July 22, 2011
See Media Contacts and Story Tips at end of release

August 2nd “Show and Tell” Programs Fit Farmers & Conservationists

Belleville, NY -- Field research being conducted on Northern New York farms is helping dairy businesses, crop growers, and conservationists. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County has organized three August 2nd programs in the Belleville-Henderson area to highlight successful field trials with crops suited to commercial agriculture and natural resource habitat enhancement.

Five Cornell University researchers will travel from Ithaca for the free rain-or-shine “show and tell” presentations of the latest research findings in fields that prove the points.

Field day organizer Mike Hunter, field crops educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, says the August 2nd Summer Field Day programs provide “an opportunity to not only hear about the latest research but to see actual field results and side-by-side comparisons of crops being grown in the Northern New York environment.”

Registration for the drive-it-yourself field day is not required. People can attend any or all of the programs. For more information, contact Hunter at 315-788-8450.

At 10am at Sheland Farms, Belleville, Julie L. Hansen of Cornell’s Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics will discuss alfalfa varieties showing promise for alfalfa snout beetle resistance.

Cornell entomologist Dr. Elson Shields has called alfalfa snout beetle the most destructive insect pest of alfalfa in Northern New York since the 1990s when he began the battle to develop a solution for the insect that can destroy entire fields of the valuable dairy and livestock forage in one season. On August 2nd Shields will discuss the cost-effective, easily-implemented-on-farm ASB-predatory nematode treatment that 16-year-old Belleville-Henderson FFA member Erik Shelmidine has successfully applied at Sheland Farms.

At 11am at the Dennis and Carol Forrester dairy farm on County Route 78, Shields and Dr. Gary C. Bergstrom of Cornell’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences will talk about how to scout for aphids and other soybean crop insects and diseases. The soybean demonstration plot there shows varieties with varying levels of aphid resistance.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Specialist John Keith Waldron will talk about how to deal with crop pests, diseases and weeds in environmentally-friendly ways that integrate biological, organic, cultural, mechanical and other options.

At 1pm Belleville-Henderson Central School’s warm season perennial grass trials are expected to attract people wanting to enhance wildlife habitat as well as farmers interested in bioenergy crops. Hunter says, “We are seeing a surge in interest in conservation practices by individuals and such groups as Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”

Shields, Hansen and Dr. Hilary Mayton of Cornell’s Biofuel Perennial Grass Project will speak on the varieties of switchgrass, big bluestem and other grasses as a commercial biofuel crop and for conservation enhancement plantings.

These field trials have been made possible by funding and support from Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Cornell NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, the New York Farm Viability Institute, agribusinesses and NNY farmers. Learn more about Northern New York agriculture online at www.nnyagdev.org or contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension association:
Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County: 518-561-7450
Cornell Cooperative Extension Essex County: 518-962-4810
Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County: 518-483-7403
Cornell Cooperative Extension Jefferson County: 315-788-8450
Cornell Cooperative Extension Lewis County: 315-376-5270
Cornell Cooperative Extension St. Lawrence County: 315-379-9192. #

August 2nd Summer Field Day Locations
10am – Sheland Farms, Mixer Road field between Co. Rt. 75 and Co. Rt. 79
Alfalfa Snout Beetle (ASB) Resistant Variety Trial
Control of ASB with Nematodes

11am – Dennis Forrester Farm field on Co. Rt. 78 between Co. Rt. 75 and Co. Rt. 79
Soybean Pest Management: aphids and other pests
Soybean Disease Identification and Management

1pm – Belleville-Henderson Central School field trials, Route 289
Warm Season Perennial Grass Trial for Bioenergy & Conservation Cover

MEDIA CONTACTS and Story Tips:
Field day organizer: Mike Hunter, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Field Crops Educator, 315-788-8450, meh27@cornell.edu; Cornell University researchers: Julie L. Hansen, Plant Breeding and Genetics, 607-255-5043; cell: 607-327-0046; Elson Shields, Entomology, 607-255-8428; Gary C. Bergstrom, Crop and Soil Sciences, 607-255-7849; John Keith Waldron, Cornell Cooperative Extension IPM Program, 315-787-2432; Hilary Mayton, Cornell Biofuel Perennial Grass Project, 607-255-5043, cell: 607-339-7216

Jefferson County Story Tips: Brian Robbins, North Harbor Outfitters, Sackets Harbor, has established 6 acres warm season perennial grass conservation plantings as pheasant and deer preserve; 315-646-3024 or 970-217-3831.

John Rowe in his 3rd year with 6-and-a-half acres of warm season perennial grasses next to clover and corn at his Henderson Harbor farm. He will leave the switchgrass and big bluestem as a long-term conservation planting; cell: 315-771-9377.

St. Lawrence County Story Tip: Tom Lee, Second Chance Farm, Madrid, NY, grows and processes 40 acres of switchgrass. In 2009-2010 he processed 15 tons of switchgrass mix briquettes. He has partnered with developer Jim Thew to supply briquettes to heat a 30,000-sq-ft former elementary school-now-apartment complex. Retired Clarkson University plant operations manager Roy Patraw has designed a conveyor system to feed the furnace at the complex in Waddington. Contact Tom Lee at 315-322-4322.