Seminar offered to direct-marketing farmers
KEESEVILLE — Cornell Cooperative Extension is sponsoring a training session for anyone involved in direct marketing of food, even those who are trying to decide if market vending is right for them.
The workshop will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, March 24, at the Ausable Valley Grange, 1749 Main Street in Keeseville.
Bernadette Logozar, CCE Franklin County and regional local-foods specialist for Northern New York, and Laurie Davis, CCE Essex County educator and Adirondack Harvest coordinator, will lead sessions on New Food Safety Recommendations as well as Spicing Up Your Farmstand or Farmers Market.
The workshop is open to the public. There is a charge of $15, which includes lunch. For more information or to pre-register, call Sharon at 962-4810, Ext. 0, or email es email@example.com.
Alfalfa snout beetle control workshop set
MALONE — Cornell Cooperative Extensions (CCE) of Northern New York will offer free hands-on trainings on the on-farm rearing and application of nematodes to control alfalfa snout beetle (ASB).
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is providing funds for the workshop that will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 14 in Malone. The workshop will include lunch.
In areas where alfalfa snout beetle is unchecked, it is a highly destructive pest able to destroy an entire field of alfalfa in one season. Crop damage can be as much as $1,500 per acre for complete loss of a second-year stand of alfalfa harvested to feed dairy herds and as a cash crop.
Workshop participants will learn the farmer-friendly techniques for growing and applying native Northern New York nematodes as a biological control for ASB.
Participants will also receive a coupon to cover the cost of the nematodes for application to one field on their farm in 2012. Farmers will be responsible for applying the nematodes to their fields with guidance from local CCE educators.
The workshops will also include an update on the breeding of alfalfa snout beetle-resistant varieties of alfalfa.
The Malone meeting will be held in the Emergency 911 Building. Register with CCE Franklin County at 483-7403.
The development of the application of microscopic worms (nematodes) to destroy ASB and the breeding of ASB-resistant alfalfa varieties have been made possible long-term by the farmer-led Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The New York Farm Viability Institute has provided additional funding for educating farmers about this cost-effective on-farm biological control solution.
January milk production increases
ALBANY — New York dairy herds produced 1,086 million pounds of milk during January. Milk cows were unchanged, but production per cow was up from the previous year resulting in a 0.3 percent increase in milk production compared to January 2011.
The number of milk cows averaged 610,000 head, unchanged from January of the previous year. Milk per cow averaged 1,780 pounds, up slightly from last year at this time.
Dairy farmers in the Empire State received an average of $20.30 per hundredweight of milk sold during January, down 40 cents from December but $2.50 more than January a year ago.
Milk production in the 23 major states during January totaled 15.8 billion pounds, up 3.7 percent from January 2011.
December revised production, at 15.4 billion pounds, was up 2.7 percent from December 2010. The December revision represented an increase of 1 million pounds or less than 0.1 percent from last month's preliminary production estimate.
Production per cow in the 23 major states averaged 1,857 pounds for January, 46 pounds above January 2011. The number of milk cows on farms in the 23 major states was 8.5 million head, 93,000 head more than January 2011, and 13,000 head more than December 2011.
Sustainable-farming class accepts applications
ITHACA — This spring, the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming will again offer its full-season training program for aspiring and beginning farmers and market gardeners.
Running April 18 to Nov. 14, the Sustainable Farming Certificate Program provides 124 hours of classroom training, hands-on workshops, farm visits and supervised work experience on sustainable farms.
Trainees can choose to concentrate on the management of vegetables and fruits, livestock and poultry, or pursue a diversified curriculum. Each trainee will have an individualized learning contract, and will be evaluated on the basis of that contract before being awarded Groundswell's Sustainable Farming Certificate.
Instruction will be provided by experienced farmer mentors, as well as subject-matter experts from partner institutions such as Cornell University, USDA and Cornell Cooperative Extension. Trainees who complete 100 hours of training or more are eligible to receive the certificate.
Groundswell is committed to the vision of a regionally self-reliant food system that provides good food and economic opportunities for everyone. The program, like each of Groundswell's New Farmer Training Programs, seeks to engage trainees from diverse cultural, racial and economic backgrounds to participate in a supportive, trainee-driven learning environment. Tuition is on a sliding scale and ranges from $125 to $800. Visit www.ground swellcenter.org to learn more and apply.