Agriculture News
August 2022

Image: jpellgen, flickr; creative commons
Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Committee
Ed Merry
Chris Comstock
Allison Lavine
Gary Mahany
Cody Lafler
Kevin Peterson
Joe Castrechino
Legislative Representatives
Hilda Lando
Fred Potter
Don't miss the 203rd annual Steuben County Fair running from Tuesday, August 15th through Sunday, August 21st. View a full fair schedule here.

The Steuben County Fair is the oldest continually running fair in the United States. It originated in 1819 with 9 categories for judging with prizes given to exhibitors of cattle, sheep and produce. Horse racing was also an attraction.
Please take a moment to visit the many historical landmarks including a one room schoolhouse, memorial pioneer/log cabin museum, and large antique farm equipment and engine display.
August Is National Peach Month
Don't miss out on locally produced, delicious peaches this summer! Find local farms growing peaches and u-pick opportunities right on Finger Lakes Farm Country!
Empire Farm Days
Empire Farm Days will be celebrating another wonderful year from Aug. 2 – 4, again at Palladino Farms in Pompey, NY. The annual celebration recognizes and honors all this agricultural in New York State, and this year, a new attraction will be sure to bring out both the bravado and the brawn in some attendees. There will be a couple of new events this year to attract both farmers and the whole farm family!
Check out the events HERE.

Farm Ops’ Cohort Learning Sessions Bring Veterans Together to Talk Ag

Nina Saeli, Coordinator the Farm Ops Project Supporting Veterans in Agriculture

Photo: Marine veteran, Rich Mattingly, participated in the Starting Seeds with the Three Sisters workshop and cohort sessions. Rich received corn, bean and squash seeds in mail along with 14 other veterans, who shared their growing experiences throughout the season. Courtesy of Rich Mattingly
During the Small Farm Program’s online course season, Farm Ops, our military veteran project, provided veterans with free enrollment into select on-line courses and conducted veteran learning cohort sessions to supplement the course material.

It is commonly known that military veterans are drawn towards opportunities to learn and train together, but in early 2020 when the pandemic derailed in-person training opportunities, the inability to meet in person became more than disappointing. 

“I felt isolated. I had not been farming long and not being able to meet and talk to other farmers was discouraging,” stated veteran farmer, Jesse Wixson. 

Veteran project associate, Dean Koyanagi, decided that he was not going to wait until the pandemic ended to bring veterans back together. He set up virtual office hours on Zoom and invited veteran farmers across New York State to join him and other veterans engage in farm-related discussions.

Click HERE to keep reading the full article by Nina Saeli.
Cornell Partners with NYS to Fight the Spotted Lanternfly
The devastating spotted lanternfly’s spread to upstate and western New York is not a matter of if, but when, experts say – and Cornell is a key player in helping slow the infestation.

From providing farm workers with training in Spanish, to developing predictive modeling tools, to exploring whether dogs can detect spotted lanternfly egg masses, Cornell researchers and extension staff are working closely with New York state agencies to keep the pest at bay.

“This is the critical year for us in New York,” said Alejandro Calixto, director of the New York State Integrated Pest Management (NYSIPM) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “The ultimate goal is to reduce the speed of the spread, which will allow us to get more tools in place to manage it once it gets here, and to reduce the risk to people and agricultural systems.”

The spotted lanternfly, a destructive invasive species that has decimated vineyards in southeast Pennsylvania, is a particular threat to the Finger Lakes and western parts of the state, where the majority of New York’s grapes are grown.

Continue reading the full article HERE.

To read additional information on the recently reported sightings in Erie County, New York, the life cycle of the spotted lantern fly, and the outbreak regions in PA and NY click HERE.
Free COVID-19 Test Kits and Masks!
We have COVID-19 Test Kits and KN95 Masks at our office that were given to us to distribute from Steuben County Public Health. Please contact us at 607-664-2300 or email if you would like us to put some aside for you. You can also stop into our office at the Steuben County Building Annex at 20 East Morris Street in Bath.

Some Fencing and Grazing Considerations for Beef Cattle

Photo: A paddock subdivision made with step in posts and electrified rope.
Rich Taber / CCE Chenango
In part nine of our “What’s Your Beef?” series on raising cattle on small farms, we share grazing experiences that has been learned about and adapted over the years.

In this installment I am going to highlight some of the grazing experiences that I have learned about and adapted over the years. In the grazing world, there are hundreds of articles, PowerPoints, books, zooms and people that will show you how to plan for and execute a good grazing management plan for your property; most of them excellent and well worth you availing yourselves of. Rather than simply rehash some of the volumes of information that is out there, I thought that I would write about some specific things that I have learned and adapted for use over the years. In other words, theories embellished with lots of experience.  

Read the full article HERE.
BEEKEEPING Business and Financial Guides

Looking for resources for beekeeping businesses? Explore the resources HERE for more information about creating an inventory, how to market your local honey, risk management, tax tips and more. 
Resource for Farmers Selling Meat Breaks Down Yields and Cuts by Species
Betsy Hodge, Livestock Educator
CCE St. Lawrence County
Why purchase local meat? 
You will be supporting your neighbors and the businesses they purchase supplies from. You can ask and find out how the animal was raised. Most locally raised animals are not bought and sold at auctions, are raised with their mothers and have access to the outside. Most have access to pasture at the right time of year and are not given hormones or medicines unless it is because the animal needs them. Most farmers that sell meat also eat it themselves.

Background - Locally raised meat is not normally raised in large feedlots. The breeds may vary in size and type. Many local farmers use heritage breeds that are known for their pasturing or hardiness. Some of these can take a little longer to grow and may be leaner or fatter than those you find at the grocery store. They may also be modern breeds that are raised on local forages and supplemented with grain. It can be anywhere in the middle. Many local farmers feed their animals by using pasture or forage they grow and then using grains and by-products to meet the animals' nutritional needs as it grows.

Beef animals usually take 18-24 months to be finished. Hogs are ready in four to seven months. Lambs can be ready in four months to a year depending on the style of management. Many farm animals are born in the spring and are ready in the fall and early winter. You need to plan ahead to buy local meat. Contact a farmer and let them know what you are looking for so they can reserve you an animal. Many farmers will also refer you to someone they know with animals that are ready when you want them.

Keep reading the full article HERE.
NY FarmNet Services: Always Free, Always Confidential
NY FarmNet is here to support farmers, farm families, agricultural service providers, veterinarians,
milk truck drivers, and others involved in the agricultural industry in New York State.
Call today 1-800-547-3276.

Reach out to them for business or personal consulting. 
The 2022 corn and soybean yield contest is currently open for entries. All entries must be received and paid by August 30, 2022. Click here for eligibility, judging, and the entry form. Best of luck to all growers and their support teams!
Succession Planning Fact Sheet-
Using a Facilitator to Keep Your Succession Planning Process on Track
Joan Sinclair Petzen, Regional Farm Business Management Specialist, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Succession planning can be a daunting task. Often business owners rely on a facilitator, coordinator, or navigator skilled in understanding family businesses to help keep the process moving and be certain the right people are involved in developing and carrying out the succession plan. Read the full article HERE.

To read the Succession Planning Factsheet click HERE.
Finger Lakes Farm Country has a new app! Visit Finger Lakes Farm Country to download it today!

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. From farm to table and market to stand, the Finger Lakes accommodates a wide array of agritourism interests. Home to one of the largest farmers markets in the state and some of the most scenic drives anywhere, Finger Lakes Farm Country is fertile ground for exploration.

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: or call 607-936-6544
Join the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) on August 2nd, 2022 from 11:00-12:00 CST via Zoom to learn more about the opportunities available as an Apprentice or Farmer Mentor, as well as what managed grazing looks like on a dairy farm. Angie Sullivan, Apprenticeship Director and Altfrid Krusenbaum of Krusengrass Consulting will guide you through the DGA program, share opportunities and success stories, and describe what managed dairy grazing looks like in real life scenarios. 

Please register at For more information please contact Ashley at, (518) 265-2658, or  
It Might Not be that Chill Even for Your Non-Lactating Cows
Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist
Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Photo: This cow is experiencing severe heat stress breathing with her mouth open and panting with her neck extended. 
The recent heat wave across the country got me thinking about the intensity of heat stress Northeast dairy cows face during summer. Being from Brazil and spending my last summer in Central Valley, California (HOT!), I would think that NY summers wouldn't be so bad on cows, but that's not true. There's a cost-benefit of investing in heat abatement, even in our "moderate climate" area.

Like us, cows have a temperature and humidity in which they are comfortable, called the thermal neutral zone. The combination of temperature and humidity better shows the environmental effects than each factor individually. For example, we can have a hot day (90 F) that's not humid (0% humidity), and it will feel the same as a moderate day (75 F) with 65% humidity. Looking at Figure 1 below, you can see the THI, or Temperature-Humidity Index is 72 in both of those examples. As I write this article, the temperature outside is 81 F, and the humidity is 65%, which gives us a THI of 76. Research shows that cows start experiencing heat stress when THI is around 68. So, a day with temperatures in the low 70's, and humidity of 65% or greater, will cause cows to drop in production and experience discomfort.

Data from St-Pierre et al. (2003) estimated that cows in NY would undergo heat stress in at least 8.2% of the year. Even this small amount translates into economic losses of $23.193 million per year because of reduced intake and lying time, fertility, or loss of pregnancy and increased health issues (including lameness).

A study by Miner Institute in 2016, conducted in Northwest NY, found that cows producing more than 77 lbs per day lose at least 5 lbs milk/day when the average THI was 68 or higher for more than 17 hours a day. They also demonstrated that this loss was lower when aggressive heat abatement (meaning fans and sprinklers over stalls and feed alley) was used. As the global temperature rises, cows will spend longer periods under heat stress, making implementing intensive cooling strategies critical.
It's not just about lactating cows. A series of studies by the University of Florida demonstrated that when dry cows are heat stressed, their welfare and productivity declines, as well as the survival rates, lifespan, and performance of their daughters and granddaughters! The team calculated that these impairments would cost $595 million annually to dairy producers in the United States. In NY, which has an average of 52 heat-stressing days, it would still cost $30.81 million annually. Considering the costs of investing in heat reduction and the losses due to heat stress for dry cows and subsequent generations, Ferreira et al. (2016) concluded that investing in heat abatement for dry cows would still be a cost-effective strategy. Heat abatement strategies are becoming increasingly important for all animal categories (let's not forget about calf and heifers). 
As temperature and humidity rises, let's not forget about the basic principles to help animals stay cool and comfortable:
  • Make sure animals have access to fresh water.
  • Provide shade (to all animals, and if you have grazing animals, make sure to read this).
  • Make sure you have enough ventilation (pens and holding pens).
  • Don't forget to clean fans for better performance.
  • Consider adopting water cooling (sprinklers/misters) for more effective cooling.

If you are interested in this topic and want to learn more, you can access our webinar on heat stress presented by Alycia Drwencke and Margaret Quaassdorff by clicking here. You can also contact Camila Lage at 6555 or if you want information or to help troubleshoot facilities.  
Figure 1. Temperature-Humidity Index Table Source:
Staying Safe Around Beef Cattle
Rich Taber, Grazing/Ag Economic Development Specialist, Chenango County CCE
Each year, thousands of people throughout the USA are injured, and a few are killed when around cattle. Beef cows and bulls can be extremely large, heavy animals sometimes weighing upwards of a ton. After a lifetime of working around dairy cattle, beef cattle, and sheep, I have seen my share of accidents with different classes of livestock. Bulls in particular can be extremely dangerous. They can be territorial and may attack you if you disrupt them when they are breeding. Several years ago, a former FFA student of mine was killed by a belligerent Jersey bull. That same year, I was attacked by a young Jersey bull that I was using to breed some dairy heifers. The bull had been fine and acted just like any other animal in the herd. Then one day out of the blue he came after me while I was in the back of an old manure wagon feeding hay. I came out of this unscathed; however, the bull soon left the farm. As a rule, beef bulls are not as dangerous as dairy bulls, but still can never be trusted. Cows with newborn calves can be very aggressive towards humans and you must never turn your back on them. If you're going out into the pasture to ear tag or check on baby calves, a bawling calf can trigger very hostile reactions from the mama cow, and its best to take someone with you for assistance.

Before we delve further, I am going to suggest that you investigate the docility of the breed of cattle that you are working with. Some breeds are much more docile, and "laid back" if you will. Artificial insemination studs have docility indexes for different breeds; docility can vary between breeds as well as within breeds. I have a crop of calves this year that "go ballistic" when we try to handle them; I will not be retaining any of them for breeding replacements. I will be looking for a different sire breed next year for my replacement bull. As you get older, dealing with wild, unruly animals gets old quickly! If genetics can help, avail yourself!

I have some information here excerpted from Gempler's Tailgate Training Tip Sheet #98. "Dangers of Bulls and Other Cattle" and embellished with some of my own experiences.
  • Often, injuries occur because an animal, such as a cow, appears to be gentle, and the person working with the animal is caught off guard. This is the old "familiarity breeds contempt" concept. I recently read of an animal sanctuary farm taking in a mature bull that for about a year was the hit of the farm, as he let visitors rub his nose and forehead. Then the day came when he maimed and almost killed his handler in a twist of personality.
  •  Bruises, broken bones, crushed limbs, or even death may occur from falling or getting knocked down or run over by an animal.
  • Cattle are unable to see directly behind them, because of that, they can be easily startled. Speak gently and don't yell or scream at your cattle.
  • As mentioned, if a cow has a newborn calf, be sure to keep your distance because the mother will be very protective and avoid walking between the cow and her calf.
  • Its critical that you use extreme caution when you are around a bull. I make it a practice of always keeping note of where the bull is when I am out feeding my herd. I have to get off the tractor to peel the remaining net wrap off of the round bales. I try to remove as much plastic outer wrap and net wrap or strings before going into the field. Generally, I can't cut the net wrap off until I am right at the bale feeder or else the bale will fall apart before I want to deposit it. But the bull's location is always on my mind!  
  • This fall has been very aggravating with endless rain and subsequent mud, muck, and sloppy conditions being the norm. I move my feeders every few days to limit the formation of quagmires which are unsafe to work though. You don't want to be stuck in a quicksand like, boot sucking nightmare that impede your movements around the cattle.
  • Never beat your cattle with clubs, sticks, canes, etc. Keep your voice low and make loud noses that can startle animals. NEVER EVER run or chase animals!
  • If the cows get out, and people unfamiliar with cattle handling techniques come to help you round them up, instruct them NOT to chase, yell, or run after cattle! I have had better success in rounding up cattle with one or two experienced handlers rather than a bunch of people running around stirring up a disaster!
  • Always plan an escape route in case you run into trouble. 
  • Know that cattle have a "flight zone." This is the animal's personal space. When you come within that zone, the animal will move.   
  • Never mistreat cattle! If you see a co-worker beating or hurting an animal take remedial action! 

Beef cattle sooner or later require management activities to occur; this necessitates that the animals be restrained. Castrations, vaccinations, pregnancy checking, artificial insemination, and ear tagging are a few examples. If you're in the beef business for the long haul, you will need to invest in a handling system. A squeeze chute will be at the top of the list, as well as a corral system to handle the animals. "Bud boxes" have become quite popular in recent years to handle cattle in; they funnel the animals safely into the squeeze chute. Veterinarians will be much more conducive to coming to your place when needed if the animals can be safely restrained. 

Temple Grandin is a world-famous teacher and author concerning the safe, humane handling of farm animals. Her knowledge has been influential in retrofitting animal facilities to safer and more humane facilities. Two excellent books that she has authored are "Humane Livestock Handling" and "Working with Farm Animals".  
Livestock Conservancy Microgrants Now Accepting Applications
The Livestock Conservancy awards more than $22,000 annually in $500 to $2,000 microgrants to farmers, ranchers, shepherds and breed organizations keeping endangered breeds of livestock and poultry from going extinct across the country.

Complete applications must be submitted no later than August 19th and include a detailed plan for the use of the grant funds, a clear timeline for achieving proposed goals, a detailed project budget for matching funds or other resources, how the project will impact the breed and other producers, and how you will evaluate the success of your project. Applications should also include two letters of recommendation from a professional relationship or educator. If the applicant is under the age of 18, a letter of support from a parent or guardian is also required.

More information can be found a HERE.
Ag Energy NY – A CCE Program for Farm Energy Efficiency
 Would you like to save on your farm energy bills? There are many opportunities to reduce energy use through efficiency improvements that save money, labor, and maintenance costs. Energy efficiency also has co-benefits, buffering farms from high costs in energy market fluctuations and making it easier to transition to electric power and renewable energy.
Ag Energy NY is a program by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, offering a smartphone-friendly website and factsheets describing farm energy efficiency technologies, techniques, and incentives. Ag Energy NY focuses on the following farm sectors: crops and vegetables, beef, swine, poultry, grain drying, maple, orchards, berries, and vineyards. Ag Energy NY is part of a broader NYSERDA program, Energy Best Practices in Agriculture, which also provides support for dairies and greenhouses.
After reviewing energy efficiency measures online, you can reach out to the Ag Energy NY team with questions and to connect with a NYSERDA FlexTech Consultant for farm-specific advising. NYSERDA offers no-cost, no-commitment energy assessments to help farmers prioritize areas for improvements and identify incentives to help with implementation. For more information, visit

Interested in finding out more? Click HERE to fill out the survey.

GAPs Online Training

  • October 12, 2022 – November 1, 2022

Implementing Good Agricultural Practices is a 3-week web-based course intended to improve your understanding of GAPs to guide assessment of risks and implementation of practices to reduce risks on fresh produce farms. Taking this course will not result in your farm being "GAPs Certified". GAPs certification is done by a third party (e.g. USDA, Primus, Global GAP) and involves the successful completion of an on-farm audit.

Class size is limited to 25 people on a first come, first serve basis. A minimum of 10 participants must be registered for us to offer the course. Special arrangements can be made for large groups to ensure everyone is in the same class together. The course price is $225. 

To learn more about click here!
Straw: To Bale or Not to Bale?
By Andrew Frankenfield; originally published PSU Extension
Wheat harvest has started in southern Pennsylvania and balers will be running closely behind the combines to get the straw baled and soybeans planted. With the spike in fertilizer prices this growing season, the nutrient value in the straw is higher than ever. A nutrient analysis would be ideal for your farm but book values for wheat straw are estimated at 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5, and 20 pounds of K2O per ton of straw. Using values of N=$1.10/lb, P2O5=$1.07/lb, and K20=$0.75/lb, that equals $30/ton in total value of nutrients removed per ton of straw. Add on to that the baling and transportation cost, the value of the straw will likely exceed $75/ton as large square bales. Also, don't forget about the storage and hauling cost, you may be close to $100/ton breakeven.
If wheat straw is spread and not baled, each ton will return 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5, and 20 pounds of K20. The nitrogen will not be immediately available for uptake, the P2O5 is not too significant, but the K20 certainly is. If two tons of straw is left on the field 40 pounds of K20 is returned to the field. At $0.75 per pound of K20 that is $30 per acre plus the organic value of the carbon going back on the field.

Another way to recover some of the K20 from the straw is to spread the straw out the back of the combine, allow it to rain on it, and leach some of the K20 from the straw into the soil then rake it up and bale it. Is that worth recovering some of the $15 per ton of K20? Not likely if you are planning to sell your straw, you will likely take a larger loss on your price per ton you receive, compared to the other farmer with bright yellow straw.

The take-home message is whether you bale your straw or not, make sure you have enough K20 for the next crop. Extension Educators have reported across the state it is not too uncommon to see K20 deficiencies in corn and soybeans.

Managing your earnings in 2022. Can we impact 2023 and beyond?

Jason Karszes, PRO-DAIRY senior extension specialist, and Dr. Chris Wolf, E.V. Baker Professor of Agricultural Economics, Dyson School at Cornell University
So far, 2022 is shaping up as a year where cash and profits may rebound within the dairy industry to levels that have not been seen for a few years. While inflation and supply chain issues are driving costs up on dairy farms, milk prices are strong and appear to have generated stronger cash positions through the first third of the year. With the strong cash positions, businesses can focus on management strategies to maximize the opportunity associated with the stronger positions this year to better position the business for the future. With uncertainty on how long the earnings will stay at these levels, how best to continue to capture the current margins, and how to utilize the margins to position the business for when lower level of earnings return are two key management questions.  

Access the full article HERE.
Are you a farmer impacted by flooding in the Summer of 2021?

One loan is still available until September 19th in Steuben County.
Notice has been given that Steuben and other counties were given a natural disaster designation for the flooding events that occurred in August 2021.

Solar Grazing Project Combines Renewable Energy and Agriculture

Solar energy developers and farmers need land to operate, and a Cornell research project aims to demonstrate how co-locating solar arrays on farmland can be an environmentally friendly way to benefit both the renewable energy and agriculture industries.
In 2019 the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act set a goal to reach 70% renewable energy in New York by 2030; to meet that goal, 21.6 GW of utility scale solar must be installed, potentially using up to 129,600 acres of land. A 2021 Cornell report projects that the New York sheep industry could grow significantly alongside the renewable energy industry if many sites are grazed.
Motivated by the push from New York state toward renewable energy, a transdisciplinary team at Cornell launched the Solar Grazing Project to investigate optimal sheep grazing management around ground-mounted solar arrays to avoid panel shading. Started in 2019 by postdoctoral research fellow Niko Kochendoerfer and Mike Thonney, late professor and director of graduate studies in Cornell CALS Department of Animal Science, the project taps experts in animal science, soil carbon sequestration, vegetation biodiversity and pollinator habitats to take a holistic view of the ecosystem.

Photo by Nicole Ross: Sheep grazing in Cascadilla Community Solar Farm.

Read the full article HERE.
Agroforestry 2022 Webinar Series

Join the FREE bimonthly webinar series where the latest research and resources are shared on a variety of agroforestry topics. 
The series is open to the general public with FREE registration HERE.

Haudenosaunee Agroforestry and Forest Stewardship
Tuesday, August 23, at 3 p.m. ET

Join Samantha Bosco (PhD), Abraham Francis (Mohawk) and Neil Patterson, Jr. (Tuscarora) for a multidimensional view Indigenous forest relationships in Haudenosaunee homelands (now called New York State). We’ll sort through archaeological and historical ecological interpretations of past land use, ongoing projects and concerns, and what the future of Haudenosaunee forest stewardship will look like. 

Samantha Bosco, PhD, an allied scientist who studies the role of agroforestry to help achieve both climate smart agriculture and Indigenous food sovereignty; Abraham Francis (Deer Clan, Kahniakehaka [Mohawk Nation]), the Program Manager of the Environment for the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne; and Neil Patterson, Jr. (Skarù•ręʔ [Tuscarora Nation]), the Assistant Director for the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY ESF. 
2022 Silvopasture Showcase Tour In New York’s Southern Finger Lakes Region

Thursday and Friday, September 15 & 16, 2022
Join us for this not-to-be missed opportunity to see successful silvopasturing in action and network with fellow practitioners and supporters. We will visit several farms over the course of two days to share how silvopasturing is being utilized on a diversity of grazing operations in New York’s Southern Finger Lakes Region. Details for each farm and a tentative schedule are below, including some lodging and dining options. To help us plan for this unique tour, we strongly encourage you to take advantage of the early registration discount of $69 by registering here by Monday, August 15th. Registration after that date will cost $89 and registration will close Friday, September 9th at noon, or sooner if tour capacity is reached. No walk-ins will be accepted due to the logistical considerations of bus transportation and provided lunch on the first day of the tour. Thanks to the generous support of the Edwards Mother Earth Foundation and other sponsors, a limited number of discounted registrations are available. See below for more information on how to apply. We anticipate that the maximum tour capacity will be reached before the September 9th deadline, so register today by clicking HERE.

Access the full description, events schedule, lodging and dining, and host farms HERE.

Assessing Woodlands for Silvopasture

By Brett Chedzoy and Peter Smallidge

Photo: Chickens and turkey are viable livestock for a silvopasture. Portable electric net keeps the birds in and the four-legged predators out. Birds of prey can cause problems for poultry.
Silvopasture is a land-management system that simultaneously focuses on the sustainable and integrated production of trees, forage and livestock.

There are examples in New York and the Northeast for the use of almost all types of livestock including poultry, small ruminants such as sheep or goats, and larger ruminants such as cattle. Past generations of farmers, woodland owners and foresters had concerns about using woodlands for grazing. As described below, those previous concerns can be circumvented, and silvopasture can be a positive tool for forest health, soil health and carbon sequestration.

Each type of livestock would have specific needs for use in a silvopasture system. Poultry, for example, would be rotationally grazed differently than sheep or cattle because they are more likely to feed on seeds and insects than on forages in a silvopasture understory. They can be integrated with ruminants or grazed alone. Their action in scratching the soil surface as they look for insects creates a suitable seedbed to establish forages that need exposed mineral soil (Figure 1). The particular challenge with poultry is to ensure their safety from predators, especially birds of prey.
As with any new enterprise or effort, planning must include deliberate attention to the opportunities and challenges that exist. Because silvopasture integrates multiple production systems, the assessment is more comprehensive than for simpler systems. There are several silvopasture resources on the ForestConnect publications page. Notably there is a guide for developing a silvopasture and also links to case study examples of silvopasture in the Northeast.  

Click HERE to keep reading.
Save the Date: Cornell Maple Program Maple Camp
The Cornell Maple Program will hold Cornell Maple Camp September 19th-21st at the Arnot Forest in Van Etten, NY. This comprehensive course is targeted toward beginners, instructing on the basics of maple production, from sugarbush management to marketing and sales.

More information coming soon! Click HERE to check out events and workshops.
2022 Soil Health & Climate Resiliency
Field Days
Join the New York Soil Health team and partner organizations at a soil health field day! The statewide event series will continue to take place in August 2022. Topics will include cover crops, reduced tillage, orchard weed management, soil health, weed management, precision viticulture, and more.

Click HERE to learn more and register for events taking place throughout August.

Scholarships are available for veterans! Click here to learn more.
Project will study greenhouse gas emissions from manure storage
By Lauren Ray, Agricultural Sustainability and Energy Engineer, PRO-DAIRY
PRO-DAIRY Dairy Environmental Systems (DES) is seeking farm partners for a study of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manure storage sites.
Methane is an important GHG emitted from manure storages. New York State (NYS) has begun an intensive effort to reduce methane emissions in support of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). Despite its significance in air quality and climate change, the sources and quantities of methane from dairy farms are uncertain. DES has a project to help define the existing impacts of methane from manure storage and the potential treatments to reduce it. The project aims to improve GHG emission estimates and provide observational evidence to support best practices to reduce emissions from dairy farms in NYS.

Read the full article HERE.
USDA Awards over $70 Million in Grants, Increases Access to Local, Healthy Foods for Kids

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced it is awarding more than $10 million in Farm to School Grants to 123 projects across the country. Additionally, for the first time, the department is empowering states with $60 million in non-competitive grants to develop stronger and sustainable Farm to School programs over the next four years. Both actions will help more kids nationwide eat healthy, homegrown foods.
Farm to School increases the amount of locally produced foods served through child nutrition programs, while also educating children about how their foods are harvested and made. Various child nutrition operators can participate in farm to school, from states and tribal nations to schools and community organizations.

“The expansion of Farm to School is more important than ever for our kids,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “When schools and local producers work together, children benefit from higher-quality foods on their plates and program operators have stable sources for the products they need.” Vilsack added farm to school is an investment in the next generation and one of many ways the department is advancing nutrition security – the consistent, equitable access to healthy and affordable foods that promote well-being.

Read the full article HERE.
Record Silking/Tasseling Dates for Corn Fields
Joe Lawrence, Dairy Forage Systems Specialist, PRO-DAIRY
Tracking Growing Degree Days (GDD’s) is an effective way to monitor the progress of a corn crop and in recent years a number of online tools to track GDD’s were developed. For the Northeast, the Climate Smart Farming GDD tool from Cornell is a great option. Dr. Kitty O’Neil with the North Country Regional Ag Team prepared an instructional video to use the tool. While this tool was designed to estimate GDD accumulation from planting, you can simply enter in silking/tasseling date in the planting date box to track accumulation from that date. 

Access the Factsheet HERE to learn more.
Vine Removal Technique Foils Devastating Grape Disease
Greg Loeb, professor of entomology, examines leafroll disease.
Image provided

There’s no cure for leafroll disease, but scientists at Cornell AgriTech have documented a new technique that can reduce the incidence of leafroll disease in commercial vineyards.

Removing not only a diseased grapevine but the two vines on either side of it can reduce the incidence of leafroll disease, a long-standing bane of vineyards around the world, Cornell researchers have found.

Leafroll disease, a virus spread by mealybugs, damages grapevines, reduces yield and alters grape quality – all of which can detrimentally affect wine quality and cost growers tens of thousands of dollars per hectare. There’s no cure for leafroll disease, so growers have traditionally attacked it by tearing out infected vines – that is, rogueing, or removing “rogue” plants – and replacing them with healthy ones.

Read the full article HERE.
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