Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meetings Focus on Northern New York Farm Successes

News from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program:

North County farmers who want to learn more about the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program's latest projects should come to meetings Jan. 30 in Watertown and Feb. 27 in Chazy.

The research report sessions begin at 1 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Watertown and at Miner Institute in Chazy. Registration is not required to attend.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research and technical assistance program serving all sectors of the agricultural industry, from dairy and crops to livestock, maple and horticultural production, in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

"The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is noted for producing real-world, practical results, and the 2014 project reports live up to that expectation," says program Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy producer in St. Lawrence County.

"Northern New York Agricultural Development Program small grants connect North Country farmers with faculty, researchers, and specialists with Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the State University of New York, W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, and other expertise to address critical needs and emerging opportunities," says program Co-Chair Joe Giroux, a Clinton County dairyman.

Reports at the meetings will cover:

** Emerging corn and soybean diseases
** The identification of mastitis-causing pathogens
** Corn grain variety trials under Northern New York growing conditions
** Evaluating alfalfa-grass mixes for dairy and livestock forage
** Production practices for the Juneberry superfruit
** Health management for sheep and goats, and
** How the inexpensive biocontrol developed with long-term program funding to beat back the highly-destructive alfalfa snout beetle now holds promise for helping fruit and vegetable growers statewide.

One of the acclaimed Northern New York Agricultural Development Program successes came through long-term funding that provided the time needed for Cornell University researchers to develop an inexpensive, biocontrol treatment that substantially reduced the impact of the highly-destructive alfalfa snout beetle. 

The concept of using native nematodes that destroy the larvae of the beetle is now being applied in trials to reduce other types of pests in strawberry crops in Northern New York, in apple and grape crops elsewhere in the state, and at the Battle Island Golf Course outside Fulton, NY.

As time allows, the meeting may also make note of recent program projects focused on winter forage crops production for the dairy and livestock industries; enhancing agricultural environmental stewardship through tile drainage, nutrient recycling, and on-farm water quality; adapting to climate change; enhancing market opportunities for North Country beef producers; and season extension for fruit and vegetable growers.

Complete research reports are posted on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at
<> . For more details on the annual meetings, call 376-5270.

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 4,365 farms in Northern New York manage more than 1.1 million acres of farmland with a hired labor payroll of more than $67.2 million. Those numbers represent a gain of 97 farms, 64,487 acres, and $15 million in payroll since the 2007 census.

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