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Farm Structures
Innovative farm thrives

If you drive out to Cane Creek Farm in Snow Camp, N.C., you’ll be immediately puzzled.

Tool simplifies pond building

Obtaining a quick, accurate estimate of the cost of building a farm pond could be a whole lot easier in the future, thanks to a new online computer program.

Mushroom grower discovers profit in specialty fungi

A conversation with Linda Spain might sound more like some fictional story than farming — topics such as spawn, working in the shade and using cut timber rather than soil for production don’t resonate with your typical grower.

Wind farms generate conflict across state

Each morning from March until September, Dave and Stephanie Hulthen and their four children will awake to the flick of a shadow strobing across the east-facing front of their home. The shadow flicker will go on for nearly an hour, until the sun has risen above the 400-foot tops of four wind turbines located east of their home, the closest just 1,400 feet away.

Well covers not as safe as they seem

Mark Bertolino’s voice broke as he described his granddaughter’s last morning.

Shop talk

Todd Intermill’s shop isn’t the biggest or fanciest you’ll ever see. But it might be one of the most comfortable and functional.

Shop smarts

Todd Intermill heats, cools and dehumidifies his 36-by-56-foot shop for $650 per year with an air-source heat pump and an electric furnace. The air-source heat pump moves heat from outside to inside the shop, and vice versa, to maintain the desired temperature. The electric furnace works as a backup in the winter. Its blower distributes the heat pump’s air throughout the shop.

Keep cow manure on pasture, out of pond

Mitch Baltz loves to see his cows on grass, but he can’t stand to see them standing in ponds loafing.So, in one sloping pasture, the Powhatan, Ark., cattle producer built two successive stair-step ponds.

Fabric fascination

For modern agriculture, the nostalgic red, hip-roof barn is rarely a first choice for new construction. Barns have long been modified to account for farm size, new technologies, increased efficiency and specific farm needs.

Barns not cut from same cloth

Marvin Lindberg bought his first farm 31 years ago. He put up a tie-stall barn and a small freestall barn and bought 19 Guernsey cows from another farmer.

Poly-Fence Wizard gains editors’ nod

Alan Newport has been moving cattle around in paddocks and studying intensive grazing management for more than 20 years, so it’s no wonder he got tired of running back and forth to the shop for fence posts, getting tangled up in unorganized rolls of polywire, and — in general — dreading putting up temporary fence.

Best new feedlot features

Paul and Jim Bitz, Napoleon, N.D., expanded their feedlot, J&P Feeders, from
1,800- to 4,000-head capacity in 2006. Some of the features that the brothers say they especially like in the new facility are detailed.

Go big with hybrid building

Vaughn and Vance Zacharias, Kathryn, N.D., put up one of the new hybrid buildings by Morton Buildings. It’s called a hybrid because it combines steel trusses with wood post-frame construction. With the pre-engineered steel trusses, it’s possible to create a clear span of 150 feet and a vaulted ceiling, which allows for taller doors. But the superior insulating, strength and aesthetics of the post-frame construction is maintained.

Farm adds archery range to operation

The old tiestall barn at Elder Creek Farm in Springport has a new lease on life. In the past, it housed contented cows; now, it’s the perfect place for people of all ages to try their hand at archery.

Historic barn gets a facelift

Several generations will be linked together when Tom Dull’s family and volunteers restore an old barn this April. Restoration of the barn, dating back to the 1800s, wouldn’t be possible if not for the Internet.

Planning a better building

Christensen Farms, Beresford, S.D., can load seven potloads of fat cattle in 70 minutes — thanks to a new indoor working and loading facility.Marlow Christenson and his wife, Donna, operate the 2,000-head feedlot with sons Dale, Doug and Don and their families.

Inside my barn

The Christensens’ new barn contains cattle working facilities, horse stalls, an office-vet room and a loading chute. It’s a lot easier and safer to work cattle inside the facility than outside, says Dale Christensen, who operates the 2,000-head feedlot near Beresford, S.D., with his brothers, Doug and Don, and parents, Marlow and Donna.

Farm history in the making

Terry and Mary Jean Zavadil are living out a family legacy. The Zavadils and their children are the sixth and seventh generations of the family to be living on the same farm that Terry’s great-great-grandfather, Franz Zavadil, homesteaded in northern Cedar County and built up in the late 1800s after emigrating to the U.S. from Bohemia.

Sunnyside Farms looks to the sun

"Old Sol” now works at Sunnyside Farms near Westminster, Md. And he’s paying his way at this 10 million-dozen-egg poultry operation.

What really makes a chicken happy?

MSU’s Poultry Research and Training Center has a new facility like none other in academia across the United States, according to MSU Poultry Extension specialist Darrin Karcher.