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March 30, 2014

Farm briefs: March 30, 2014

Chickens for Beginners workshop being offered

PLATTSBURGH — Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County is hosting a workshop for anyone interested in raising chickens for pleasure or profit, eggs or meat, from one to 1,000, on Wednesday, April 2, at 7 p.m. 

They will cover the basics of chicken husbandry, housing, nutrition and related topics. The workshop has a $5 registration fee.

It will be held at the Extension office, 6064 Route 22, Plattsburgh. Pre-register by calling 561-7450 or email phh7@cornell.edu.

Program posts latest maple research paper

PLATTSBURGH — The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of its latest maple-research project focused on increasing sap yields and profitability for regional maple producers.

From 2011-13, project leaders Northern New York Maple Specialist Michael Farrell, director of the Cornell Uihlein Maple Research Forest at Lake Placid, and retired Cornell Maple Program Director Brian Chabot, evaluated the effectiveness of a relatively inexpensive changeout of equipment to improve sap gain in three Northern New York sugarbushes. 

More than 200 producers have attended workshops to hear the latest data from the Increasing Sap Yields and Profitability in Maple Sugaring Operations Through Optimum Dropline/Spout Management project. Data collected during the 2011, 2012 and 2013 maple seasons show that while the use of new droplines and spouts produces excellent sap yields, it may not produce the highest profit. However, producers are losing income if they use only old droplines and spouts.

In one 3,000-tap research area at the Parker Family Maple Farm in West Chazy, old spouts and droplines were utilized as a control method in the first year of the research study. The data analysis showed more than $12,000 in potential profit from unrealized sap yield in that sugarbush area in 2011. New spouts and droplines were installed in 2012 and this sugarbush then yielded the highest production per tap of the Parker’s eight sugarbushes that year. However, another one of the eight sugarbushes produced the highest profit as it achieved nearly as high yields by only replacing the spout and not the entire one-year-old dropline.

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