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Around The Grange
Connecticut's Outstanding Dairy Farm of 2010
 

By CT Department of Agriculture Bulletin (9/8/10)

  SEPTEMBER 17, 2010 --

The judges for the annual Green Pastures Award arrived at Hytone Farm, in Coventry, Connecticut, as the third cutting of high quality grass was being harvested and packed into the concrete bunker silo. They observed the tall corn, growing next to heavily traveled Route 44, which the Peracchios will begin chopping the first week of September.

Grandpa Giovanni (John) Peracchio started the farm in Coventry in 1944, growing peaches, pears, vegetables, and a small dairy herd. By 1960, his son Antonio started increasing the dairy herd, which has grown to 240 cows under the ownership of his sons, Bill and Tom, and grandson, Greg Peracchio. His wife, Betty Peracchio, remains the bookkeeper for Hytone Farm, LLC.

While Tom is the ‘cow man’, Bill and Greg manage the crops and keep the planting and harvesting equipment functioning, for the moment of maximum quality passes quickly. The Peracchios grow 240 acres of corn and 200 acres of grass for forage. Most all of the grass is chopped as haylage.

Manure, the primary source of nutrients for the crops, is applied accord- ing to their nutrient management plan, to meet the needs of the crop without putting on excess nutrients which could harm the environment. Manure is stored and spread on the land only when the crop needs it. They also try to keep their schedule of spreading manure to Monday through Friday, so as not to be a nuisance to their many non farm neighbors. The Peracchios travel up to fifteen miles to their rented fields, so important for feeding the herd all year. The farm grows more than enough for each year as an insur- ance policy against drought, insects or hurricanes.

Greg Peracchio is president of the Agri-Mark Cooperative Young Farmers, Bill is president of Very Alive, and Tom is a member of the Central Connecticut Cooperative Board. In addition, the farm is one of six Connecticut farms retailing milk through retail stores as the Farmers Cow brand. “Retail is an eye opener that all farmers should experience,” said Tom.

The Green Pastures Award for 2010 will be presented to Hytone Farm at the Big E, along with the winners from the other five New England states. This is the second Green Pastures Award for Hytone Farm.

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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