Friday, May 31, 2013

June is Dairy Month

Hello, everyone.

It's June 1 and that means it's Dairy Month. 

Last year, I put up a piece of dairy trivia each day in June to celebrate all that is wonderful about the dairy industry. This year, I'm going to post more dairy facts, but I hope to keep them more about the products and manufacture of products, instead of important people in the industry or factoids about cows.

So here goes. This first installment is direct from the International Dairy Foods Association website.

National Dairy Month started out as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. It was initially created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus, but has now developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.

After the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause, the name soon changed to "Dairy Month."

National Dairy Month is a great way to start the summer with "3-A-Day" of nutrient-rich dairy foods. From calcium to potassium, dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients which may help to better manage your weight, reduce your risk for high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers.

Whether it's protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse. Those are just a few of the reasons that you should celebrate dairy not just in June, but all year long.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beef Prices on the Rise Just in Time for Summer

Go to http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/30/beef-prices-historic-highs/2369847/ to check out the story.

How Would You Prevent an Oil or Fuel Spill on the Farm?

Go to http://farmprogress.com/story-got-fuel-tanks-got-spill-preventive-control-plan-9-98537-nl_4_nlr_2?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=30+May+2013 to check out a good story on the issue from American Agriculturalist.

What You Need to Know About Monsanto and GMOs

Good read http://beyerbeware.net/2013/05/what-you-need-to-know-about-monsanto-gmo-food.html on the Monsanto-Genetically Modified Organisms debate.

Bills to Cap Agricultural Land Assessments Receiving Attention

Go to the http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130528/NEWS03/705289943 link here to read the story.

Agriculture Trade Outlook Could Be New Record

Here is a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and a statement from Ag Secretary Thomas Vilsack:

The USDA released its fourth Outlook for U.S. Agriculture Trade in fiscal year 2013 today.

USDA projects $139.5 billion in agricultural exports in FY 2013, which if realized would be a new record. Since 2009, U.S. agricultural exports have climbed from $96.3 billion in 2009 to the most-recent forecast of $139.5 billion.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack made the following statement:


"Today's report is promising news that keeps American agriculture on track to continue the strongest period of exports in our nation's history. Agricultural exports are an important part of our economy, supporting more than one million jobs - and as a part of President Obama's National Export Initiative to double U.S. exports by the end of 2014, USDA has worked hard to open new markets for quality U.S. agricultural products. 


We've helped achieve new trade agreements with countries around the world, helped organic producers export more products through new equivalency agreements, broken down hundreds of unfair barriers to trade, and utilized trade promotion programs that have helped more than 1,000 U.S. businesses and organizations promote agricultural products abroad.

Today, we're looking ahead to the next big achievements -- particularly a Trans-Pacific Partnership with Asian nations, and a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union.

We must continue working to strengthen markets and opportunity in American agriculture. That's one reason why it is important that Congress achieve passage of a comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill as soon as possible. Trade promotion efforts provided by the current Farm Bill have been extremely valuable for U.S. producers.


A long-term Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would continue these programs, enabling USDA to keep working with producers and businesses to promote their quality products around the world. This is an important step to further increase agricultural exports from the United States and create more good jobs here at home.

As we continue our efforts to strengthen agricultural trade, USDA will keep working hard to help Congress pass a multiyear, comprehensive bill as soon as possible."

Industry Response to GMO Wheat Found in Oregon

Go to http://www.agweb.com/article/industry_response_to_unapproved_ge_wheat/ to see the story.

GMO Wheat Found in Oregon

Read the New York Times story by http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/30/business/energy-environment/genetically-engineered-wheat-found-in-oregon-field.html?_r=0 clicking here.

Flooding, Late Planting Drive Soybean, Corn Prices Higher

Go to http://www.agriculture.com/markets/analysis/corn/soybes-finish-up-40_9-ar31734 to see the story.

Horse, Goat, Poultry Events This Weekend at State Fairgrounds


This news comes from the state Department of Agriculture and Markets:

It's a big agriculture weekend at the New York State Fairgrounds.

Beginning today, the Central New York Reining Association’s annual “Ride and Slide” competition beings in the Toyota Coliseum.  A reining horse is a ranch horse trained to run courses designed to test its athletic ability.  They will run at different speeds through a nationally-sanctioned obstacle course, ending with the sliding stop that is the hallmark of the reining horse.

The event attracts the top professional reining horse riders from the East Coast, competing for more than $25,000 in prize money. Events begin at 8 a.m. each day from Thursday through Sunday.  Admission is free.

Also, the Pinto Horse Association of New York State holds its June All-Pinto Show at the 4-H Arena.  The show takes place June 1 and 2.  The horses famous for their large patches of white and other colors will be put through their paces in halter and riding categories in both English and western classes.  Events begin at 7:30 a.m. each day. Admission is free.

Members of the Onondaga County 4-H Club hold a horse clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1 and 2 at the 4-H Youth Arena.  Members present their animal projects for review to polish their work for the Onondaga County Youth Fair in July.

The New York State Dairy Goat Breeders Association holds its 47th annual show June 1 in the Swine, Goat and Llama Barn.  Goats and their handlers compete in order to select those animals closest to the ideal of a sound and productive dairy goat.  Goats are graded on their appearance, character, mammary system, and body capacity.  The show runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free.

The Finger Lakes Feature Club 54th Annual Show takes place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 2 in the Poultry Building.  All breeds and varieties of standard and bantam chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks and geese will be judged in various competitions for awards.  Admission is free.



          

Study: Economic Impact of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry Huge

Go to https://www.farmcrediteast.com/en/News-and-Events/News/20130528AgEconomicImpact.aspx to see the story.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A Milk Tradition

A great tradition at the end of the Indianapolis 500, winner Tony Kanaan celebrating with a drink of milk. Thanks for sharing, Indiana Dairy. Photo By Dan Boyd, IMS

Legality of Leaving Animals at the Vet

Interesting legal issue for agriculture.

Check it out here http://networkedblogs.com/LDnkw

Monday, May 27, 2013

Apples Are A Comin'

Wow! Check this out.

Thanks to the New York Apple Association for posting this photo of baby Empire apples. Looks like the bees did good work and we'll be enjoying these beauties this fall.

Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

An interesting piece from the New York Times Sunday opinion page.

Here http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/26/opinion/sunday/breeding-the-nutrition-out-of-our-food.html?smid=fb-share&_r=0 it is. Take a look and comment on it below.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wash Stations and Food Safety Workshop Set for June 11

A workshop titled "Wash Stations and Farm and Food Safety" will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 11 at Honeyhill Farm, 6241 Price Rd, Livonia, Livingston County.

Robert Hadad and Craig Kahlke, educators with Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Gretchen Wall, of Produce Safety Alliance, will explain regulations and guidelines related to wash stations and demonstrate a wash station system.
The gathering will include a potluck supper; bring a dish to pass. The meeting hosts, Fred and Sue Forsburg of Honeyhill Farms, will host a summer celebration bonfire following the meeting.
The workshop is free; no registration is required. For more information, contact Elizabeth Buck at emb273@cornell.edu

Happy Memorial Day

Thanks to NY FarmNet for sharing on Facebook.

Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

Dairy Farmer Acquitted on 3 of 4 Charges in Raw Milk Trial

Go to http://www.jsonline.com/business/raw-milk-trial-in-hands-of-jury-b9918480z1-208900911.html to see the story.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Memorial Day Means Honoring Those Who Have Defended Our Country

This week's column from Ag Secretary Thomas Vilsack:

This Memorial Day weekend, I hope all Americans will take a moment to honor the service of those who have lost their lives defending our nation.

America is a beacon of freedom and democracy today, in no small part because of those who throughout history stood in defense of our values and principles.

We must also remain united in our commitment to today’s active and reserve service members, our veterans, and their families.

At USDA, we understand the special contributions of rural America to our armed services. More than six million veterans live in rural America – and a disproportionate number of today’s service members hail from small towns and rural communities.

USDA’s staff across America includes more than 10,000 veterans and our team works hard every day to strengthen services in rural areas that help veterans and their families. This includes everything from health clinics and telemedicine services, to distance learning opportunities and training for those who want to start a farm or ranch.

We work closely with other federal agencies, as well as through a partnership with the American Legion, to help get rural veterans the assistance they need to find a job. And I’m proud that today, more than 40 percent of our new hires at USDA are veterans.

All of these efforts complement the Joining Forces initiative, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, which helps connect service members, veterans and their families with resources to find jobs.

In particular, Joining Forces has played a key role in encouraging U.S. businesses to hire veterans. A few weeks ago, the First Lady announced that since 2011, U.S. companies have hired or trained 290,000 veterans and military spouses. And the private sector has committed to hiring or training 435,000 more by 2018.

We owe these efforts to our active duty and reserve service members, to our veterans, and to the memory of those who didn’t come home.

This Memorial Day weekend, as we come together to enjoy time with family and friends, I hope everyone will take time to honor those who lost their lives in service to our nation. We’ll never forget their sacrifice, and we won’t let up in helping those who have served.

What to do With Greek Yogurt Waste

Go to http://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/whey-too-much-greek-yogurts-dark-side/ to read a story in Modern Farmer magazine about getting rid of the whey waste leftover from the manufacture of Greek yogurt.

And here's another story about the same subject from MSN.

Hail Ruins West Monroe Farmer's Blueberries

Photo from Cornell Cooperative Extension
After frost, hail is a huge problem to the beginnings of fruit in Central New York.

There have been years when much of an apple crop is damaged by hail. And now it's happened again -- but to blueberries.

Go to http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/05/west_monroe_berries_hail.html for the story.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ag in the Classroom Contest Winners Announced

Here is a press release from New York Ag in the Classroom:

Go to http://www.agclassroom.org/ny/programs/contest13.htm to see all the winners. A few of the winners are from Central New York.

Raw Milk Case Activists See Food Freedom on Trial

NPR weighs in on a trial concerning raw milk.

Check it out at http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/05/22/186018994/in-raw-milk-case-activists-see-food-freedom-on-trial?ft=1&f=1001&sc=tw&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Read my previous story about raw milk at http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2011/10/raw_milk_some_consumers_swear.html

Cornell Technique Leads to New DNA Cattle Test That Beefs Up Dairy and Meat Quality

Hey, all.

This is really cool -- out of Cornell University.

Please read.

http://news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/05/new-dna-cattle-test-beefs-dairy-and-meat-quality

Easy Ways to Find Farmers' Markets, Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries to Visit

Here's an easy way to find farmers' markets in New York, according to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Go to https://data.ny.gov/Economic-Development/Farmers-Markets-in-New-York-State/qq4h-8p86 for farmers' markets.

Farm Bill News from Wednesday May 22

Go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/senate-rejects-bid-to-turn-food-stamp-program-over-to-states-cut-spending/2013/05/22/90d46aac-c2ff-11e2-9642-a56177f1cdf7_story.html to read this story from the Washington Post.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Staff at Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Receive Honors

Go to http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/05/president-skorton-recognizes-staff-excellent-work to check out the story.

New York Milk Production Up in April; Farmer Price Down

Here is news from the National Agricultural Statistics Service in New York:

New York dairy herds produced 1,138 million pounds of milk during April, said Blair Smith, State Statistician of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York Field Office.

This is up 1.7 percent from a year earlier but down 1.9 percent from March.

Dairy farmers in the Empire State received an average of $20.20 per hundredweight of milk sold during April, down 20 cents from March but $2.30 more than April a year ago.

Milk production in the 23 major states during April totaled 16.1 billion pounds, up 0.3 percent from April 2012. March production, unrevised at 16.4 billion pounds, was down 0.1 percent from March 2012.

Calf Welcomed at Jordan Dairy Farm

So adorable.

Meg and Bruce Schader at Wake Robin Farm in Jordan found this new little bull calf when they were bringing the Jerseys in for milking on Monday.

Thanks to Meg for sharing the photo.

Monday, May 20, 2013

19-year-old Hopes To Retire and Farm

This shows there is hope in the future of agriculture after all.

Read this http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/05/10/19-year-old-hopes-to-retire-and-farm/ fabulous story from the USDA blog.

Stock Market Take on Agriculture from The Motley Fool

Go to http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2013/05/14/the-governments-favorite-agriculture-company.aspx to read the story.

On-Farm Workshop on Pesticides May 30

Go to http://blogs.cornell.edu/ccefieldcropnews/2013/05/17/on-farm-workshop-pests-of-seedling-corn-may-30-2013/ to find out more.

New York Farm Bureau Responds to Farm Bill Moving out of Committee

Norton
This is from the New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton:

“New York Farm Bureau is pleased to see the quick work performed by both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees in moving the 2013 Farm Bill.  The expediency both houses demonstrated this week reinforces the need to get this passed on the floor of both houses this summer. 

"The Farm Bill invests in a stronger, more efficient safety net for New York’s dairy and specialty crop farmers and continued protections for commodity growers. It simplifies conservation programs and provides additional farmland protection efforts and new market opportunities for local food.  All of this will support New York farms as leading economic drivers in their rural communities.

"NY Farm Bureau is also grateful we have a strong delegation working on our farmers’ behalf in Congress. Sen. Gillibrand, along with Congressmen Chris Gibson,  Sean Patrick Maloney and Chris Collins, all serve on the agriculture committees in their respective houses and fought for a number of programs and policies that will strengthen the farm economy in New York.

"For that, we sincerely thank them for advocating for our farms.”
 

Hops Growers Ready for Challenges

From Madison County Tourism
Check out http://poststar.com/news/local/hops-growers-ready-for-challenges/article_3ea91ee6-c0f5-11e2-bb27-001a4bcf887a.html this story.

A lot of farmers in Central New York are growing hops and will face these same challenges.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack's weekly column:

This year, passage of a long-term, comprehensive Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is critical to providing certainty for U.S. producers.

This includes the continued availability of conservation programs that give our farmers, ranchers and private foresters the means to conserve the soil, protect our water and sustain America’s natural resources.

Thanks to programs provided by the Farm Bill, USDA has been able to enroll a record number of private lands in conservation practices. Over the past four years, we have worked with more than 500,000 producers, landowners and private foresters on projects that help the environment, while providing a new source of income.

From May 20 to June 14, USDA is holding the 45th General Signup under the Conservation Reserve Program – another important effort provided by a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill.

The program saves hundreds of millions of pounds of nitrogen and phosphorous from flowing into water sources. It provides valuable wildlife habitat, and hunting opportunities that help rural communities generate economic benefits from outdoor recreation. In times of severe drought, conservation lands can provide additional forage land for ranchers.

Such programs also provide the base from which USDA is expanding new opportunities in conservation and outdoor recreation. – an important cornerstone of President Obama’s plan to revitalize the rural economy.

At USDA, we are taking a wide variety of steps to help achieve this goal. Today we’re developing new ways for producers to earn income through conservation measures.

We’re undertaking new efforts to help communities create jobs through outdoor recreation. And we are expanding new partnerships between the government and landowners, to ensure that land stewardship is recognized and rewarded.

A robust Conservation Title in a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill impacts all of these efforts.

While Congress extended the Farm Bill conservation programs in January, they will expire once again in September. However, conservation is a long-term undertaking that requires farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to plan years into the future.

That’s why a one year extension of the Food, Farm and Jobs Bill doesn’t work and why we need a long-term bill. Like farmers, ranchers and forest owners, we at USDA take the long view and so we’ll continue working with Congress to get a five-year bill Food, Farm and Jobs Bill passed.

New York Rieslings Continue to Pick Up Honors

This news is from Jim Trezise of the New York Wine and Grape Foundation:


The Riverside International Wine Competition, run by esteemed California wine writer and Riesling aficianado Dan Berger, includes a special section for International Riesling Foundation trophies based on the IRF Riesling Taste Profile categories: Dry, Medium Dry, Medium Sweet, and Sweet.

The winners of two of the four trophies went to New York wines: Dr. Konstantin Frank 2012 Dry Riesling, and Wagner Vineyards 2011 Semi-Dry Riesling.

In addition, of the 31 wines from around the world that won Gold or above, including Best of Class, and Chairman's Award (equivalent to Double Gold), a majority--16 of 31--went to Finger Lakes Rieslings, compared with 6 from California, 2 each from Australia, Pennsylvania and Washington, and 1 each from British Columbia, Germany, and Michigan.

New York's other Best of Class award included Belhurst Estate Winery 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling.

Additional Chairman's Awards (equal to Double Gold) were given to Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2011 Dry Riesling; and Glenora 2011 Riesling Select Harvest.

Gold medals went to Anyela's 2011 Sweet Riesling; Belhurst 2012 Dry Riesling; Dr. Frank 2012 Semi-Dry Riesling and 2012 Riesling Reserve; Fox Run 2010 Dry Riesling, Lake Dana Vineyard; Keuka Spring 2012 Riesling and 2012 Semi-Sweet Riesling; Sheldrake Point 2011 Riesling; Swedish Hill 2011 Riesling; Thirsty Owl 2012 Dry Riesling; and Ventosa 2011 Riesling, New Vineyard.

During the past several years, Finger Lakes Rieslings have earned international acclaim, as evidenced by impressive results like these in many competitions--as well as the 2010 Tierce Dry Riesling being served at the Presidential Inaugural Luncheon in January.  The secrets of success: collaboration among growers and winemakers; research and communication by Cornell; and multi-faceted promotion at several levels.

Blogger: Science Group Wrong on GMOs

Go to http://scienceblogs.com/webeasties/2013/05/14/union-of-concerned-scientists-failing-on-farming/ to read the story.

Congress Answers Obama Farm Bill Plan with Smaller Food Aid Changes

Here is the New York Times' take on the Farm Bill moving through Congress:

Go to http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/18/us/politics/congress-answers-obama-plan-with-smaller-food-aid-changes.html?_r=0 to see the story.

Abbott's Farm Farm Fest is Sunday

Farm Fest at Abbott's Farm in Lysander is Sunday.

Go to http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Farm-Fest--more-details--and-strawberries-are-coming--.html?soid=1102002806379&aid=YzAcIR5b28I for more details.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Vilsack Announces New Organic Agriculture Initiatives

News from the USDA about organic farming:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack this week announced a number of changes and initiatives concerning organic agriculture during a meeting of the Organic Trade Association.

One announcement concerned the USDA's Risk Management Agency's federal crop insurance program will increase coverage options for organic producers this year and provide even more options in 2014.

Additionally, the Risk Management Agency will remove the current 5 percent organic rate surcharge on all future crop insurance policies beginning in 2014.

Vilsack also said USDA will be providing new guidance and direction on organic production to all USDA agencies in support of organic agriculture and markets. USDA is now asking each agency to routinely address the needs of the organic sector in their programs and services where appropriate.

The National Organic Program has supported the continued growth of America's organic sector, which has been increasing market share each year and now is a more than $30 billion industry. Vilsack noted that accurate data is the biggest obstacle for developing better crop insurance options for organic farmers and expressed his desire that Congress help USDA make further progress by renewing the 2008 Organic Data Initiative as part of a new Food, Farms and Jobs bill.

New crop-insurance pricing options will be available to organic producers who grow crops under guaranteed contracts beginning with the 2014 crop year. This contract price option allows organic producers who receive a contract price for their crop to get a crop insurance guarantee that is more reflective of the actual value of their crop.

All crops are being evaluated for establishing organic prices for the 2014 crop year. Current pricing options only allow farmers to insure organic crops at the conventional prices, with the exception of eight crops (corn, soybeans, cotton, processing tomatoes, avocados, and several fresh stone fruit crops) that already have premium organic price elections. The Fisk Management Agency is working to provide organic price elections for six to ten crops in 2014. Oats and mint are two crops that have already been selected for organic price elections in 2014, and apricots, apples, blueberries, millet and others are still under consideration.

USDA's Agriculture Marketing Service last year announced the Organic Literacy Initiative, a public outreach and employee training program to help connect current and prospective organic operations with appropriate USDA resources concerning all organic agriculture issues, including organic certification. 

Organic certification allows farmers and ranchers to receive premium prices for their value-added products. Over the past 10 years, the number of certified organic farms and businesses in the United States has expanded to nearly 17,750, representing a 240 percent increase since USDA first began collecting this data. 

Similarly, the retail value of the organic industry grew almost 9.5 percent in 2011 to $31.4 billion. Organic foods continue to gain market share in the food industry, climbing to 4.2 percent of U.S. retail food sales in 2011.


USDA is responsible, under the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, for establishing national standards for organically-produced agricultural products. These standards assure consumers that products with the USDA organic seal meet consistent, uniform standards.

Go to www.ams.usda.gov/NOP for more information about the USDA National Organic Program.



 

Corn Starts to Peek Out of the Ground

The corn is just starting to pop out of the ground at the Cayuga Pumpkin Farm in Cayuga, NY
The great weather we've been having in Central New York has allowed the fields to be plowed and the crops to be planted.

It won't be long before we'll all eating some wonderful, homegrown squash, fruits, beans, cabbage, tomatoes and of course, corn.

Now, it would be nice to have some rain to help everything grow.


Blogger Complains About Ag Phrases

Interesting opinion about "sustainable" agriculture.

Read it http://www.biofortified.org/2013/05/agriculture-phrases-that-frustrate-me/ here.

New Research Projects Underway in the Northern NY Agricultural Development Programt

Go to http://madisoncountycourier.com/?p=45992 to read a story about them.

Deadlines Approaching for Sign Up for Crop Programs





It's also time to sign up for the 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program or the Average Crop Revenue Election Program before the deadlines.

Producers who wait until the last minute to sign up could face increased waiting time in FSA county offices.



The sign-up for both programs began Feb. 19, 2013. The deadline to sign up for the Average Crop Revenue Election Program is June 3. The Direct and Counter-Cyclical Payment Program deadline is Aug. 2.

The two programs are unchanged from the previous year, except all eligible participants in 2013 may choose to enroll in either DCP or ACRE for the 2013 crop year. This means that eligible producers who were enrolled in ACRE in 2012 may elect to enroll in DCP in 2013 or may re-enroll in ACRE in 2013 (and vice versa).

Go to www.fsa.usda.gov for more information about the programs and loans administered by the Farm Service Agency.

Time to Sign Up for the Conservation Reserve Program

News from the USDA:

Sign-up for the Conservation Reserve Program will take place from May 20 to June 14 this year, said Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Vilsack also announced the restart of sign-up for the continuous Conservation Reserve Program, including the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, State Acres for ildlife Enhancement Initiative, the Highly Erodible Land Initiative, the Grassland Restoration Initiative, the Pollinator Habitat Initiative and other related initiatives.

Sign-up for continuous CRP began May 13 and continue through Sept. 30.

The Conservation Reserve Program has a 27-year history of successfully protecting the nation's natural resources through voluntary participation, while providing significant economic and environmental benefits to rural communities across the United States. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion and develop wildlife habitat.


In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance.


Contract duration is between 10 and 15 years. Currently, 27 million acres are enrolled in CRP through 700,000 contracts on 390,000 farms throughout the U.S., with enrollment in 49 states and Puerto Rico. Contracts on an estimated 3.3 million acres will expire Sept. 30.

Offers for general sign-up CRP contracts are ranked according to an Environmental Benefits Index. USDA's Farm Service Agency collects data for each of the EBI factors based on the relative environmental benefits for the land offered. FSA uses the following factors to assess the environmental benefits for the land offered:

** Wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage; Wildlife habitat benefits resulting from covers on contract acreage;

** Water quality benefits from reduced erosion, runoff and leaching;

** On-farm benefits from reduced erosion;

** Benefits that will likely endure beyond the contract period;

** Air quality benefits from reduced wind erosion; and

** Cost.


Go to www.fsa.usda.gov to learn more about the Conservation Reserve Program or any other Farm Service Agency programs.

Vilsack Calls on Congress to Pass Immigration Reform


Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack talks about why immigration reform is needed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Haven Farmers Market Seeks Vendors

Here's some information from Cooperative Extension of Oswego County:


The town of New Haven is looking for more vendors to add to its Farmers Market.

Started in 2012, the market provides residents with fresh and local food, and farmers with an outlet to market their products. The market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. each Monday from June to October at the New Haven Town Hall on State Route 104.

The first market of the year is June 3. Anyone interested in being in the market should call market manager Debbie Allen at (315) 963-3900.

 

Software Tool That Saves Farmers Money Has its Roots in Northern New York, Cornell

Here is a story from Kara Dunn of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program:

An online tool used by farmers and crop consultants named Best New Product of the Year for 2012 by AgProfessional magazine has its roots in Northern New York.

The Adapt-N software helps farmers and consultants know when the application of additional nitrogen to grow corn is not needed, which saves farmers money. Cornell University researchers developed the computational tool with the help of field trials underwritten in part by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program at the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm in Willsboro, Essex County, along Lake Champlain.

“Eighteen years of field research on long-term no-till and plow-till corn production trial plots at the Cornell research farm in Willsboro in Northern New York sparked the idea for this new precision application tool that accommodates year-to-year and field-to-field variability,” says Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences Professor Harold van Es.

It factors in the significant impact of weather on nitrogen availability, using high-resolution weather data for individual fields, plus the interactions of weather with soil type, tillage and crop rotation practices, the crop maturity class, planting date, and manure applications.

Adapt-N works with any device with Internet access. Users can receive daily updates by text or email with nitrogen application recommendation alerts based on changing weather or irrigation patterns.

In 2011 and 2012, the Adapt-N tool was tested on privately-owned farms in Northern NY and across New York State with funding provided by the New York Farm Viability Institute, based in Syracuse.

Lewis County farmer Bernhard Gohlert of Lowville, NY, says, “I have seen upwards of $20,000 in savings from not using unnecessary nitrogen based on the Adapt-N recommendations.”

Gohlert tried the Adapt-N recommendations in 2012 based on the advice of his crop consultant Peg Cook. Cook says, “With the Northern New York foundation of the Adapt-N research and the promise of substantial savings, it made sense to encourage farmers here to try it.”

The researchers reported that Adapt-N use increased corn profits by an average $26 per acre in 2011 trials and $32/acre in 2012 trials, with an increase in participating grower profit in 81 percent of the 56 trials to date. The savings and profit figures are calculated relative to farmers’ chosen nitrogen rates, which are sometimes considerably higher than standard Cornell-based recommendations.

The Cornell research team urges farmers to factor their own field experience into the use of Adapt-N recommendations.

Corn growers in Iowa began using Adapt-N after seeing its early application on New York farms. In June 2012, Cornell announced that Adapt-N had been expanded to include Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin in the MidWest. A beta-testing version of Adapt-N has recently been made available in other Corn Belt states.

Researchers continue to refine the Adapt-N online tool. Research trials funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program for 2013 involve on-farm grain and silage corn strip trials in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Cornell posts updates to a users blog at http://blogs.cornell.edu/adaptn this website. The Adapt-N Users Manual, an in-depth Adapt-N webinar training, and additional information is http://adapt-n.cals.cornell.edu available at this website. Go to adapt-n@cornell.edu to obtain user ID and passwords.
 

USDA Report Shows Strong Ag Growth Through 2022

Go to http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1013562/oce131.pdf to read the report.

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Unanimously in Favor of Monsanto in Soybean Case

Go to http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/05/13/monsanto-patent-grain-biotechnology-soybeans-supreme-court/2116333/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+UsatodaycomMoney-TopStories+%28Money+-+Top+Stories%29 to see the story.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Will the Farm Bill Lose Its Focus on Agriculture?

Go to http://farmprogress.com/story-farm-bill-lose-focus-agriculture-9-98010 to read a story from American Agriculturist.

Markup of the Farm Bill begins at 10 a.m. today (May 14), according to the U.S. Senate Ag Committee. The discussion will be shown live at http://www.ag.senate.gov/404/?go=hearings/agriculture-reform-food-and-jobs-act-of-2013 this link.

Cornell Students Visit Place with Highest Milk Production Per Cow

Go to http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/05/trip-provides-insights-israeli-agribusiness to see the story in the Cornell Chronicle.

The Cape Winery Open in Jefferson County


I told you earlier Monday I would provide some more info about North Country wineries.

Well, I visited the newest winery a couple of weeks ago and I must say, Sandra and David Fralick are putting out some wonderful wines.

They are the owners of The Cape Winery, located on Deerlick Road just outside Cape Vincent, Jefferson County. Shown here are the wine tasting building and a section of the vineyard.

 The Fralicks offer eight wines now -- four made with their own cold-weather hardy grapes and four made with juice from Finger Lakes grapes. The vineyard, which is on a former dairy farm, is growing Frontenac, LeCrescent, Sabrevois, Frontenac Gris, Traminette and Marquette grapes. 

The Cape Winery has been open a little more than a month. Hours are noon to 5 Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Memorial Day; noon to 5 p.m. every day from Memorial Day through Columbus Day; and noon to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday Columbus Day through Dec. 31.

Give them a call at (315) 654-3218 or you can send an email to Sandra@thecapewinery.com 
 

Governor and Kerry Kennedy Champion Migrant Farm Worker Rights

Go to http://auburnpub.com/ap/business/cuomo-ex-wife-kennedy-push-farm-workers-rights/article_3bb79df7-c1d3-5940-ad2f-e05528a11b4d.html to read the Associated Press story.

NY Environmental Regulation Changes Will Help Dairy Farmers

Check out this story http://www.mpnnow.com/towns/bloomfield/x499863186/State-rules-change-may-help-dairy-farmers-grow?zc_p=0 about how changes to the state's environmental regulations will help dairy farmers.

Chicks Die in Fire at Clay Chicken Coop

Baby chicks http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story/Chicken-coop-fire-in-Clay-kills-baby-chicks/7C4vSLBUkEeX_8Tx3RRYtQ.cspx die in chicken coop fire.

Fruit Growers Brace for Tonight's Frost

Photo from the New York Apple Association
Some area apple orchards will be trying to protect their fragile fruit tonight as local forecasters are calling for frost.

Mark Fleckenstein of Beak and Skiff in LaFayette said he will be putting out the wind machines and frost pots with burning oil to keep the orchards warm.

"A lot of the apples have been set, but if it gets blow 32 degrees, we can get frost rings on the apples," he said. Frost rings are a scar which makes the apples less appealing to consumers come harvest time.

Statewide, Jim Allen of the New York Apple Association said most varieties have been set, meaning the bees have already pollinated the blossoms. He said areas along Lake Ontario should be protected by the lake's warmer water and other areas should not get cold enough for a full freeze.

He said valley areas, like in LaFayette, would be more in danger of a problem.

"Last week when the temperature hit 80, I was feeling pretty good," Fleckenstein said. "This could be fairly significant."

The National Weather Service is calling for a freeze warning from at 11 p.m. Monday through 8 a.m. Tuesday. Forecasters are calling for temperatures from the upper 20s to lower 30s.

Go to http://forecast.weather.gov/showsigwx.php?warnzone=NYZ018&warncounty=NYC067&firewxzone=NYZ018&local_place1=Taunton+NY&product1=Freeze+Warning  to read the warning.

Eric Behling, a fruit farmer in Mexico, said there isn't anything he can do for his apples and hopes warmth from Lake Ontario comes his way.

He will put water on his strawberries to keep them at 32 degrees. He said the flower petals already have fallen from his sweet and tart cherry trees and "they might be OK." If anything, he said he might end up with misshapen cherries if it gets too cold.

He has heard temperature forecasts for his area of 29 degrees to 30 degrees.

Phil Wagner grows peaches, tart and sweet cherries and apples just south of Wolcott in Wayne County. He said "little fruitlets" already are sprouting on his cherry and peach trees so they should come through the cold OK.

But his apples are still in bloom so "if it drops below 30, I'll lose some apples," he said.

Fruit growers were hoping for a better year this year after 2012's devastating crop. Warm temperatures in March 2012 brought on fruit buds and then cold temperatures in April killed off a lot of fruit buds, from apples to cherries to peaches.

Wagner said last year, he lost all his cherries and peaches and had only 15 percent of an apple crop. 



North Country Wines Please the Palate

Nice story http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/21968/20130513/north-country-wines-survive-the-cold-please-the-palate from North Country Public Radio about the Adirondack Wine Trail.

Check back later for some more news about the North Country wineries.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Here's to all the mothers in the world and especially mine (love ya Mom).

And to all those farm mothers, who not only take care of the kids but put in all those farm chores day in and day out and often also hold down another full-time job, I say -- Sit down for at least a while today and enjoy yourself.

Now some agriculture facts to remember on Mother's Day:

1) Anyone who sent flowers to mom today took part in one of the largest parts of agriculture. Floriculture is the fourth largest crop group in the U.S.

2) The economic value of New York state's floriculture products ranks eighth nationwide.


3) Leading floriculture states in value are California, Florida, Michigan, Texas and New York.

4) During 2011, there were 615 growers of floriculture products in New York state. Floriculture includes cut flowers, cut cultivated greens, potted flowering and foliage plants, as well as bedding and garden plants.

5) The value of floriculture in New York state in 2011 (for operations making more than $10,000) was $171 million

6) Floriculture is one of the few agricultural industries to collect sales tax dollars for New York state.

Anyone wanting to learn something about the floriculture business in New York state, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNeLYzhuLPk&feature=em-share_video_user this link to check out a video.

And, of course, let's not forget that candy some of you may have given mom today. If it is dripping in milk chocolate, you've got dairy farmers to thank for that.

Three Events on Tap for This Weekend in CNY

Let's not forget three events going on this weekend.

First, the Bridle Path Manor Junior/Amateur Hunter Horse Show at the Toyota Coliseum at the Fairgrounds from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and Sunday.

Also, open house today at the On The Farm Discovery Center in Stafford now until 4 p.m.

Lastly, it is Wine Tourism Day in the Finger Lakes. Various wineries in the Finger Lakes will donate their tasting fees to local food banks.

Friday, May 10, 2013

New York Agri-Women Head to Cayuga County Wednesday

New York Agri-Women will tour the Patterson Farm, a sixth generation dairy and crop farm, beginning at 2 p.m. May 15 at the farm in the town of Aurelius.
Members of the group will tour the farm and talk to owners, Jon, Julie and Connie.
At 3:30 p.m., the group will visit the Apple Station Winery on Cross Road in Cayuga. There will be some social time here, wine tastings and a chance to talk with the owners about their decision to move from an orchard and farm to also include a winery.
Anyone attending should contact Julie Patterson by May 12 at Julie.patterson@wwpfi.com or 315-729-3163

Please feel free to attend just part of the afternoon at either place if you are unable to attend entire event, but please still RSVP to Julie. Also, please dress for the weather and conditions -- plastic booties will be provided for the farm tour.

Today is Wine Tourism Day in the Finger Lakes

Check out http://www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com/Wine-Tourism-Day.aspx for more information.

Deadline is May 31 to Participate in Census of Agriculture

The deadline to take part in the 2012 Census of Agriculture is fast approaching.

The deadline to fill out the census form and send it in is May 31. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is urging farmers and ranchers not to miss this opportunity to be counted and help determine the future of farming in America.

According to a news release, USDA has already received more than 2 million completed census forms. 

"Our nation needs your help to ensure that decisions about U.S. agriculture accurately represent you, your communities, and your industry," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "For every 158 people in America there is one farm. I urge you to take action today and respond to the census – your country is counting on the information to help ensure a continued supply of food, fiber and fuel for generations to come."

The Census of Agriculture, conducted only once every five years, is the only source of consistent and comprehensive agricultural data for every state and county in the nation. It looks at farms, value of land, market value of agricultural production, farm practices, expenditures, and other factors that affect the way farmers and ranchers do business.

The information is used by agribusinesses, town planners, local governments, and policy makers, as well as farmers, ranchers, growers and others to shape farm programs, boost rural services and grow the future of farming, according to the news release.

Bored? Take a Llama Trek in Tully

Hey, all.

Check this out. http://blog.syracuse.com/outdoors/2013/05/llama_treks_offered_at_farm_in.html

Need a Lakeside Summer Vacation? Try the Finger Lakes

This is great for the Finger Lakes wine region.

http://travel.yahoo.com/blogs/compass/lakeside-vacations-170410748.html?page=all&utm_campaign=Yahoo!+Travel&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_content=91a111a5-890a-46c1-8a4c-0541a3cee185

Cornell University Part of $9.9 M Grant to Reduce Dairy's Environmental Footprint

Go to http://www.news.cornell.edu/stories/2013/05/99m-grant-reduce-dairys-environmental-hoofprint to see the story.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Love of Finger Lakes Wines Finally Catching On in NYC

Check out http://blog.syracuse.com/cny/2013/05/lover_for_finger_lakes_wines_is_spreading_in_new_york_city.html this story from syracuse.com

Reinstatement of Farm Service Agency Payments Began Wednesday

This news comes from the Farm Service Agency:

Farm payments that had been suspended to the federal sequestration resumed Wednesday, said officials with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency.

This includes payments for the 2011 Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), the Noninsured Crop Assistance Program (NAP) and the Milk Income Loss Contract Program (MILC).

“I’m pleased to announce that farmers and ranchers can expect to begin receiving their payments beginning May 8,” said Administrator Juan Garcia. “We appreciate the producers’ patience during the delay. We’re working diligently to get these payments out as quickly as possible.”

On March 4, 2013, FSA began a temporary suspension of FSA program payments in order to assess the impact of sequestration and determine the least-disruptive process possible for carrying out required cuts.


The USDA will use the secretary’s limited authority to transfer funds to avoid reducing these program payments.

Producers should be advised that program sign-up periods currently underway have the following enrollment deadlines: 2013 Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) Program – June 3; 2011 SURE – June 7; and the 2013 Direct and Counter-Cyclical Program – Aug. 2.


Producers should contact their local Farm Service Agency office as soon as possible for appointments to enroll in these programs before the deadlines.

USDA Researches Way to Use Fertilizer Without Contributing to Runoff

A U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher is studying the feasibility of using cheaper alternatives to commercial fertilizers and how much farmers can use in an environmentally friendly way.

USDA Researcher Eton Codling is trying to find out how much nutrient (fertilizer) farmers should use to help their crops without contributing to runoff. This is a huge issue in various parts of New York state as runoff of nutrients such as phosphorus have harmed some waterways.
   

North Country Congressman Forms Agriculture Advisory Committee

Rep. Bill Owens, who represents the North Country, on Thursday announced he is forming an agricultural advisory committee.

Read this http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130509/NEWS09/705099729 to find out more and find out who is on the committee.

Full Text of Farm Bill Available for Reading

Go to http://www.ag.senate.gov/issues/farm-bill and then click under Legislative Text to read a PDF of the full Farm Bill that will be marked up beginning Tuesday.

Racing Back At Vernon Downs Friday Night

Photo from the Vernon Downs website
Live racing will return to Vernon Downs Friday and Saturday, with racing beginning at 6:45 p.m. each night.
 
Racing had been canceled as of last weekend due to three horses testing positive for equine herpes. One horse was euthanized.
 
According to a news release on the Vernon Downs website, "racing will be restricted to those horses currently stabled in quarantine at Vernon Downs, excluding the horses in secured quarantine within the stable area. All horses racing will have their temperature taken prior to entering the paddock. Those horses with a temperature in excess of 101.5 will be denied entry to the paddock and excluded from competition."
 
The equine herpes virus is not transferable to people.
 
Friday and Saturday night will include a full card of 11 races. Racing will continue on each Friday and Saturday in May.
 
"We are in complete compliance with all directives issued by the NYS Gaming Commission," Jason M. Settlemoir, Regional Vice President of Racing at Vernon Downs and Tioga Downs, said in the news release. "We appreciate their attention to this serious equine health issue and permitting those horsemen confined to the backstretch to race their horses so they can generate some income. While we remain vigilant in our work to prevent any further spread of the EHV-1 outbreak, we are optimistic that things will return to normal in a few weeks here at Vernon."

The track is open for simulcasting on the regular schedule throughout the quarantine period. Visit the Vernon Downs website at www.vernondowns.com for updates.