November 26, 2008

For Immediate Use for December 3, 4 Meetings

Contacts: Cornell Cooperative Extension: Lewis County, Frans J. Vokey, 315-376-5270; Jefferson County: Michael E. Hunter, 315-788-8450

North Country Farmers Added to December 3, 4 Custom Services Agendas for Madrid, Carthage Meetings

Dairy farmer Marc Laribee of Lowville has used custom services for seven years. John Williams and Glenn Beller in the Carthage-Deer River area provide custom services to their farming neighbors, including one another. Custom planting and harvesting adds efficiency and forage quality to the dairies of Eric Fonda’s clients from Lisbon to east of Canton, NY.

These North Country farmers will share their experiences as part of the December Making Custom Services Work for You workshops. Fonda will speak at the December 3 meeting at the Madrid Community Center; Laribee, Williams and Beller will speak at the Carthage Elks Club in Carthage, NY, on December 4. The workshop fee is $25/person for lunch and materials. Call ahead to 315-788-8450 to register for the Carthage workshop; 518-562-4810 for the Chazy workshop; and 315-379-9192 for the Madrid workshop. A similar meeting is set for December 2 at Miner Institute, Chazy, NY.

Fonda, who offers custom planting and harvesting services, says, “I believe I offer a necessary service and that my clients gain efficiency and higher quality forage by hiring me and my equipment. Higher forage quality means more milk.”

Laribee says, “Using custom services is helping me to efficiently grow into a larger dairy business. I plan to do more of my own work as I can afford to upgrade my equipment, but right now the custom service is especially timely for getting first cutting hay in on time.”

Williams says, “I have a corn chopper, Glenn (Beller) has a big square baler. We trade services and each have one less piece of equipment to maintain, which means we can keep the equipment we do have ready to go. I know we are getting an economic return on the quicker harvest and the quality of the feed we feed our cows.”

Beller, who also works with his dad providing custom combining services, says, “Using John’s custom chopping service allows us to take advantage of the size of his equipment during the short window of opportunity there is to put up a lot of corn silage in a short period of time and we see the return in the feed value of better quality silage.”

Opportunities to make custom farming services such as plowing, planting, fertilizing, harvesting and heifer raising profitable for both farmers and service providers is the focus of the 10 am to 3 pm meetings. Other speakers at both meetings include a custom operator from Apple Creek, Ohio - Jonathan C. Orr of Orrson Custom Farming LLC, and Cornell University PRO-DAIRY Farm Business Management Specialist Jason Karszes. Orr has experience with custom cropping and heifer raising.

Sponsors of the Making Custom Services Work for You workshops for farmers and custom operators include Bourdeau Bros., Inc., Champlain, NY; Giroux Brothers, Inc., Plattsburgh and Malone, NY; Heuvelton Equipment Co., Heuvelton, NY; LeBerge & Curtis, Canton, NY; Monroe Tractor & Implement Co., Adams Center, NY; Walldroff Farm Equipment, Canton and Watertown, NY; Widrick Implements, Lowville, Sandy Creek and Watertown, NY; and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. FSA borrower credits are pending.

Learn more about agriculture in Northern New York on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.  # # #