure incorporation, aeration tillage, conservation tillage, strip cropping, and cross-slope tillage. Funding is available for applications received after the July 1 deadline, but funding levels for these practices may be at reduced rates. Our goal is to receive and review applications prior to the practices being implemented.


Please contact Nate Sands at (802) 224-6850 or nathaniel.sands@state.vt.us prior to implementing any practices to verify whether or not funding is available.  


Applications and information are available online HERE.  



Winooski Natural Resource Conservation District is pleased to announce it has received funding from the Lake Champlain Basin Program to acquire a smaller aerator for producers who want to incorporate manure and aerate fields, but do not have tractors big enough to pull the 20-foot and 25-foot units currently available.  If all goes well, an 8 or 12-foot unit will be available to producers in the Winooski District this fall.


For more information, contact Justin Kenney at:

802-828-4493 x113 |justin.kenney@vt.nacdnet.net 



JULY 2012
July 24 - Improved Grazing and Pasture Management (NOFAVORE SOCIAL) 
10:00 am to 1:00 PM...Robillard Flats Farm, Irasburg, VT
A workshop on pasture management featuring grazing consultant Sarah Flack. Topics will include: getting the most from your pasture through informed grazing decisions, how to increase the amount of dry matter your herd gets from pasture to cut feed costs, and how to calculate dry matter intake. We'll also cover pasture record keeping systems for organic farms. There will also be information on troubleshooting electric fence issues, balancing rations with pasture and preventing parasite problems in young stock. A NOFAvore social will follow featuring products from Robillard Flats Farm. Stay for lunch and provide input on NOFA-VT's strategic plan. A collaboration with NOFA,the Center for Sustainable Agriculture's Pasture Program and the Vermont Grass Farmers Association.

July 26 - Dairy Calf Housing (Practical Concepts & Ideas) Grouped-Housed Feeding Systems

6:00 PM ...Hatch Farm (Vergennes)

Please join the Green Mountain Dairy Discussion Group for their monthly(ish) meeting.  This month's meeting features presenters Dr. Mark Thomas (DVM) and Frans Vokey, both of Lowville, NY and Dairy Health & Management Services, an organization that provides decision-based consulting to dairy clients. A 6:00 PM BBQ will be followed by presentations. Meeting sponsored by MilkSpecialties Global Animal Nutrition.


Please RSVP ASAP to Kristi 388-2692 | Kristi.wood@yankeeaca.com    



  by Cheryl Cesario, Grazing Outreach Professional 


One of the key elements of a successful grazing system is having clean and abundant water available at all times. Just how much is needed? A lactating dairy cow consumes up to 25 gallons of water per day, while a beef cow requires up to 20 gallons. The total amount of water that must be provided is not just dependent on how many animals there are, but also how far animals must travel to the water tub, as well as the distance from the water tub to the water source.


In an intensively managed pasture with water 600- 900 feet away, animals will drink from the water tub individually as they feel like it. The flow rate should be such that the total water demand can be supplied within 4-8 hours. Water tubs should be sized so that 2-4% of the herd can drink at once. This is in contrast to larger, continuously grazed pastures where water is located at greater distances. In these situations, animals tend to go to water as a herd and therefore, the capacity and recharge ability must be greater to accommodate more animals at once.


Here's an example of how to calculate water needs:

Animals and grazing system: 75 dairy cows in a rotational system

Daily consumption: 75 x 25 gallons = 1,875 gallons

Distance to water in a paddock: less than 900 feet

Tank refill time: 4 hours (240 minutes)

Required flow rate: 1,875 gallons/240 minutes = 7.8 gallons/minute


The flow rate and the distance to the water source (well, pond, etc.) are used to determine the size of the black plastic pipe that will meet the water demand. There are charts and tables available that can help you determine if, for example, 1 inch pipe is sufficient or if a larger diameter pipe is needed. In our climate, water lines in pastures are typically laid on top of the ground, since they are not used in winter, so protection from freezing is not necessary. Lines above the ground are cheaper to install, easier to repair, and are portable. Lines can be buried where they cross vehicle or animal lanes.


When calculating water needs, it is best not to design the system on the absolute minimum requirements. Building in a buffer will account for circumstances such as hot weather, which can double an animal's water requirements. There are several other factors to consider when designing a water system including topography, type of pump used, pipe layout, and of course, cost. There is a great publication called 'The ABCs of Livestock Watering Systems' published by Michigan State University Extension. It can be found at HERE 


UVM Extension is offering a 90% cost share program to install infrastructure to encourage livestock exclusion from streams in the Lake Champlain Watershed. If you are considering a water source development project including pipeline, water tanks, and fencing there may be funds available to help. For more information, contact our office at 388-4969.

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Jeff Carter,
Extension Agronomist
UVM Extension- Champlain Valley Crop, Soil & Pasture Team