January 17, 2011
Contacts: See last paragraph

North Country Crop Congresses Celebrate 15th Year of Info-Sharing, Add Malone as New Meeting Site

In February, the North Country Crop Congresses will celebrate their 15th year of providing corn growers in New York’s six northernmost counties with the most current information on crop production techniques, disease controls, and the latest advances in making farming more productive and profitable.

Speakers from Cornell University, WH Miner Agricultural Research Institute, New York State Agriculture & Markets, Monsanto and local farms will present the ‘hot topics’ for the 2011 farmer gatherings in Carthage, Chazy, Madrid and Malone. The discussion will include new crop technology, pest management, and the production of brown mid-rib (BMR) corn.

The 2011 Crop Congresses will be held from 10am to 3 pm:
• Wednesday, February 2, at the Madrid Community Center, Madrid, NY
• Thursday, February 3, at the Carthage Elks Lodge, Carthage, NY
• Tuesday, February 15 at the WH Miner Institute Auditorium, Chazy, NY, and
• Wednesday, February 16, at Gallaghers’ Restaurant, Malone, NY.

"At this year's Crop Congresses, we are highlighting technologies that are incorporated into the crop genetic code, BMR, and pest or herbicide tolerance traits. These technologies can be quite valuable, but may not be appropriate for every farm. A lot of factors must be evaluated. These Crop Congresses will help people sort out the best times and places to use these technologies," says Stephen Canner, field crops educator with the Cornell Cooperative Extensions in Franklin and St. Lawrence counties.

Field Crops Educator Joe Lawrence with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Lewis County says, “The speakers’ lineup for the 2011 Crop Congresses includes academic and industry expert plus local farmers to provide those attending the meetings with insight into what technologies are available and which are on the horizon to help them combat disease and deal with the potential for crop pests to build up resistance to the new technologies.”

BMR – brown mid-rib corn – is a relatively new crop product that has produced mixed results on dairy farms. The Crop Congress agenda includes local farmers sharing their experiences with feeding BMR corn to their dairy cows. David Fisher of Mapleview Farms, Madrid, NY, will speak at the Madrid Crop Congress; Lyn Murray of Murcrest Farm, Copenhagen, NY, will speak in Carthage; and Jon Rulfs of Adirondack Farms, Peru, NY, will speak at the Malone and Chazy programs.

“While BMR corn is a highly digestible feed, dairy farmers using BMR corn need to consider several management decisions regarding production, storage and feeding. The nutrition experts speaking at the 2011 Crop Congresses will share information on the potential benefits of using this forage in a dairy feeding program as well as potential drawbacks,” says Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Field Crops Educator Michael Hunter.

WH Miner Agricultural Research Institute Dairy Outreach Coordinator Wanda Emerich says, “Miner Institute President Dr. Rick Grant will be speaking at each Crop Congress about the depth of research conducted here on the production of BMR corn. The data on milk production, crop yield and farm costs is critical to know for farmers considering growing and feeding BMR corn.”

Also on the Crop Congresses’ agenda is Dr. Russ Hahn of Cornell University presenting on corn weed control for 2011, Charlie Koines of the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets presenting information on using crop insurance as a risk management tool, and Scott Walker of Monsanto addressing how to preserve insect- and herbicide-resistance crops.

Farmers may register to attend a Crop Congress by calling their local Extension office. For the Madrid event, contact Stephen Canner at 315-379-9192 x233; for the Carthage event, contact Joe Lawrence at 315-376-5270; for the Chazy event, contact Wanda Emerich at 518-846-7121 x 117 or Eric Young at x113; for the Malone event, contact Richard Gast at 518-483-7403. #