Agriculture News
Steuben County
July 2021
Dear Readers:

The weather has been heating up and the growing season is doing well as we head into the summertime full swing.

Please read on for the newest happenings from CCE on agriculture, horticulture, and natural resources topics.

- 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
Precautions When Working Outdoors in Very Hot and Humid Weather
It's hot out there! The upcoming forecast over the next few days for the Finger Lakes Region are very hot and humid. Please take precautions when working outdoors! Topics included Preventing Heat Stress; Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illness; and Heat Stroke is a Medical Emergency. Document on Preventing Heat Stress

Thanks to CCE Ontario for this warning of working safely in the heat -Ariel

Morris – Southern Tier Sheep and Wool Growers annual Wool Pool will be Friday, September 10, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday, September 11, from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Otsego County Fair Grounds, Morris, NY. Please make sure you are signed in before closing time.  

Producers will receive $.40 per pound for clean white wool. The wool will be separated into two categories: good clean wool and off-sorts/short wool

We will not be accepting naturally colored wool this year.

The Southern Tier Sheep & Wool Growers pool is a producer friendly pool. It is a place to see old and new friends and to network with other shepherds about rams, ewes, equipment and markets. 

When you shear or if you have already shorn try to keep your wool clean and dry. Store out of the sun and away from vegetable matter and polypropylene. 

If you have any questions or are looking for more information, please contact Sue Smith at (607)293-8810 or Valery Worden at
Dear Readers: Here is some great information from Cornell Staff at Pro-Dairy on recent data regarding last year's dairy industry performance measures. This final report was released late last month.

Dairy Profit Monitor key performance
trend graphs: April 2020 – March 2021

Thirty nine dairy farms have completed the Dairy Profit Monitor (DPM) program from April 2020 through March 2021. The trend graphs prepared by the DPM provide a snapshot of how key performance measures changed on these farms over the last 12 months (see below). The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on milk price throughout the 12 month period. The average net milk price for these 39 farms ranged from $12.57 in May to $19.06 in November, which is a $6.50 range over the course of those six months.
Total lactating feed cost per cwt and cost per pound of dry matter also steadily increased from April to March reflecting the rising feed costs. Net Milk Income over Total Feed Costs per cow (NMIOTFC) using the actual milk price followed the same pattern throughout the course of the 12 months as the net milk price; taking a large hit in May, increasing drastically through July, and steadily decreasing from November on. If we analyze the NMIOTFC per cow using a fixed milk price, the cost per cow per day stays fairly consistent over the course of the 12 month period. Since producers cannot control the milk price they receive, analyzing the NMIOTFC with a fixed milk price allows us to analyze the performance of the management changes that were made on the farm during that time. The NMIOTFC per cow using a fixed milk price stayed relatively unchanged throughout the 12 months with the increase in pounds of components produced per cow over the period, offsetting the feed cost increase.
Milk sold per worker and labor efficiency on these 39 farms has slightly increased over the 12 month period. Given the changing labor regulations in New York State, this will continue to be an important management goal on farms.
-Lauren Augello, Pro-Dairy

To learn more about the Dairy Profit Monitor Program, please visit

There is a great need for businesses and farmers to accept WIC and Farmers Market Nutrition Program coupons

Are you a farmer that vends at Farmers Markets?

Do you own a farmstand or garden nursery that also sells produce?

Apply for the Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) and allow your produce and products to be purchased with Senior Nutrition Coupons and WIC Nutrition Coupons. These funds can only be used with sellers that are within the program.

This year, between the months of June and September there has been an increase in funds for every woman and child in need, but there are very few producers listed as accepting the program's benefits. We hope more farms will join the program for those in need.

Please visit the NYSDAM website to apply here
CCE Steuben Speaker Series Presents:

Fiber Farm Fundamentals: Alpacas 101

July 22, 2021
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Free to the public

Meet Jeff & Leslie Jorritsma of Autumn Mist Alpaca Farm

Come find out what is involved with raising alpacas…it is actually easier and less expensive than you think! And what do you do when the fleece is off the animal? There will also be time to enjoy an in-depth tour of their on-site fiber processing mill.

Learn about:
  • Buying
  • Breeding
  • Boarding
  • Birthing
  • The BIG things!

Jeff Jorritsma is President of the Empire Alpaca Association and Treasurer of the Mid Atlantic Alpaca Association Board of Directors. He and his wife, Leslie, own Autumn Mist Alpaca Farm & Fiber Mill LLC. They began with alpacas 15 years ago and travel year-round to showcase these beautiful animals. Their mill processes fleece from all across the country.

Refreshments will be available.

Don't miss this fun event. It's all happening at:

Autumn Mist Alpaca
Farm & Fiber Mill LLC
11579 Wessie Road
Prattsburgh, NY

To register for your free spot at this event, visit:
Opportunities to be Involved
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) Needs Your Help for Agricultural Pest (Rodent) Survey

The New York State IPM Program helps people manage pests in ways that minimize environmental, health and economic risks. In addition to expertise in agricultural commodities, our program provides education about 'structural pests,' including rodents. The purpose of this nine question survey is to collect information about current rodent management practices around farms to identify opportunities for outreach.
Survey Link here
Thank you for your time!

For more information, please contact Matt Frye, PhD, NYS IMP Program by email here or phone 845-320-2715
Container Garden Kits are almost ready to give away!

CCE Steuben is excited to share that we were once again awarded the NYSDAM Container Garden Grant. We again have help from CCE Yates, Schuyler, Tioga, and Chemung in the building, gifting, education, and follow up with the kits as well.

We are still awaiting a few of the supplies before we can put the kits together, but they will be coming soon and we will announce more information when we're ready to share the kits and have residents learn and benefit from gardening and growing fresh vegetables themselves.

Stay tuned!
Building a Backyard Habitat

Thursday, 7/15
7pm - 8 pm

Would you like to attract more birds and other wildlife to your property? Then come to the Ted Markham Nature Center at Mossy Bank Park to hear Ariel Kirk, CCE Steuben Agriculture Educator tell us how to Build a Backyard Wildlife Habitat.

The event is free and open to the public
How Do You Become A Pesticide Applicator?

Join this session for a walk through on the process of becoming a certified pesticide applicator.
Whether you want to do landscaping, structural pest control, or agriculture use, learn how to qualify for the exam and start your new career. 
Dear Reader,
Are you a small or mid-sized beef processor? Here is some recent news that may help your business:

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2021 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced $55.2 million in competitive grant funding available through the new Meat and Poultry Inspection Readiness Grant (MPIRG) program. The new program is funded by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021.

"We are building capacity and increasing economic opportunity for small and midsized meat and poultry processors and producers across the country." Secretary Tom Vilsack said. "Through MPIRG, meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities can cover the costs for necessary improvements to achieve a Federal Grant of Inspection under the Federal Meat Inspection Act or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, or to operate under a state's Cooperative Interstate Shipment program."

USDA encourages grant applications that focus on improving meat and poultry slaughter and processing capacity and efficiency; developing new and expanding existing markets; increasing capacity and better meeting consumer and producer demand; maintaining strong inspection and food safety standards; obtaining a larger commercial presence; and increasing access to slaughter or processing facilities for smaller farms and ranches, new and beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged producers, and veteran producers. Eligible meat and poultry slaughter and processing facilities include commercial businesses, cooperatives, and tribal enterprises.

MPIRG's Planning for a Federal Grant of Inspection (PFGI) project is for processing facilities currently in operation and are working toward Federal inspection. Applicants can be located anywhere in the states and territories. Whereas, MPIRG's Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) Compliance project is only for processing facilities located in states with a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) CIS program. These states currently include Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont and Wisconsin. Applicants must be working toward CIS program compliance requirements to operate a state-inspected facility or make a good faith effort toward doing so.

Applications must be submitted electronically through by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Monday, August 2, 2021. Any grant application submitted after the due date will not be considered unless the applicant provides documentation of an extenuating circumstance that prevented their timely submission of the grant application. Read more in AMS Late and Non-Responsive Application Policy (PDF, 431 KB).
AMS offers webinars for applicants to help walk them through the Request for Application. Additionally, grants management specialists are standing by to answer any incoming questions and emails during regular business hours. For more information about grant eligibility and program requirements, visit the MPIRG webpage, or contact us at

This announcement is part of the Build Back Better initiative, a commitment to invest more than $4 billion to strengthen the food system, support food production, improved processing, investments in distribution and aggregation, and market opportunities. Through the Build Back Better initiative, USDA will help to ensure the food system of the future is fair, competitive, distributed, and resilient; supports health with access to healthy, affordable food; ensures growers and workers receive a greater share of the food dollar; and advances equity as well as climate resilience and mitigation.

The Build Back Better Initiative and this announcement are aligned with the Biden Administration's broader work on strengthening the resilience of critical supply chains as directed by Executive Order 14017 America's Supply Chains. USDA's efforts to strengthen the food system dovetail with the Administration's whole of government response to address near-term supply chain challenges to the economic recovery via the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, of which Secretary Vilsack is a member. Through this Task Force the Administration is convening stakeholders to diagnose problems and surface solutions—large and small, public or private—that could help alleviate bottlenecks and supply constraints related to the economy's reopening after the Administration's historic vaccination and economic relief efforts.

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America's food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit

-USDA Press

 Questions can be directed to Amy Barkley, Livestock and Beginning Farm Specialist, at or 716-640-0844.
** Your Advertisement Here! **

Dear Readers,
Through this publication, CCE Steuben serves farmers, agribusinesses, and county residents of all ages interested in current agriculture, horticulture, and natural resources topics. You can contribute a logo and/or have space for a promotional message to reach the local agriculture community.

$100.00 for the remainder of the year - December 2021

Contact Anne at 607-664-2300 or email her here for more details.
Dear Readers,
The DEC is again having an uptick in human/bear interactions and urges residents to secure their belongings and be aware when they are in areas that bear may frequent as well. See below:

Feed Pets Indoors, Secure Garbage, and Take Down Birdfeeders to Reduce Potential for Human-Bear Interactions

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today encouraged New Yorkers to take a few simple precautions to avoid conflicts with bears. 

“DEC is receiving reports of bears roaming neighborhoods in several parts of upstate New York,” Commissioner Seggos said. “We are encouraging New Yorkers to help reduce the potential for negative interactions with bears by removing the things bears find attractive like pet food and trash.”   

Summer is a busy time for bears. Young bears disperse from family groups, breeding bears search for mates, and all bears forage for food to gain the fat needed for winter. With this increased activity comes a greater potential for human-bear conflicts, when bears find food near people. 
New Yorkers living in bear country, which includes much of upstate New York, are asked to take a few simple steps this summer to protect their communities and bears from harm:
  • Secure garbage indoors or a locked outbuilding until the morning of pickup;
  • Remove birdfeeders;
  • Clean grease from grills; and
  • Secure livestock food and don’t feed pets outdoors. 

For more information, please visit DEC's webpage on reducing human-bear conflicts.
Dairy Market Watch

Please find the latest issue of Dairy Market Watch here for those reading the email version of Ag News.
For those with mailed copies, it is included as an insert within your mailing.

More about Dairy Market Watch and last month's industry data from Katelyn:

Dairy Market Watch is an educational newsletter created to keep producers informed of changing market factors affecting the dairy industry. Dairy Market Watch is published at the end of every month, funded in part by Cornell Pro-Dairy, and is compiled by Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Business Management Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Program. 

June has brought some fluid milk distribution hurdles due to driver shortages and extreme heat. Dairy exports are helping to prop up dairy prices and positions the US positively as world demand is outpacing world production. Moving parts of domestic milk production, sales, exports – will affect the milk price for the second half of 2021. Class III should be in the $16’s through the summer, $17’s in the Fall, and high $17’s to round out the year. Class III futures have weakened (previously at $18) and the USDA has a less optimistic forecast with the all year average at $17.15 (started with a forecast of $18.16). 

Please read the attached or linked full article for more information.
Gypsy Moths!

What are Gypsy Moths and what do they eat?
The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a non-native insect from France, introduced in the 1800s. They are now considered naturalized and will always be in our forest communities. In New York, gypsy moth caterpillars are known to feed on the leaves of a large variety of trees such as oak, maple, apple, crabapple, hickory, basswood, aspen, willow, birch, pine, spruce, hemlock, and more. Oak is their preferred species.

Why are there so many on my trees and vegetation?
Gypsy moth populations rise and fall in cycles, varying over the years from very few and not noticeable (most years) to large numbers and very noticeable leaf damage and tree defoliation. In New York, we tend to see an outbreak, or large spike in population numbers, every 10-15 years. These outbreaks are usually ended by natural causes such as disease and predators. The larvae stage should start to end around July, and the moth stage will follow for a few weeks around August.

What can be done to help defoliated trees?
Most healthy trees can withstand a couple years of leaf loss from gypsy moth caterpillars. Long-term damage depends on the type of tree as well as how much defoliation took place:

  • Conifers - If a needle-bearing tree loses more than 50% of its needles, it probably won't recover. Check it for new needle growth in the months after the caterpillars are gone.

  • Hardwoods - A healthy leaf-bearing tree will likely leaf out again as the caterpillars disappear in July/August, though leaves will probably be smaller than usual. If a tree loses ALL its leaves and does not grow any new ones in late summer, check it in the spring. If it still does not leaf out next spring, it has died.

-Photos and information sourced from the DEC website found here.
For more information, contact the DEC at or call the Bath DEC Wildlife phone number at: (607) 622-8274
Forestry Best Management Practices and Skidder Bridge Workshop
Loggers, forest landowners, town and zoning officials are encouraged to attend! 

Space is limited, please register with Maren Alexander by 7/23/2021

Registration can be completed online at:

or by Phone: 518-623-3119 or Email: 

Lunch and light refreshments will be provided!

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement
(LC-00A00695-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.
This workshop will focus on the benefits of Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) for:
  • water quality protection
  • forest and soil health improvement
  • the conservation of critical habitat areas

The workshop includes a logging site tour to see BMP implementation and the construction of a portable skidder bridge. At the conclusion of the workshop, each logger in attendance will be entered into a drawing to take the skidder bridge with them for FREE!!! All workshop attendees will receive a copy of the NYS 2018 Forestry BMP Field Guide. This workshop is FREE and open to the public and no previous training or experience is required.
This workshop is pending approval for SAF, CFE Credits and NYLT Continuing Education Credits!
When: Friday July 30th, 2021, 8:30am - 4:00pm
Where: Town of Hague Highway Department - 170 West Hague Road Hague

  • 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 -