Press-Republican

August 25, 2013

Farm briefs: Aug. 25, 2013


Press-Republican

Pastured Poultry farm meetingto be held

PERU — The Northern New York Cornell Cooperative Extension Pastured Poultry Project is underway and is providing local small farms with the opportunity to utilize an optimized system for production and marketing of pastured poultry.

A grant from the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education has enabled organizers to put together a fully equipped pastured poultry raising set up for local farms to borrow. All that is asked in return is to participate in record-keeping and outreach activities.

Anyone thinking about raising meat chickens on a bigger scale may attend at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday for an on-farm meeting at Shady Grove Farm & Wellness Center, 844 Route 22B in Peru. Farmer Francisco Braun will share his experiences, and information will be provided about raising meat birds on pasture.

Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County at 561-7450 for directions to the farm and to register or e-mail Peter Hagar at phh7@cornell.edu for more information. 

Cuomo announces programs to help state’s farms

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a variety of measures to support farmers across the state to reduce energy costs, improve business operations and enhance environmental planning. The announcement continues the governor’s larger efforts to enable growth in the state’s agricultural sector, including last year’s Yogurt Summit involving industry leaders, dairy farmers and other stakeholders.

The Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) will make available $1 million in funding to help dairy farmers develop individualized business and environmental plans. Cuomo also recently signed legislation that supports farmers in their efforts to install anaerobic digesters, which convert farm waste to renewable energy, thereby helping farmers address waste disposal needs and nutrient recycling challenges, while helping them lower their energy bills. To apply for DAP, visit http://ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairy_acceleration.

“New York is proud to be home to a robust agriculture industry that supports thousands of jobs and provides the economic lifeblood for families and communities across the state,” Cuomo said. “Over the past two and a half years we have worked hard to support the growth of our already vibrant agriculture industry, including cutting burdensome regulations and helping small dairy farms expand their herds. Today’s actions will enable dairy farmers to better plan for future expansions as well as reduce the costs for installing environmentally friendly waste to energy digesters.”

Modern milk production requires expertise from a number of disciplines, ranging from agronomics, environmental science, animal husbandry, crop science, human resource management, and financial and strategic planning. Through DAP, farmers will be able to tap into the expertise of the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) network, Cornell PRO-DAIRY and other agricultural programs to facilitate and grow their business and in turn increase production on their farms.

To be eligible for DAP, a dairy-cattle farm must have complete financial records. Preference will be given to farms with fewer than 300 cows. DAP funding will cover 80 percent of a project’s cost.

Payments may include up to $5,000 per farm to write a business plan or develop a combination of a business and facility growth plan and up to $4,500 to update an existing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) or $6,000 to develop a new one. CNMPs are a conservation system for animal feeding operations designed to address the soil erosion and water-quality concerns. The CNMP encompasses the storage and handling of the manure as well as the utilization and application of the manure nutrients on the land.

Business planning includes financial analysis, farmstead development planning, facility planning and capital investment planning for increased milk production per cow. Environmental planning includes CNMP development and updates. Farms without an existing CNMP can hire a certified nutrient management planner to develop a new CNMP for farms with fewer than 300 cows.