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March 2011

DeLuxe representatives scooped delicious DeLuxe ice cream for appreciative expo attendees during spring trade shows.

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Iredell farms keep busy despite cold, snow

By Bethany Fuller
Published January 12, 2011, Statesville Record & Landmark
Photo by Regan Hill

Winter may slow down production at some Iredell County farms, but for others, the cold weather has its benefits.
     Northern Iredell farmer Phil McLain said the wheat and canola in the fields around his family’s Snow Creek Road farm is dormant right now. However, the snow provides nitrogen to the soil, water for the crops and naturally insulates the seeds, he said.
     “Snow is good,” McLain said. “It provides insulation from these real cool temperatures.”
     McLain said the work doesn't stop just because snow is on the ground. Maintenance work on the equipment is just one of the things farm workers accomplish over the winter.
     At Stamey Farms in western Iredell, owner Bob Stamey said dairy cows do well during cold weather. When the temperature drops, he said, the cows eat more and produce more milk.
     “In a very severe cold, it might effect them a little bit,” Stamey said. “They appreciate their feed, and they consume more. All through the winter, those are good months for milk production.”
     Stamey said it is much easier to manage the herd during the winter months than during the hot summer.
     His family is accustomed to the chores that need to be done in order to  winterize the different buildings on the farm to ensure the pipes and the water troughs don’t freeze over.
     “Everything else works pretty good,” he said.
     Mooresville Angus beef cattle farmer Dennis Overcash said he also has to feed his herd more often, but for a different reason.
    "Cattle eat more when it’s cold outside to keep themselves warm," he said.
     It usually takes him half a day to feed his herd the hay and grain it needs. These days, it takes him all day, he said.
     “They can’t get any grass,” he said. “It takes more time and fuel to get stuff out to them. It makes it cost more to produce the animal.”

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