Agriculture News
Steuben County
November 2021
Dear Readers:

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
Shared by the SW Regional Team:

Calves Can Make the Perfect Pair

by Abby Bauer, Senior Associate Editor Hoard`s Dairyman

Group housing for calves is a common topic of conversation in today's dairy industry, but it's not a system that is easy for all farms to implement. That does not mean dairies can't still reap the benefits that come from raising calves in social groups, though.
Whitney Knauer, an assistant professor with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, believes that housing two calves together in a pair is an easier transition for many farms that still yields positive results.

"I really like pair housing because we get a lot of the advantages of social housing without the detrimental effects of large groups," she said during a presentation at the American Association of Bovine Practitioner's (AABP) annual conference.

Knauer explained that pair housing requires few changes in overall calf management on the farm and generally won't impact the milk delivery system. Paired housing doesn't require a new building, and both hutches and pens can be adapted to accommodate two calves. "There is a lot of opportunity to modify what we already have," she said about housing.
Studies have shown the same benefits in paired calves as they have in those raised in groups, including greater starter intake at weaning, longer lying times at weaning, and less vocalization at weaning. Calves raised with a peer also have a reduced fear of new objects or novel situations.
Knauer noted that pair housing is best suited for farmers that are already doing a good job with raising their calves. If a farm is currently facing health challenges among the calf herd, this would likely not be a good time to facilitate this change.

Pairing provides the most benefit when it is done earlier in life, prior to three weeks of age. Knauer recommended starting calves out individually for a week to 10 days and then forming the pair. There should be no more than a two-week age difference between the two calves, and less than one week is ideal, she said. "Calves should be vigorous and drinking well before being moved into a pair," she added.
There are various ways to create groups in either hutches or pens, but Knauer reminded that each calf must be provided at least 35 square feet of resting space.

For milk feeding, Knauer noted that calves must be fed, at minimum, 6 liters of milk or milk replacer per day, split into two meals. It is most desirable to offer this liquid in a nipple bottle or nipple bucket to slow drinking time and reduce the risk of cross sucking.

If cross sucking is a concern, Knauer said it can be minimized by feeding more milk and feeding out of a nipple. She said there is also the option to split calves up for feeding. While this adds labor - about one minute per calf in a University of Minnesota trial - she said the calf feeders actually found it easier to feed calves when they were separated for milk delivery.
Knauer noted that the pen should include a water bucket and calf starter bucket for each calf. One benefit of social housing is that calves can learn from their peers, so if one calf is eating or drinking, it is desirable for the other calf to be able to mimic the behavior and to do the same activity at the same time.

No matter what system is used to pair calves, Knauer reminded the audience, "The basic principles of excellent husbandry and management apply." Practices such as colostrum feeding, proper bedding, and so forth will all play a role in the success of pair housing for calves.

Photo credit from University of UW-Madison here
Labor Roadshow IV

The Ag Workforce Development Council has announced the agenda for the virtual Labor Roadshow IV. A series of five one to two-hour webinars will be held online through Zoom at noon on November 18, 19, 20, 23, and 24. Cost is $55 per person to attend all five webinars and to receive links to the webinar recordings.

New York Labor Road Show IV is an opportunity to learn about regulation changes and how to best position your business for compliance and success. Several important changes to state regulations occurred in 2020 that farm employers need to understand, including which employees are covered by overtime and day-of-rest and which can be designated as family members or exempt employees.

Noon to 1:30 PM EDT | November 18, 2020
FLFLPA overtime and day-of-rest updates
  • Definition of farm laborers and family employees
  • FLFLPA: Overtime exempt managers and employees
  • Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development
  • Charles Palmer, Michael Best Law Firm

Noon to 1:30 PM EDT | November 19, 2020
New NY permanent sick leave law, and insurance requirements: Paid family leave, disability, and worker’s compensation
  • Richard Stup, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development
  • Neil Gilberg, Employer Advocate, NY Worker’s Compensation Board

Noon to 2:00 PM EDT | November 20, 2020
Union education
  • Managing a union drive and reminder about what farms can and cannot say
  • Charles Palmer, Michael Best Law Firm
  • FLFLPA: Update about union membership for family members or supervisors
  • John Wirenius, NY PERB

Noon to 1:30 PM EDT | November 23, 2020
FLFLPA employee housing requirements and sexual harassment prevention
  • New housing inspection requirement for small-scale migrant labor, plus other housing-related topics
  • Steven Martin, Chief Sanitarian, NYS Department of Health
  • Jeanette Lazelle and Caylin Gwise, Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs, NYS Department of Labor
  • Sexual harassment prevention training reminder and resources
  • Libby Eiholzer, Cornell Cooperative Extension

Noon to 2:00 PM | November 24, 2020
COVID-19 and Farm Workforce Health (2 hours)
  • Outlook for 2021: Treatments, vaccines, and COVID-19 prevention. A virologist’s perspective
  • Kali Kniel, Ph.D., Professor of Microbial Food Safety, University of Delaware
  • COVID-19 prevention best practices
  • Elizabeth Bihn, Ph.D., Cornell Institute for Food Safety
  • Getting buy-in from employees
  • Farm managers who dealt with the disease successfully
  • Summary of manager input, Richard Stup, Ag Workforce Development

Ag Workforce Development Council member organizations include: NEDPA, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development, Cayuga Marketing, AgriMark, Upstate Niagara, New York Farm Bureau, New York Vegetable Growers Association, New York Animal Ag Coalition, Agri-Placement Services, New York Horticultural Society, Dairy Farmers of America, Farm Credit East, Gray & Oscar LLC.
Tar Spot in Corn Confirmed in WNY
From the NWNY Regional Team:

Gary Bergstrom has confirmed that tar spot has been found and confirmed in corn in two locations in Erie County. We have been talking about the possible arrival of tar spot for years. Earlier this season it had been confirmed in Erie County PA and just across the border in Ontario Canada. The following are Gary’s advice for identifying tar spot in your corn field.

 “Attached are two photos of corn leaves affected by tar spot in Erie County. These show nicely the range of sizes of glossy black stromata, the fruiting bodies and overwinter survival structures of the fungus. For diagnosis, it’s all about the stromata. They can’t be wiped off like insect frass can. Chlorotic or necrotic lesions won’t be that helpful at this stage as other foliar diseases and senescence will likely co-occur on the same leaves. The stromata remain highly visible on frosted or completely senesced leaves. This provides an opportunity to scout for stromata on foliar residues in harvested fields! I’ll have a blog article together soon for wider sharing.” We would expect to find tar spot in Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.
If you think you have found tar spot in your corn, please give Mike Stanyard a call or text pictures to 585-764-8452 or email
Tar spot on corn found in Erie County. Photos by: Mark Zittel
Opportunities to be Involved
CCE Flock Talks Presents:
Preparing Poultry for Winter

Wednesday, November 17th 7pm – 8pm
The leaves are rapidly falling, and the first frosts have bitten many areas across the state. While we haven’t received our first flakes of snow yet, winter is going to be here before we know it, and we want to make sure our poultry are prepared. Join Michelle Proscia, Agricultural Educator of CCE-Sullivan and Amy Barkley, Livestock and Beginning Farm Specialist with the SWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program, as they share advice for getting chickens, turkeys, guineas, and waterfowl ready for the long months ahead.

Topics will include:
- Winter and its Effects on Bird Biology
- Housing Management
- Managing your Flock Through Winter
- Feeding the Flock in Cold Weather
- Predator Risks and Mitigation Strategies
This free class is sponsored by the Cornell Livestock Program Work Team. Interested? You can register here.

A copy of the recording and notes will be sent to all registrants following the class.
This class is part of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Flock Talk Series, which recurs on the 4th Wednesday of each second month. Interested in getting on our mailing list to hear about upcoming Flock Talks? Sign up here .
MWBE Certification
Made Easy!
Date: Thursday, Nov. 4th
Time: 6pm-7:30pm
As a woman or minority business owner, certifying your business as a Minority and Woman-owned Business Enterprise can open up a number of new revenue opportunities. However, from the outside, the certification process can seem daunting. Kaitlyn Covert, Business Development Specialist with the Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development for New York State will walk you through the certification process and be available to answer any questions you may have.
This is a joint workshop organized by CCE Steuben, CCE Yates and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce.
Registration ends Nov. 4th.

Use this link to register:
For questions, call the CCE Yates office at (315)536-5123
Southern Tier Maple School

Saturday, November 6, 2021
8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Arnot Forest Maple Lab; 611 County Rt. 13, Van Etten, NY

Join Cornell Maple Specialists, Aaron Wightman and Dr. Catherine Belisle, for an informative morning on all things maple. The day will begin with a tour of the brand-new Arnot maple laboratory and sugarhouse. This facility, constructed with funds from NY State and the Appalachian Regional Commission, will be used to demonstrate best practices for syrup production, conduct cutting edge research, and develop new maple products. The second half of the morning will feature workshops on best practices for maximizing sap yield and improving syrup quality, followed a confections workshop and introduction to new product. The tour will include time outdoors, so please dress for the weather. Masks are required for the indoor workshop sessions. This event is free and open to the public.

No registration is required, but RSVPs are appreciated by emailing Brett Chedzoy here or call/text: 607-742-3657.
Cut Flower Cultivation and
Cut Flower Business Workshops

Join Capital Area Agriculture & Horticulture Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County for six online sessions on various aspects of Cut Flower cultivation and Cut Flower Business, plus a bonus session on Farm Resilience.

The Cut Flower Grower Meetings will be held Nov. 17, 2021 – Feb. 9, 2022, online via Zoom. All sessions begin at 1:00 PM, duration may vary.

Part One, $25 for all Part One sessions
Part Two, $25 for all Part Two sessions
Part One and Part Two, $40

Six online sessions on various aspects of Cut Flower cultivation and Cut Flower Business, plus a bonus session on Farm Resilience.

For more information and to register:

Part One, November & December 2021

November 17, 2021 – Session One
  • 1:00 – 1:45 PM – Field Cut Bulb Flowers and Labor Savings with a Mechanical Bulb Planter
  • 1:45 – 2:30 PM – What Do Your Flowers Say Today?
December 1, 2021 – Session Two
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM High Tunnel Soil Fertility for Cut Flowers
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Soil Amendment and Biochar Considerations For Field-Grown Cut Flowers
December 8, 2021 – Session Three
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM – New Cut Flower Varieties and Trends
  • 2:00 – 2:45 PM – Cold Hardy Hydrangeas for Landscape and Cut Flower Use: First Year Outcomes
Part One and Part Two
January 12, 2022 – Greenhouse Sessions combined with Cut Flower Sessions
  •  1:00 – 3:00 PM – Farm Resiliency
Part Two, January & February 2022

January 19, 2022 – Session Four
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM – Simple Hydroponic Culture for Cut Flower Tulips and Amaryllis
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Monitoring Soil Moisture: Why Consider It, How to Get Started and What You Can Expect to Learn from It
January 26, 2022 – Session Five
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM – Lessons from Four Years of Cultivating Habitat for Beneficial Insects
  • 2:00 – 3:00 PM – Pesticide Exposure to Bees: What We Know and What You Can Do
February 9, 2022 – Session Six
  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM – Diseases of Peonies and Dahlias and Management Recommendations
  • 2:00 – 2:30 PM – Insects Like Cut Flowers Too!

–Capital Area Agriculture & Horticulture Program
Cornell Cooperative Extension Albany County
Two Options for Produce Safety Alliance Growers Training & Farm Food Safety Plan Writing Workshops

Wednesday December 1st (8:30am-5:30pm) & Thursday December 2nd (9am-1:30pm) - REMOTE
Tuesday December 7th (8:30am-5:15pm) & Wednesday December 8th (9am-1:30pm) – IN-PERSON

Join PSA Trainers in one of two opportunities for the required food safety training by the Food Safety Modernization Act and many 3rd party food safety audits, such as Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). December 1st & 2nd via zoom OR December 7th & 8th in person at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County.

On Day One PSA Trainers will spend approximately seven hours of instruction time covering content contained in the area of worker health, hygiene, soil amendments, wildlife, agricultural water, post-harvest handling and sanitation, along with how to develop a Farm Food Safety Plan. Activities and interaction time among peers will also occur each day to meet the requirements from AFDO (Association of Food and Drug Officials) and the Produce Safety Alliance related to attendee engagement.
Each participant farm will receive a manual. The manual includes curriculum module slides and slide notes divided by tabs with learning objectives. Additionally, references, a glossary, and FSMA-specific information is included. Registration is required by November 30th in order to ensure each farm receives the manual prior to the course beginning.

All participants that attended the entire course (day one, all 7 modules) are eligible to receive a certificate from AFDO that verifies they completed the training course. Attendees will ONLY be eligible for an AFDO certificate of course completion if they attend and participate in all sessions on day one.
On Day Two growers can join us for a day focused on writing their farm food safety plan. Trainers will be joined by NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets Farm Products inspectors to give guidance and input for farms in creating their farm food safety plans to meet the needs for a potential audit. At the conclusion of day two growers will have all components of their farm food safety plans outlined with the most critical pieces.
Day Two is only for those who have previously attended a Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training or GAPs training. The price for both days includes a "Farm Food Safety Decision Tree", worker training posters for use on the farm, and a flash drive pre-loaded to the farm food safety plan template, standard operating procedures, and log templates for use by the farm. 

In order for a farm to participate, you must have the newer version of Microsoft Word loaded onto your computer, or be comfortable working within Google docs.

Registration is limited to 30 farms each day, at a cost of $60 per person, or $100/farm (2 registrations included). Please be advised that refunds are not available. Registration is required by November 30th to ensure that the appropriate number of manuals can be acquired.

To register for the remote Dec 1st & 2nd training click here.

To register for the live, in-person December 7th & 8th training, please click here.

If you are uncertain whether the course is for you, you are welcome to contact Laura Biasillo at or (607) 584-5007. 
Apply Now for the Pandemic Response and
Safety Grant Program

USDA is currently accepting applications for the Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program. The grants are for $1,500 to $20,000 to farmers of eligible commodities. Small businesses and nonprofits in the following industries can apply for a grant to cover COVID-related expenses such as workplace safety measures (e.g., personal protective equipment (PPE), retrofitting facilities for worker and consumer safety, shifting to online sales platforms, transportation, worker housing, and medical costs:

  • Specialty crop producers
  • Shellfish farming, finfish farming, aquaculture, apiculture
  • Specialty crop, meat, and other processors
  • Distributors
  • Farmers markets

Contact information for providers offering technical assistance on this grant application is available on the AMS PRS grant webpage under ‘Additional resources'

Important Dates: Check your eligibility and get a DUNS number from Dun & Bradstreet before applying for the program. Getting a DUNS number can take up to 5 days. After getting your DUNS number, the application takes less than 10 minutes.

Application Period closes: November 22, 2021.

The application, FAQs, tip sheets, and information on how to apply is on the PRS Grant Portal
Applications must be submitted electronically through the Grant Portal
Resource: USDA Agricultural Marketing Service
SWNY Shearing School!

Registration ends on Wednesday, November 3rd for this weekend workshop.
This hands-on training brings together experts in sheep production & management and fiber marketing. Classroom topics cover the qualities of a good fleece, managing for quality fleece, and wool marketing. Hands-on demonstrations include live shearing, hoof trimming, and sorting/packing raw wool.
SWNY Shearing School will be held on Saturday, November 6th from 9am – 4pm at the Alden Fire Department and Sunny Hill Farm, both located in Alden, NY. Registration is $75 per person and includes the course, printed notes, and lunch. We will have several pay scale options that include scholarships and “paying it forward”. The class is limited to the first 20 people who register. Seats are still available.
Registration for this event can be found at the following link: Those who would like to register over the phone or email can contact Amy Barkley at 716-640-0844 or

Dear Readers,
Below is the press release for the upcoming Farmer Tax School sessions presented by our very own Katelyn Walley-Stoll with our SWDLFC team, as well as many other accomplished ag business professionals from across the state.

Please use this link to register, as the text images below
do not contain live links:
Buy Local this Holiday Season

Taste NY is fall-ing for the upcoming holiday season! This month, Taste NY Markets are featuring New York State made food items like jams, preserves, and baking supplies to round out your Thanksgiving treats. Plus, find craft beverages (including ciders made with New York State apples in select locations), warming coffees, and teas, and of course, locally crafted gift items for those who are hosting, and custom and themed gift baskets for loved ones, friends, and colleagues. Find a market near you at
Dear Readers,
FLFC is a collaborative effort between the regional CCE offices and their respective counties' visitor centers. You may have seen the logo or heard of the Agritourism Trail project in the last year or so. We are continually building and adding visitor information to the website at no cost to you. If you are interested in having your farm listed on the site, please complete the survey or reach out to Kevin Peterson, contact information below.

Did You Know?

Finger Lakes Farm Country is a regional agritourism program that combines agriculture and tourism to promote the abundance of agricultural resources in the southern Finger Lakes. Through a collaborative approach to marketing and promotion, the program creates a memorable brand for agritourism attractions and businesses in the area, while showcasing educational and recreational activities for visitors to the region.

In an effort to sustain local farms and create an environment for entrepreneurism, Finger Lakes Farm Country will promote the region’s abundant agritourism resources through a variety of marketing strategies. The Finger Lakes Farm Country region includes the counties of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates.

Interested in Joining?

if you have questions about Finger Lakes Farm Country please contact Kevin Peterson at or call 607-936-6544
** 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.
Dairy Market Watch

From Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Specialist with SWDFFL Team on 9/28:

We continue to see issues that are widespread, including hauler shortages and employee recruitment challenges at processors. While cheese block prices continue to decline, we’re closer to the convergence of block/barrel prices. Class III prices should be in the $17’s through the end of the year, with Class IV in the high $16’s, depending on any continued slowing of milk production and the effect of holiday purchases on current product stocks. Also keeping a weary eye on the Delta variant and any future shutdowns. Albany $/gallon to farmer was $1.48. 

Please access the Dairy Market Watch here For those that get printed newsletters, it is included as an insert with each edition.

Equine Seminar Series
Hosted by Cornell’s Equine Hospital, the New York State 4-H Horse Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The seminars are free to attend and open to the public.

The next program will be held November 16, 2021 (6pm) and feature speaker Dr. Lindsay Goodale, DVM. For more information, visit here.
Grants fund Cornell AES work to improve lives
in NYS

52 Cornell projects have been funded with a total of $3.9 million administered through Cornell Agriculture Experiment Station (AES)

New USDA grants will fund research across Cornell seeking to improve New York state’s economy, food supply and well-being, from helping communities process the trauma of the COVID-19 pandemic to exploring the impact of labor shortages on farms.
The 52 Cornell projects that have been funded with a total of $3.9 million, beginning Oct. 1, are administered through the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (Cornell AES).

They include a project from Qi Wang, professor of psychology in the College of Human Ecology and a faculty fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability, who is examining how adults, teens and families are making sense of their negative experiences throughout the pandemic and identifying effective coping strategies.

She hopes her findings will provide insight into how to support others, especially those in rural and minority communities, which have been hit harder and have fewer resources to seek help.

“Trauma impacts people’s mental health, but that doesn’t fully explain the outcomes we see; how people interpret and remember their traumatic experiences matters a great deal,” Wang said. “We can cognitively transform those experiences in a way to enhance our resilience and well-being. It’s an empowering process.”

Based in Ithaca, Cornell AES supports hundreds of researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the College of Human Ecology and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Cornell AES also manages 127,000 square feet of greenhouses on the Ithaca campus and nine research farms across New York state. Individual Cornell AES grants are relatively small – a maximum of $30,000 per year for three years – but they provide seed funding for new ideas, like Wang’s, or bridge funding for ongoing research.

“The explicit purpose of this USDA grant is to support research that benefits New York state,” said Margaret Smith, director of Cornell AES and associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The outcomes from this research portfolio – innovative products, processes and ideas – all contribute to improving the health and well-being of New York citizens, enterprises and environments.”
This year’s funding covers a broad array of research projects important to New York’s and the country’s food supply, economy and well-being. They include work on:

  • Ticks: Laura Harrington, professor of entomology, will be working to understand the expanding range of ticks and tick-borne diseases, which impact human and animal health. She will be conducting a New York State Tick Blitz, a citizen-science project modeled after the National Geographic BioBlitz program, through which community members help scientists gather data over large geographic regions.

  • Pollinators: One-third of U.S. crops depend on managed and native bees for pollination, but bee populations have declined dramatically, in part because of pesticide use. Minglin Ma, associate professor of biological and environmental engineering, will develop pollen-mimicking, detoxifying microparticles to assess – and hopefully mitigate – the impact of pesticides on honeybees.

  • Agricultural labor shortages: Immigration restrictions, smaller rural populations and 50-year-low unemployment rates have left farmers struggling to find workersRichard Stup, agricultural workforce specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension, will be conducting surveys and in-depth case studies with farm managers and employees on labor relations, human resource management and labor-saving innovations in New York farms. He plans to identify best practices to help farms reduce turnover and achieve long-term sustainability.

  • Dairy: Mastitis is a common disease that is costly for farmers and painful for dairy cows. Current methods to diagnose mastitis are laborious and expensive. Jessica McArt, associate professor of population medicine and diagnostic sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine, will be developing technology to provide immediate assessment of udder health by measuring milk components and somatic cells.

The projects are financed with Federal Capacity Funds through the USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Krisy Gashler is a writer for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.


  • 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 -