farming

Danone, a global food company and the owner of Horizon Organic, plans to terminate contracts next year with all of its organic dairy farmers in Vermont and other parts of the Northeast, leaving farmers without buyers for their milk. Other buyers in the area, including Stonyfield Organic, Organic Valley and Upstate Niagara Cooperative, appear to have limited capacity to accept new producers. More than two dozen of Vermont’s small- to medium-sized organic farmers received letters from Danone last week that say their contracts will end on Aug. 31, 2022. “This is a regional decision,” said Anson...
VERMONT — While manure often gets a bad rap, it gives farmers who raise livestock a valuable resource to meet the nutrient needs of crops and supplies organic matter to the soil in a way unmatched by commercial fertilizers. Using manure effectively maximizes fertility, reduces runoff, and economizes spreading costs. Manure’s nutrient content varies with on multiple factors such as moisture, livestock, bedding, storage and feeding strategies. You should analyze manure annually to value these nutrients, including nitrogen (N). Nitrogen in manure comes in two forms: organic and inorganic. The...

Farmer Brad Thomas of Orwell walks his field in 2015. Independent file photo/Trent Campbell
VERMONT — Next week a special social media event will showcase a day in the life of Vermont farmers. #Farm24VT runs from 5 a.m. on Wednesday, May 12, until 5 a.m. the following day. Farmers will share photos, videos and stories that provide a behind-the-scenes look at how local food gets to our tables. “With field trips and farm visits suspended because of COVID, #Farm24VT is designed to forge new relationships between farmers and consumers,” said Fran Stoddard in a promotional video that can be found on Facebook here. #Farm24VT content can be found by searching for the #Farm24VT hashtag on...
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury distributor of John Deere and other brand farm equipment has been sold to a larger chain of stores that sells new and used equipment to farmers, commercial landscapers, builders, and homeowners. United Ag & Turf of East Windsor, Conn., announced this week that it had purchased Mountain View Equipment, which has showrooms in Middlebury and three other locations. The buy declined to divulge the terms of the deal. Mountain View Equipment was formed Jan. 1, 2012, when Hendy Brothers, founded more than 60 years ago in Middlebury, merged with Giroux Brothers...
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Small Business Administration this week said that agricultural businesses are now eligible for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. SBA’s EIDL portal reopened Monday as a result of funding authorized by Congress through the Paycheck Protection Program and Healthcare Enhancement Act. The update to the laws provides additional funding for farmers and ranchers and certain other agricultural businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza pointed out that SBA had been prohibited by law from providing...
VERMONT — A free, interactive online series will help farmers and agricultural service providers learn how to adapt to the evolving COVID-19 situation to remain viable and continue to serve their customers’ needs. University of Vermont Extension; the Vermont Agency of Agriculture; Vermont Farm to Plate; Vermont Fresh Network; Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and other partners have teamed up to present the Sourcing and Selling Vermont Food in the Time of COVID-19 series. One-hour sessions on a variety of topics will be offered on a weekly basis via Zoom allowing...
MIDDLEBURY — Addison County Relocalization Network, known as ACORN, is following up November’s 4th Annual Producer Buyer Forum with its annual winter workshops series for farmers and food producers.  ACORN Board Member Annie Harlow is a main organizer of these workshops.  “This series of workshops is an integral way to engage and educate various stakeholders of our local foodshed with relevant and important information,” Harlow said. “It’s also a great way for folks to connect in the offseason.”  The March 11 Costs of Production workshop in Middlebury is a partnership between ACORN and Fat...
Kudos to New Haven’s Geoff Davis and his timely, well-written, necessary letter to the editor — “Large scale dairy farming inherently Unsustainable” (Sept. 16).  — with many numbers supporting his statements. I would encourage anyone who did not read this to do so. Farmers will need guidance and money to make the following 90-degree turn that Mr. Davis is suggesting, but it should be started now! AS he states, “the only viable solution to factory farming’s unsustainable system lies in rethinking our personal food choices and literally retooling agriculture from the ground up to meet the new...
In the third of a three-part series examining the historic and current role of the Otter Creek in Addison County, and its current status as the heaviest conveyor of phosphorus pollution into Lake Champlain, we turn a sympathetic ear to the burden placed on farmers by Act 64.  In previous installments, we’ve been reminded that the deteriorating quality of the water in Lake Champlain has been a long time coming. From the early days of commercial, industrial and agricultural development, the Otter Creek has been a conduit for groundwater pollution as have almost all rivers and streams in...

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Addison County Independent