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The Moo News

Newsletter of Penn Dutch Cow Care                                                  February 2001

Hello farmers. You have all done a great job in getting a good year’s harvest in, at least as corn silage goes. There’s lots of fiber in it and it is reflected in seeing far fewer twisted stomachs than usual for this time of year. More fiber means good rumen health due to correct rumen pH (no acidosis) for the bacteria to do their job, which means good rumen motility and decreased incidence that the 4th stomach floats out of place. Length of fiber is also critical. Of course I hear that the cows aren’t milking where most of you would like them to be, but their health is better. Imagine that…


Want to try an experiment with some pen manure or gutter manure (that’s not liquid)??  I’ve read of a low labor way of making compost by Trauger Groh, a biodynamic farmer in New Hampshire. He does it this way: Make a square pile of winter manure. In May or June, split it into two windrows. Cover with black plastic and make holes on the top so it can breathe. Do not touch it anymore until it is ready for use the following year. It is then  used the next spring as a fully finished compost. Covering is critical because you don’t want it to be too wet. Matter with more than 70% moisture can not build humus. Piles are 6 feet high fresh, made with straw/hay manure and go down a foot or so as they age. They don’t use woodchips or sawdust, but that would be OK, but need a little longer composting depending on size of woodchips.



I’m sure all Lancaster farmers get mail from the Extension Service, so I won’t repeat those meeting dates here.


Summit Meeting of Organic Dairy Producers in the Northeast. Fri Feb.16. noon-3pm

A meeting for farmers who want to explore working relationships with other dairy farmers in the northeast, especially to protect your market and have more say in pricing. Waterbury Congregational Church, Waterbury, Vermont.  NOFA-Vt 802-434-4122


Local Food—Local Farming with Faith. Sat. Feb17, 2-9pm New Covenant Mennonite Fellowship, 322 Wanner Rd, Hinkletown, PA. Free and public programs (fee for meal).

Call Greg Bowman 610-845-2436. Please register for meal by Feb. 8th.


PCO Southeast regional Meeting. Wed. Feb21.

Morning: discussion of USDA final organic regulations

Afternoon: Klaas& Mary-Howell Maartens discuss GMO crops.

Call Leslie Zuck to register 814-364-1344


Fertrell Co./Zimmerman Lime Meeting.  Thurs. Feb. 22.

Morning: Murray Bast

Afternoon: Soil Fertility and Animal Nutrition

Call 800-347-1566

For Bovinity Health, information on functional alternatives to antibiotics see:

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