County AG Report: Maintaining Cover Crops

County Ag Report: Maintaining Cover Crops
Published: Apr. 8, 2022 at 8:20 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Reducing diversity on a farm is one of the many ways large-scale model farmers keep costs down. For smaller scale farmers diversity can be key…not only in crops, but also in livestock. It’s this weeks County Ag Report with Rob Koenig.

Springtime brings new life to a farm, and not just in the form of seedlings. Here at Treystar Farms in Presque Isle, the two breeding ewes just had their lambs a couple weeks ago. While the farm hasn’t been breeding for very long, these lambs will grow up to play an important role.

”So, we’ve been doing this for 3 years. We had cattle here before, which was nice, when you work full time, and you’re doing this full time, and you have kids and everything, something had to give. So, we had to have something that was a little bit easier to care for, and for younger kids something that wasn’t intimidating, and we thought that, and we found that there’s a market for lambs.”

These lambs main purpose is keeping the cover crops on the farm under control. Since sheep are high intense grazers, it makes them one of the better suited animals for this task.

“We thought about it and figured a good way, what would be a good way to incorporate them in our system. We use horses now, but you can’t high intense graze with horses … the lambs mostly we can move them time to time to time to time, from field to field to field, and graze down those cover crops and get those movements.”

While there appears to be a lot of green in the future of these lambs, right now they’re seeing a lot of red. This is thanks to one of Putnam’s ideas to help reduce the humidity in the barn.

“This time of the year where the air’s kind of damp, we hang red heat lamps in here … these are the same things. It’s just a simple tractor supply setup. That’s where we got those things. And we keep them hung there, and they’ll stay on until the air kind of levels out.”

Putnam says he’s found this solution to work well, especially after losing lambs before due to humid barn conditions and sickness.

“That’s why I like sticking with a few and being the old traditional type farm, where we have a little bit of a lot of things. We’re able to care for them and keep a really good eye on them.”

While the farm might not have a lot of livestock, the animals it does have play an important role in keeping the farm running smoothly.

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