|Overview of Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott & Son Farm just south of Seneca Falls|
The theme of this year’s Empire Farm Days is “Nobody Wants to Be Left Behind, So Everyone is Here.”
Farmers and vendors alike know this to be true. Empire Farm Days is the largest outdoor farm show in the Northeast and if farmers want to see the latest in technology, equipment and materials for farming, this is the place to be.
The 82nd edition of Empire Farm Days will be held Tuesday through Thursday at the Rodman Lott & Son Farm in Seneca Falls.
It features more than 600 exhibitors and 70,000 visitors each year along with scores of educational programs, equipment and machinery displays, and demonstrations and activities on the 300-acre site.
“It’s a good opportunity to interact with vendors and suppliers,” said Douglas W. Shelmidine, owner of Sheland Farm in the town of Ellisburg, Jefferson County.
“You can see lots of innovative products because there is a tremendous cross section of vendors,” said Shelmidine, who has attended Empire Farm Days for several years and hopes to go again this year. “And you can see all the newest technology.”
“I went for seven or eight years, and the show is where you should be to see what is out there in agriculture,” said Paul Mason, of River Haven Farm in Cape Vincent. “You have a lot of different dealers, like John Deere and International, and you can compare them all. And they do demonstrations there — you can see the equipment actually being used. There is so much information at that show.”
Everyone from dairy producers and cattle ranchers to cash croppers, equipment operators, horse owners and farm families attend the show each year.
One of the highlights of this year’s show is the Confined Space Manure Pit Simulator to help farmers protect themselves from the hazards around manure pits. The four different gases from manure pits and lagoons can render someone unconscious in seconds and could lead to injury or death.
Manure pits also can be explosive.
Farmers attending demonstrations of the simulator will learn about the importance of air quality monitoring, along with how to properly use breathing apparatus, harnessing and rigging.
Dan Neenan, agricultural safety director at the National Education Center at Northeast Iowa Community College, will offer 20-minute safety-education demonstrations every hour throughout the show. There also will be free, four-hour Confined Space Manure Pit Rescue Training for emergency services personnel. This special training for EMTs will be after the show closes at 5 p.m. Aug. 11 and 12.
The Manure Pit Simulator will be located near the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health and Safety tent. EMTs can register for the training by calling James Carrabba at the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health at 800-343-7527 ext. 2216 or emailing email@example.com
Some other new items at the show this year:
*** Seminars on pop-up fertilizer and using a tile plow to install drainage. From 10 to 10:30 a.m. daily in the Welcome Center, presentations will be given on the advantages of using pop-up fertilizers in direct contact with seed plants to increase early season nutrient availability of corn and soybeans.
From 10:30 to 11 a.m., the presentations will focus on how tiling impacts water management for crop production and how farmers can use tile plows to install farm drainage tile or corrugated tubing.
*** The dairy industry will be the featured agricultural sector at the Farm Bureau Family Education Center. Exhibits and resources will focus on the wide array of dairy products in New York state. Visitors can test their dairy knowledge with the Wheel of Agriculture. Another new exhibit this year will showcase programming created by the Seneca County Farm Bureau and highlight local agricultural sites of interest.
*** Also at the Farm Bureau center will be another new exhibit showcasing the successful programming created by the Seneca County Farm Bureau and highlighting local ag points of interest. Meanwhile, the pictorial tour of New York agriculture around the perimeter of the tent will note major statistics on farming in New York, with photos depicting agriculture throughout the 11 Farm Bureau regions of the state.
*** The new Soil Health Seminar Center will feature two speakers and a farmer panel each day of the event. Presenters will include a soil-health-testing innovator and representatives from the Cornell University Pro-Dairy Program, Western New York Crop Management Association, Seedway and Kings Agriseeds.
*** Growers can learn new apple and grape grafting techniques by talking with scientists from the Agricultural Research Service Plant Genetic Resources Unit in Geneva. There will be daily demonstrations of grafting techniques used with apple trees and grapevines.