Winter farmers markets increase in state
ALBANY — The locations of 116 winter farmers markets, the total at an all-time high in New York State, can now be found on the state’s open data website at Open.ny.gov.
This comprehensive data transparency website will help provide New Yorkers with a user-friendly way to search for farmers markets near their homes this winter season.
“With more than 100 winter farmers markets across the state, New Yorkers and visitors can buy local and support our farmers all year-round,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “Not only do these markets provide an opportunity for our farmers to sell their products, they also increase access to healthy fresh food in underserved communities.”
The number of winter farmers markets in New York State has grown 190 percent since 2007.
While consumers will have more selection at farmers markets during the growing season, winter farmers markets offer a variety of choices this holiday season including potatoes, onions, cabbages, winter greens (kale and chard), wreaths and Christmas trees. In addition, the vast majority of butternut squash is sold between mid-November and late December. Winter markets benefit farmers as they provide them a year-round forum to bring their products to market.
Acting State Agriculture Commissioner James Bays said that this winter dozens of farmers markets will provide New Yorkers with an opportunity to support local agriculture and also the local economy.
“I encourage all New Yorkers to check out the Open Data website and visit a winter farmers market near you this holiday season,” he said.
In March, the governor launched Open.ny.gov to provide user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities and the federal government. The website features economic development, health, recreation and public-services information.
The winter farmers market dataset includes information detailing the hours of operation and location of community farmers markets as well as the name and phone number of the market manager.
NYCO marks 20th year with organic programs
GENEVA — New York Certified Organic (NYCO), a group of grain and dairy farmers that has been meeting together since 1994 to increase their practical knowledge and expertise with the organic production of crops and milk, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a series of three winter programs.
The popularity of the NYCO winter meetings, starting at 10 a.m. at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station Jordan Hall in Geneva, has grown from a gathering of six organic grain producers in the Martens Farms’ farmhouse kitchen in Penn Yan to the auditorium with more than 100 farmers attending at the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva.
There is no cost to attend the meetings. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch.
The 20th anniversary series of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. meetings will be held as follows:
Jan. 14: Barley and Buckwheat: Old Crops, New Interest. This includes information on growing malting barley, what brewers want with Farmhouse Malt, and using buckwheat in a double-cropping system to control weeds and increase yield. It will be held with Thor Oeschner, NOFA-NY New York City Farm to Bakery Team farmer adviser and a producer panel.
Feb. 11: Weed Management, GPS-Guided Cultivators, Young Farmer Start-up and Adjusting Seed Cleaners.
March 11: Getting More Forage into Your Cows Takes a Whole Farm Solution with Tom Kilcer sharing the latest research on wide-swath haylage harvesting to capture plant nutrients for milk production and high-quality cover crops forage production and rapid dry down methods for harvesting red clover.
The group facilitator will be A. Fay Benson, an organic dairy specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, who says the meetings are farmer-designed for open discussions in addition to expert presentations.
“These meetings not only increase our knowledge and help us find markets, but provide invaluable support and camaraderie among the organic community,” said NYCO founding member and Lakeview Organic Grains mill owner Mary-Howell Martens of Penn Yan.
NYCO has received support funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI). NYFVI Managing Director David Grusenmeyer said the organic initiatives funded by the institute have responded to producer-identified needs for technical, marketing and business-development resources.
“We commend New York Certified Organic for its success story of 20 years and wish them 20 more,” he said.
For more information, contact Benson at 607-753-5213 or email@example.com.
Latest forage trial data posted online
CHAZY — Data to help Northern New York farmers select the varieties of legume and grass crops that are likely to grow best under Northern New York climate and soil conditions has been posted by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) at www.nnyagdev.org under Field Crops Research.
The 14-page 2013 New York Forage Legume and Grass Variety Yield Trials Summary reports on the 2013 edition of forage yield trials that are conducted each year in Northern New York, at Cornell University in Ithaca and at locations elsewhere in New York State.
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provided the funding for the Northern New York portion of the trials.
Varieties of alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil, red clover and perennial forage grasses, including timothy, orchardgrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue, and bromegrass were evaluated in the trials overseen by Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences faculty and planted, harvested and managed by Cornell Willsboro Research Farm staff at Miner Institute in Chazy.
Forage planting of legume and grass crops supports the dairy and livestock sectors and provide farmers with cash crops.
The NNYADP is a farmer-driven research, technical-assistance and outreach program for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
Cutoff dates for wildlife-habitat program announced
PLATTSBURGH — New York farmers and landowners have until Jan. 17, 2014, to apply for 2014 conservation program funding to protect and improve the habitat for certain at-risk, threatened or endangered wildlife species while also benefitting many other species that depend on similar habitat.
The Departments of Agriculture and the Interior have an established partnership to use innovative approaches with farmers and forest landowners to restore and protect habitat for specific wildlife species. In New York State, Working Lands for Wildlife focuses funding and expertise to assist private land owners in the creation and maintenance of habitat necessary to sustain breeding populations in their current ranges.
• New England Cottontail: portions of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia and Rensselaer counties.
• Golden-Winged Warblers: portions of Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex, Sullivan, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties.
• Bog Turtles: portions of Wayne, Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oswego, Sullivan, Ulster, Orange, Rockland, Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess, Columbia and Rensselaer counties.
The Working Lands for Wildlife Program focuses on the creation, management and maintenance of appropriate habitat in close association with forested landscapes or adjacent to active agricultural land.
Anyone interested in applying for an NRCS conservation program may visit http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/general_information/how_to_apply.html.
Applicants may also visit their local Natural Resources Conservation Service field office, which can be located using the web site http://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=NY.