cows in field

Message from the NODPA Co-President

Kirk Arnold, NODPA Co-President

How fast things can change! Two weeks ago on our farm, it was so wet we had to pick and choose parts of the same field to spread manure on, looking for places to not get stuck. Today as the corn goes in the ground, I'm watching what seems like half the field blow away as dust. This year is looking much like the start of last year for us with how dry it is starting out, only to end with one of the wettest years in recent memory. I'm hoping we see some moisture soon or it will be a very short grazing season, but we don't want last year's constant summer and fall excessive rains.

As I see it, some of the biggest challenges for the coming year won't be the weather but will be keeping up with higher costs for pretty much all inputs--be it seeds, fuel, parts, machinery, and feeds across the board, but especially for protein. Also with the conventional margins being way up, there won't be any DMC or LGM payments going out. I'm curious to see if the organic pay price is going to have to increase with all the input costs going up as quickly as they are. It seems that this current market would raise the cost of production on lower pasture intake and higher corn silage diets with the extra cost of protein supplementation needed.

On our farm to prepare for this year, we are going to focus on trying for top notch 1st cutting quality, even if it hurts yields, with 20% crude protein and high digestibility as our target. Also we will not be doing any corn for silage, unless we need the forage as a backup plan in the case of severe drought. The plan being, this will help limit the amount of protein supplement we will need to purchase this year. I hope everyone had a great pasture turnout this spring!

Kirk Arnold, NODPA Co-President

Truxton, NY

Phone: 607-842-6631