Woodstock dairy implements robotic milkers

Thomas French, 20, a third-generation member of French Brothers Dairy, stands beside a robot while a cow is milked inside the Water Street dairy in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

June 23, 2016

These days, machines can do everything. They can wash your car, access the internet and navigate roads worldwide.
But can they milk your cows?
At French Brothers Dairy in Woodstock, yes they can.

Machinery Link: Where Uber meets agriculture

June 23, 2016

For every dollar farmers spend on their equipment, they generate 15 cents in revenue. Workers at Machinery Link Solutions think this is an unacceptable market inefficiency and dropped a website designed to milk every ounce of revenue from agricultural capital to close this gap.

Agriculture: In Brief

June 22, 2016

The nomination period for the Shenandoah, Frederick, Clarke and Warren Farm Service Agency County Committee opened Wednesday and will be remain so until August 1.

Livestock Report

June 21, 2016

Shenandoah Livestock
June 18
Bulls L&M1, 100-199 lbs., $195.00-200.00; 200-299 lbs., $185.00-205.00; 300-399 lbs., $150.00-205.00; 400-499 lbs., $145.00-151.00; 500-599

Legal hemp in July? Not exactly

Marty Phipps, owner of Old Dominion Hemp, stands in front of the hemp he imported from Holland. He uses the hemp to make bedding for animals. Courtesy of Marty Phipps

June 17, 2016

Come July 1, Virginia will open the door for farmers to enter the fray of hemp farming; but in doing so, Virginia laws will be pushing against federal laws that ban the crop’s production.

Sustainable agriculture: Saving farms, saving the planet

June 16, 2016

MOUNT JACKSON – As the world works on tackling climate change and watches its carbon emissions more carefully, sustainable agriculture is gaining traction as farmers are finding ways to increase productivity while decreasing their carbon footprints.

Report suggests need for more ag research funding

June 16, 2016

A report released Tuesday by the SoAR foundation argues that the lack of federal funding for agricultural research in the U.S. has led to China’s massively higher production totals.

Livestock Report

June 14, 2016

Shenandoah Livestock
June 11
Bulls L&M1, 300-399 lbs., $160.00-170.00; 400-499 lbs., $155.00-160.00; 500-599 lbs., $148.00-155.00; 600-699 lbs., $138.00-143.00; 700-799

Agritourism: The farmer’s side-hustle

Wendy and Ed De Mello, co-owners of Third Hill Winery, relax behind the bar. The two moved from San Francisco to retire before starting a vineyard and winery.

June 9, 2016

In a sluggish agriculture economy, farmers are looking for new revenue streams to complement their crop sales. Given Virginia’s recent tourism boom and a worldwide trend toward craft breweries and getaway wineries, more and more Shenandoah Valley farmers are creeping their way toward agritourism as a means of revenue diversification.

Firefly Hot Sauce home grown, handmade

Seven of the eight sauces that Todd Bolender sells with Firefly Hot Sauce are lined up on his commercial kitchen counter. Kicking Cayenne is the only sauce not shown.
Jake Zuckerman/Daily

June 9, 2016

Todd Bolender doesn’t bother with Sriracha, Frank’s, Tobasco or Cholula on his pizza – he only uses Firefly Hot Sauce, his homemade, home-bottled, Northern Virginia brand.

USDA releases information-sharing system for ag agencies

June 9, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a new information-sharing system recently between the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency, so farmers only need to deliver acreage reports to one office.

Settlement to dairy farmers approved

June 8, 2016

A federal judge in Vermont has approved a $50 million settlement to be paid by a national dairy marketing cooperative to thousands of Northeast dairy farmers.

Livestock Report

June 7, 2016

Shenandoah Livestock
June 1
Cows Breaker 75-80% lean, $65.00-73.00.
Cows Boner 80-85% lean, $73.00-83.50.
Cows Lean 85-90% lean,

Livestock Report

May 31, 2016

Shenandoah Livestock
May 28
Bulls L&M 1, 200-299 lbs., $165.00-167.50; 300-399 lbs., $161.00-170.00; 400-499 lbs., $145.00-160.00; 500-599 lbs., $140.00-155.00;

Panel to discuss agriculture, food, election

David Vladeck

May 31, 2016

As the 2016 presidential race heats up, Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law is hosting the Vote Food 2016 conference to inform voters, farmers and legislators on food and agriculture’s role in the upcoming election.

April frosts kill some local apple varieties

John Marker, of Marker Miller Orchards, pulls dead and diseased Golden Delicious apples from a tree. He said he suspects the cold days in early April killed them off and now he's trying to see how much of the variety he can salvage. Jake Zuckerman

May 26, 2016

The apple connoisseurs of the Shenandoah Valley will be noticing a lack of one of the most popular strains of the fruit this fall, after a blistering April wiped out some early blooming varieties.

Livestock Report

May 24, 2016

Shenandoah Livestock 
May 21
Bulls L&M 1, 100-199 lbs., $205.00; 200-299 lbs., $205.00-215.00; 300-399 lbs., $166.00-178.00; 400-499 lbs.,

Rural King to fill empty Kmart

May 23, 2016

Rural King, a home and farm store based in Illinois, will open a store in the vacant Kmart building in the Royal Plaza Shopping Center this September.