I’m an organic dairy farmer. What can I use for fly control in the barn and in the milk house?

In order to be certified organic, you must implement preventative practices and proactive management to control flies and other pests, both in the barn and in the milk house. Approved strategies include: 1) augmentation or introduction of predators or parasites of the pest species; 2) development of habitat for natural enemies of pests; and 3) non-synthetic controls such as lures, traps, and repellents.

Good manure management; pasture rotation; clean, dry bedding; moisture control; and release of fly parasites are all …

How do you calibrate a manure spreader?

Calibrating a manure spreader is critical to ensure that the appropriate rate of manure nutrients is being applied to a field. For some livestock operations, this practice may be a required practice as part of their permit. Calibration will differ depending on the equipment and type of manure being applied.

If you know the capacity of the spreader, you need to determine the width of each pass and the distance it takes to empty the spreader to determine the rate …

I have a small dairy herd, milking about 30 cows. It is a pasture system and I don’t raise any row crops. Do I have to get my pastures certified in order to sell organic milk?

Yes, your pastures must be certified. The pastures, and how they are managed, must be described in your Organic System Plan, which you submit to your certification agency. You need maps showing all of the pastures. The maps can be aerial photos, surveyor maps, plat maps, hand drawn, or computer generated. You also need to submit a field history showing all inputs and crops grown. For pastures, this should be relatively simple. You also need to assess your pastures to …

I have a lot of weeds in my certified organic pastures. What can I do?

Weed control in organic pastures takes an integrated approach. There is no one best practice to avoid or rid a pasture of weeds. Grazing management is the most important influence on weed populations. Pasture renovation is usually used to control major infestations of weeds or undesirable grass species. Growing an annual crop such as oats or annual ryegrass will help provide a general cleanup of the pasture before reseeding.

Identify the weeds in the pasture. Annual weeds are easier to …

How can I calculate the dry matter yields of my pastures?

A rule of thumb is 1 inch of pasture contains about 300 pounds of dry matter per acre. Experienced graziers estimate pasture mass by eye, by using a rising plate meter, or with a measuring stick. A stick ruler can be useful in estimating dry matter in a pasture. Place the yardstick lightly on the ground and measure to the average height of the sward or leaf area. For cool-season perennial pastures, multiply the height by 300, and you have …

Please check this link first if you are interested in organic or specialty dairy production

The reader of this content should recognize that special rules apply to the production of milk and dairy products certified under USDA’s National Organic Program rules. These rules prohibit the use of certain products and practices. Producers of other specialized dairy products may also operate under certain limitations or restrictions on the use of certain products and practices. Although the content in this item is science based and applicable to most commercial dairy production situations, it may not be applicable …