Shoo Fly, Shoo Fly

Living on a farm, we battle flies. This summer we tried something new, and it’s decreased the number of flies we have around the barns significantly. We wanted to share so others could gain ideas on how to control flies. We decided to try a biological method by purchasing fly parasites. These insects eat the fly larvae before it can turn into a fly. We also hung up fly abatement strips to get rid of the existing mature flies. We were amazed at the difference this made. Here’s the website for the biological fly parasites: We are not being paid to advertise for them. We just wanted to share as an idea for fly control since it was beneficial on our farm.

Spicing Up Animal Nutrition with Phytogenics

We just started a trial with Delacon USA, a division of Delacon Biotechnik. Delacon is a phytogenic feed company.  According to Delacon, “Phytogenics are standardized mixtures of herbs, spices, other plants, and their extracts with proven efficacy” (  Here at SVR we have a background in animal science research, which fuels our passion for animal agriculture.  Within the past year, we built a facility dedicated to conducting trials right here on the farm.  For this project, we are using 20 lambs that will be offered a finishing diet with and without Actifor Power for 90 days.  What is Actifor Power? It is a phytogenic that has been proven to reduce acidosis and improve performance.  However, what impact does it have on the immune system and carcass quality?  Stay tuned, we will find out.

Savannah on the Farm

We have started clearing an old savannah as a conservation practice. A long time ago, fire and large game animals would have kept this patch of woods more open. It would have had more grasses, and trees would not have been as dense. By opening it back up, it will allow native grasses to grow and provide the oaks and hickories to grow larger.

Is winter ever going to end?

We choose this time of year to calve because the green spring grass is usually beginning to grow pretty good by the first week of April. This gives the cows extra energy and nutrition for the milk they are producing for their calves. Unfortunately, this year we are still feeding hay, as are most farmers around us. This year has proven to us again how important it is to stockpile extra hay and/or grass from the previous summer. So, we are continuing to feed hay this spring as we are tagging calves.