Agriculture News
Steuben and Schuyler Counties
February 2021
Dear Readers:

Here's the latest edition of our newsletter for you. Enjoy these sunny winter days.

- Ariel Kirk, Agriculture Educator
Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Committee
Ed Merry
Chris Comstock
Allison Lavine
Gary Mahany
Cody Lafler
Kevin Costello
Joe Castrechino
Legislative Representatives
Hilda Lando
Fred Potter
Virtual Steuben County Crop Symposium

Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join Field Crops Specialist, Josh Putman, and CCE Steuben Agriculture Educator, Ariel Kirk, for a virtual edition of this year’s pesticide recertification course in the Virtual Steuben County Crop Symposium 2021


  • 9:30 am: Registration to confirm pesticide license numbers for workshop certification

  • 10:00am: Worker Protection Standard, Christopher Wainwright, DEC Pesticide Control Specialist 
  • Updates regarding the Worker Protection Standard (WPS) created to protect employees in agribusiness fields, including farms, forests, nurseries, and greenhouses from work related exposure to agricultural pesticides.

10 minute break

  • 11:00am: Identifying Pigweeds (Tricks of the Trade) and an Update of Herbicide Resistance Screening in New York , Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, Assistant Professor of Weed Science 
  • Palmer amaranth is one of the most problematic weed species in the United States. Its biology and ability to become resistant to multiple classes of herbicides make this weed very difficult to control. We will discuss biology, identification methods, closely related species, and management tools for this newly found weed species in Southwest New York. In addition, we will discuss research being conducted at Cornell University on weeds like marestail and waterhemp.

Pre-registration is required! Registration fee is $15.00

Please register and pay with this link here or mail your check with pesticide license number and email for the webinar link to:
CCE Steuben, 20 East Morris Street, Bath, NY 14810.

Webinar link and call-in number will be shared the day prior to the presentation by the email you registered with. DEC certificates will be given at the conclusion of the workshop.

1.0 DEC Credits in categories 1d, 22, 24, and 25
2.0 DEC Credits in categories 10, 1a, 21, and 23
have been approved for this workshop.

For more information about this program please contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County at 607-664-2300 or contact Ariel Kirk at
Learning Opportunities
ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborist Training

This year, due to Covid-19, the annual ISA Certified Arborist Training to prepare participants for the ISA Certification exam will be held via Zoom. This enables us to reach a wider range of interested participants across the state. 

The registration deadline is February 15 in order for all the materials to be shipped to you in time for the training dates of 2/22, 2/24, 3/1 and 3/3 from 9am to 1pm.
Here is the link for the flyer with details and registration information.

From Stephanie Radin, CCE Duchess County
Upcoming workshops and events
Food Safety Best Practices for Pick-Your-Own Fruit Farms

Tuesday, Feb. 9th at 10-11 am

Cost: $15

Speaker: Dr. Connie L. Fisk, Produce Safety Alliance

Whether or not your farm is covered by the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, implementing food safety practices on your farm is good for business. If you allow customers to harvest their own fruit, you also need to make them aware of your food safety policies so they can keep themselves and others safe. In this webinar, Dr. Fisk will describe food safety risks on pick-your-own farms and suggest some rules you may want to include in your visitor policy to minimize those risks.

Click here to register.

Keeping a Small Flock of Chickens

Tuesday, February 16, 2021, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Cost: $0-$30 self-determined sliding scale

This class is intended for individuals who want to keep a few chickens in the backyard for home egg production. Check the specific municipal ordinances of where you live for any restrictions.
Residents who wish to keep chickens typically will need a permit and also evidence that you have attended a class on raising chickens. This class offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County will meet that requirement. Attendees will receive a letter to take to their municipality. 

This class will be taught by experienced Ithaca backyard flock owner, and CCE Tompkins employee Mila Fournier who will provide practical advice on successful and satisfying chicken raising. The class Is open to anyone who wishes to raise a small flock of chickens regardless of where you live. 
Dear Readers,
Use the links within this short reminder to read more about ag value assessment and the importance of the program. -Ariel Kirk

The agricultural value assessment is a program offered to eligible farms that can reduce the property taxes on land that is used for farming. The program has to be applied for annually by March 1st. To learn more about the program, its qualifications, and how to apply visit the NYS Dept of Taxation website or contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll. New for this year – farms that will not meet the $10,000 minimum in gross sales due to COVID related losses, but have in the past, are eligible for an exemption

Are you a producer and vendor at Farmers Markets, or Farmers Market Manager interested in gaining more customers?

Along with buying seed and prepping for the next growing season, it's important to be able to sell to a wide audience.

Many seniors receive Senior Nutrition Coupons that they are only able to use with vendors that participate with the program. Typically, once the market day is done, the vendor then takes the coupons back to the Farmers Market office and trades them for the cash value of the coupon spent.

It's easy to become a Farmers Market and vendor that accepts Senior Nutrition Coupons. Read more about the application process and program here.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Deer Management

February 9, 2:00pm - 3:30pm Webinar

The EPA Center for Integrated Pest Management will present an overview of effective integrated strategies to manage deer. As deer populations grow, we experience an uptick in vehicle collisions, tick populations, and damage to our gardens and landscapes. During this webinar, participants will learn non-lethal integrated strategies to exclude and repel deer and tips for avoiding plants that deer love to eat. Presenters will also discuss deer deterrents, repellents, devices, exclusionary fencing, and community-based deer management plans that involve both lethal and non-lethal methods.

The webinar will feature experts from Auburn University, University of Maryland Agricultural Extension, Rutgers University, and the Center for Integrated Pest Management.

Register here

CCE SWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops and SCNY Dairy and Field Crops teams are excited to offer a grazing series with an emphasis on dairy herds, but all grazers are welcome! Join us VIRTUALLY for a 6 week series on unique topics around grazing.

This series will be offered every Tuesday starting March 2, 2021 at Noon EST. Our last session on April 6, 2021 will be a panel discussion at 7pm with our series presenters. Topics will include: Considerations for 2021 Spring Green Up, Nutrition & Grazing Through the Season, Incorporating Annual Forages to the Grazing Plan, Examining Lameness on Grazing Dairies, Maximizing Pasture Investment, and an Expert Panel Discussion with Series Speakers.

There is a $25 registration fee which gives you access to all 6 sessions and presentation files ahead of the meetings and recordings to be shared afterward.

Registration is available here

-Brought to you from our SWNY Ag Team
Bees, Pesticides and Politics:
Challenges and Opportunities for
Sustainable Urban Landscapes
Brought to you by the
Horticulture Research Institute (HRI)
Free Webinar on Friday, February 12 at 1:00pm

Please register here

This talk with the esteemed Dr. Dan Potter will help attendees better understand why bees and other pollinators are in peril, the role of insecticides and other factors in pollinator decline, and how land care professionals and gardeners can safeguard pollinators when managing pests of lawns and landscapes. Pollinator conservation initiatives that can benefit growers, garden centers, and land care professionals will be discussed, as well as best woody plants supporting bees and other pollinators.
Dr. Dan Potter is Professor of Entomology at the University of Kentucky. His research has informed strategies integrated pest and pollinator management for 42 years. He is an award-winning teacher and a frequent invited speaker at conferences around the world. Dan has received national legacy contribution awards from the Professional Land Care Network, the American Nursery and Landscape Association, and the U.S. Golf Association.

About HRI's tHRIve Series
The Horticultural Research Institute has created a web-based series featuring key research findings that help environmental horticulture businesses tHRIve. These web-based offerings cover research that is directly funded by HRI as well as federally funded research. HRI was created to improve the horticultural community through research that addresses critical issues and new innovations. HRI trustees recognize that research is critical to help our industry succeed and grow, and sharing new findings is part of that equation. New content will be added throughout the year and may be viewed for free at

-Shared from the Cornell Fruit Department
Agriculture Literacy Week is Just Around the Corner!

Dear Readers:
Our books for the 2021 Agriculture Literacy Week are on their way! This year's book highlights the dairy industry. Instead of in-person readings by volunteers, we are collaborating with the FFA class at Avoca School District to engage with the younger grades for in-person book readings and an "ice cream in a bag" creative activity.
We will also have other opportunities to learn about dairy from this fun book in a virtual way.

Here is a little more information on this year's book:

Chuck's Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother)
Written by Viola Butler
Art by Ward Jenkins

Ice cream is a treat we enjoy in many forms and flavors. But how often do we stop and think about how the ice cream we're eating made its way to the cone or dish we are enjoying it from? Chuck's Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother) connects the delicious treat to the work farmers are doing every day to grow, raise and produce our food. This book will take students on an explorative journey learn about dairy and to trace the food on their plate back to its source- the farmer.

With over 4,000 dairy farms and ranking fourth nationally as the largest producer of milk, dairy is vital to New York State. New York State is also the largest producer of yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream in the nation. The dairy community in New York includes both large dairy operations and small, family run farms. It also boasts processing facilities of various types and sizes, from major global processing companies to small artisanal dairy product makers. We are excited to feature a book that displays the unique markets and diversity that encompasses many aspects of New York's dairy industry while also focusing on processing and how consumers contribute to agriculture.

Chuck's Ice Cream Wish (Tales of the Dairy Godmother) highlights the dairy industry with vivid illustrations and a humorous storyline. Students will understand the importance of agriculture as an economic driver in communities across New York and develop an awareness for where their food comes from and its journey.
If you would like to sponsor a book, they are $12.00 each. Every year the featured book teaches children across Steuben County a different aspect of farming, agriculture, and where our food comes from.

You can use the link here and scroll down to the bottom of the page to donate, or call the office at 607-644-2300
Dairy Market Watch

Please find the latest issue of Dairy Market Watch here for those reading the email version of Ag News.
The print version is within the January Edition of Ag News
Dear Readers,
Take a look at both topics regarding ruminants developed by our SWNY Ag Team:

Blood draws on goats and sheep are common. While most of us leave drawing blood to the herd or flock veterinarian, there are some instances where it can make sense for farmers to draw blood themselves. Blood can be used to test for pregnancy, genetic markers, or diseases. This article by Purdue University Extension shares step-by-step instructions for gathering equipment, safe restraint, and different methods for preparing the site, drawing blood, and considerations for handling and storing the samples.

The USDA's National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) conducts national studies of various livestock sectors. In preparation for the upcoming national sheep study in 2023, they are looking for your input on the most important health issues facing the U.S. sheep industry. Your responses will be used to determine which issue areas should be the focus of the study and be used to identify and prioritize the objectives of the study.

The survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete and can be found at the following link.
The Nourish New York program continues to provide local food from farmers to populations in need through New York’s network of food banks. Last month, as part of his 2021 State of the State agenda, Governor Cuomo announced his commitment to continue the Nourish New York initiative with a third round of funding. The additional funding of $25 million will support New York's robust agricultural industry and ensure the delivery of fresh food to New York families. 
A great example of #NourishNY in action can be found at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier recently reached several milestones, purchasing nearly $1.3 million worth of products as of the end of 2020, which included over 650,000 pounds of dairy products, from New York State farmers and producers. Learn more.
To date, the Nourish New York program has helped purchase 21 million pounds of surplus agricultural products that have been delivered to more than 1.3 million households across New York State. To find the latest news about Nourish New York, please visit
-Excerpt from NYS Monthly Harvest Newsletter

  • 6+ acres for lease for organic cultivation. Must have ag exemption. Call (607) 483-8758 between 10:30 AM and 5:00 PM, M – F.

  • Available For Rent: Steuben County SWCD has an Esch 10’ No-Till Drill for rent. Rates are $12-$25/acre based on number of acres planted. Delivery/pickup available. Please call (607)776-7398 ext.3 for more information.

  • Seeking conservation minded individual with interests in permaculture to rent 3-4 acre, gentle grade, southern exposure field for agricultural production in Steuben County, NY. Acceptable practices include organic vegetable production, small scale poultry, and organic greenhouse or high tunnel production. Other considerations will be determined by owner. Improved, uncultivated ground will require proper preparation for success. Currently no housing available on the property, but can be discussed with owner in the future. Contact CCE Steuben at (607)664-2574 for further information.

  • Attention Cattle Farmers: I have pasture/farmland for rent, 40-50 acres, reasonable rate. Located in Steuben County on State Rt. 63. Contact Marian Crawford at (585)728-5303.

  • Looking for a farmer interested in a lease agreement for approximately 40 - 50 acres in Howard at the intersection of CR69 and Dublin Road. Please call Bill at (484)794-1400 for more information.
Ariel Kirk, Agriculture Educator -