The inclusion of winter cereals as cover crops into various crop and livestock systems is a relatively common practice in today’s agriculture. The primary reasons for this are protection of soil from erosion and enhancement of soil health through organic matter and carbon (C) addition (Long et al., 2012). However, farmers are increasingly interested in using cover crops to sequester nitrogen (N) in the fall (cover crops as catch crops) and carry it over to the spring.
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded research is evaluating two methods of measuring phosphorus (P) – a key soil nutrient for crop production. The goal of the NNY Soil Test P project is to determine if a different method may offer an advantage over the traditional way of measuring P in soil test extracts. More efficient use of phosphorus in fertilizer and manure represents a significant cost savings for farmers and enhances agricultural environmental stewardship.
The New York State Senate Budget proposal includes $500,000 for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program that conducts innovative research, best management practices outreach, and technical assistance projects in the state’s six northernmost counties: St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Essex, and Clinton.
“The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, the steering committee of North Country farmers from across the region, and the farm businesses we serve are pleased to see the Senate budget that recognizes how critical agriculture is to the Northern New York economy and to the state economy,” said NNYADP Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy farmer in St. Lawrence County.
“The New York State Senate funding of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has provided the means for farmers to access the best academic and field research expertise to solve problems such as alfalfa snout beetle, to develop new farm-based enterprises such as bioenergy crops, and to enhance our agricultural environmental stewardship through precision targeting of nutrients, fertilizer and manure resources,” said NNYADP Co-Chair Joe Giroux, a dairy farmer in Clinton County.
The NNYADP received $500,000 in the last approved Senate and state budgets.
New York State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie recently announced the $5.2 billon Grown in New York plan designed to strengthen the state’s agricultural industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products.
“Agriculture is New York’s leading industry. Over the past two years, we have worked to restore budget cuts to vital marketing, research and educational program. including the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, that farmers depend on to strengthen their farm business bottom lines,” Ritchie said.
Congratulations go to Mapleview Dairy in Madrid, NY, in St. Lawrence County, for earning the New York State Agricultural Society Farm Safety Award.
Farm owners David Fisher and Louanne King are long-time supporters of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. Dave is currently a member of the NNYADP Steering Committee and Dairy and Field Crop Production Sub-Committee.
Two Northern New York Agricultural Development Program meetings were held in the region in February. The meetings provide members and friends of the farmer-driven research, outreach and technical assistance program for the six northernmost counties of New York State with project updates and the opportunity to brainstorm research and education needs and opportunities for the coming year.
The following photos are from the NNY west-side meeting in Watertown.
Above, Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) Co-Chair Jon Greenwood (center) spoke with Tim Scee (right), a representative of NYS Senator Patty Ritchie, and Jim Durkish, constituent representative for NYS Senator Joseph Griffo, at the February 2013 NNYADP meeting in Watertown. Both Senate representatives cited the importance of agriculture to the Northern New York economy.
NNYADP Horticulture subcommittee members discussed needs and opportunities for regional vegetable, fruit, nursery, and greenhouse producers. Left to right seated: Cornell Small Farms Program Director Anu Rangarajan, Cornell Willsboro Farm Manager Mike Davis, Cornell Horticulture Professor Dr. Steve Reiners; standing, CCE Jefferson County Horticulture educator Sue Gwise, and Jefferson County grower Gail Millard.
Cornell University Animal Science Senior Extension Associate Karl J. Czymmek provided an update on the positive impact of NNYADP-funded agricultural environmental stewardship projects led by Cornell Crop and Soil Sciences Associate Professor Quirine M. Ketterings. Czymmek spoke about whole farm mass nutrient balancing projects that help farmers precisely target the use of soil nutrients, fertilizer, and manure resources.
Members of the NNYADP Livestock Committee attending the annual meeting in Watertown included (l to r) Cornell University Beef Extension Specialist Dr. Mike Baker, Ithaca, NY; livestock producer and CSA supplier Steve Winkler of Rodman, NY; NNY Cornell Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist Betsy Hodge, Canton, NY; beef producer Don Holman, Adams, NY; sheep farmer Harold Boomhower, Rutland, NY; and CCE Community Educator and livestock farmer Steve Ledoux, Croghan, NY.
Cornell Entomologist Dr. Elson Shields points out the range of alfalfa snout beetle (ASB) in nine counties in New York State. Shields has been honored by the Entomological Society of America for his body of work, including the NNYADP-funded development of a biocontrol for the destructive ASB. Farmers using nematodes to control the beetle are once again harvesting high quality alfalfa crops to feed dairy cows and other livestock. NNYADP-funded trials, led by Dr. Donald Viands and Dr. Julie L. Hansen of Cornell, breeding ASB-resistant varieties of alfalfa are developing a second means of ASB control for tandem use with the nematodes.