— Bloom is back on New York apple crop
ALBANY — Apple orchards across the state are currently at or near full bloom, the New York Apple Association (NYAA) reports. In the days and weeks ahead, more than 11.3 million apple trees will progress from bud to bloom to fruit.
A week of sunny, 70-degree days spurred buds to break into bloom, beginning first in the Hudson Valley and then central and western New York and marching northward toward Lake Champlain over the next week or so. A blanket of white and pink blossoms will soon cover all 55,000 acres of New York orchards. The weather is also providing ideal flying conditions for the bees the industry relies on to pollinate its crops.
“Blossom peepers, you’re going to want to get out to your local orchard now to enjoy our most spectacular views,” said NYAA President Jim Allen. “It’s a photographers’ moment not to be missed.”
Growers are celebrating arrival of this year’s bloom, after early-season freezes last year decimated much of the state’s crop in the bud. Bud counts this year are high, and trees are in good health after a relatively mild winter.
“We are having a textbook season so far, knock on apple wood,” Allen said. “The trees appear to be glad to be back at work, and we are on our way from blossom to awesome.”
Grapevine Propagation Workshop to be held
MOOERS — The Adirondack Coast Wine Association is offering a free Grapevine Propagation Workshop at 10 a.m. today at Stone House, 73 Blair Road, Moores.
This event will be held rain or shine, and attendees are asked to dress appropriately.
For directions, go to http://www.stonehousevineyardclintoncountyny.com/ or call Phil Favreau at 493-5971.
Sen. Gillibrand outlines Farm Bill priorities
WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Farm Bill moves through the Senate Agriculture Committee, then on to full Senate consideration, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has outlined her priorities for the legislation to strengthen New York State’s agriculture industry and rural communities.
Gillibrand, New York’s first member of the Senate Agriculture Committee in nearly four decades, is fighting to include measures that can strengthen specialty crop insurance, improve access to credit for struggling farmers, invest in rural broadband, and connect locally grown, farm-fresh produce with communities that need it, as well as reform dairy pricing and strengthen income for dairy farmers.
“New York is home to America’s hardest working farm families and the world’s finest locally grown produce,” Gillibrand said. “But today, the small businesses that make New York’s agriculture industry are trying to get ahead in a system that is stacked against them. Over the last several years, I’ve met with farmers in communities all across New York, hearing their ideas and concerns. These priorities are steps we must take to give our farms the chance they need to thrive, strengthen our economy, and help our families lead healthier lives.”
As of 2010, New York State is home to more than 36,000 farms that stretch across nearly 7 million acres of land — roughly one-fourth of New York State. The industry generates upwards of $4.5 billion for the state’s economy each year, producing some of the state’s top exports, from milk, cheese and yogurt to apples, grapes and other fruits and vegetables, and a Greek yogurt industry that is growing stronger every day.
In the North Country, there were nearly 4,300 farms and more than 1 million acres of farmland in 2010.