Feed Lot

SEP-OCT 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

Issue link: https://feedlotmagazine.epubxp.com/i/1019360

Contents of this Issue

Navigation

Page 39 of 47

40 FEED•LOT September/October 2018 T HUNDER VIEW FARMS originated in 1958 when Phil Coombe brought five registered Angus cows to the farm. Phil's broth- er Dick joined the operation soon after and they have been running the operation together ever since. Today, the farm has more than 200 seedstock cows on 1,500 acres 100 miles north of New York City. It sits between two of the state's biggest reservoirs supplying drinking water to the nine million people in the city. In the 1990s, New York City proposed tough watershed regulations that would have driven most farmers out of business, but the Coombe fami- ly, along with other families in the area, convinced officials that a way to keep land and water in pristine conditions was to keep the land and forests in well managed farms. "I think it's been a huge advan- tage to the beef industry that we fought the battle with the city and won and now have a strong part- nership," said Dick Coombe. "We've turned a negative that should have put us out of business into a positive." As part of this effort, Thunder View Farms has installed a gravity flow system to deliver clean water to all their pastures and allow them to fence cattle out of the streams. The Coombe family developed an approach to avoid nutrient and sediment runoff. They installed heavy feeding pads that are placed more than 1 , 000 feet away from any streams to protect surface water. They use silage bags to feed the cattle, which provides a healthier environment for the cattle while reducing feed waste and workload. "They have been excellent stew- ards of the land," said Paul Rush, Deputy Commissioner, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, "They work very closely with the water supply to protect it while producing high quality beef." when we got it for them. So by making it as good or better for them they can keep growing and expanding, and keep this symbiotic relationship with the livestock and the wildlife." L ANDUYT LAND AND LIVE- STOCK has roots going back to 1928. Today, father and son George and Mike work together to care for their crops and cattle. The operation originally was a dairy farm, but Mike's grandfather also had beef cattle. He exited the beef business in the 1950s and it took until 1999 for Mike to bring the cattle back to the farm. Since then Landuyt Land and Livestock has built a hoop barn and a monoslope barn. "Our operation is a fourth- generation cattle feedlot and farm. We have about 2,200 acres of crops and about 700 cattle on feed at a time," said Mike Landuyt. "We feed all our cattle under roofs here and it works well for us. It keeps the environment steadier for the cattle and we have zero run-off from the barns." On the crop side of the farm, the Landuyts use a reduced tillage sys- tem to prevent erosion. To protect water quality they have installed MANAGEMENT Stewardship... from previous page buffer zones along their fields to prevent run-off. They have inten- sified their soil sampling to better apply their crop inputs and to make sure they are properly utilizing the manure as a valuable fertilizer. A significant challenge on the farm is controlling erosion due to rainfall. The Landuyts have part- nered with NRCS to build 15 water retaining structures. The basins are there to control heavy rains and most of them can hold a 6-inch rainfall. The basins hold the water and slowly release it back into the stream by a metered system. "We are able to treat the water in the watershed before it gets to the stream. That's important for the streams and rivers here in Minnesota, and they are get- ting better all the time," said Brian Pfarr, Resource Specialist, Soil and Water Conservation District. "It's because of people like Mike and the Landuyt family; they are practicing better management." From crops to cattle, everything works together on Landuyt Land and Livestock and it's clear that the family tradition of doing what is right for the land is in good hands. The goal is to have the farm be around for at least another 90 years. "Take care of the earth," accord- ing to George Landuyt. "Sure, it will take a little bit of money, but if it's going to save the soil and the earth you just need to do it." THUNDER VIEW FARMS LANDUYT LAND AND LIVESTOCK

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Feed Lot - SEP-OCT 2018