March 24, 2013

Farm briefs: March 24, 2013


Ward Lumber in Jay to host Poultry Night

JAY — Ward Lumber is hosting a free Poultry Night at their Jay store on Tuesday, April 2, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for anyone who is interested in raising chickens.

There will be three panel speakers. Tyler Eaton from Blue Pepper Farm in Jay has a background in ecology and teaches at Northwood School in Lake Placid. Tyler and his wife, Shannon, have raised hundreds of meat birds over the past three seasons. They now sell pastured, organically fed (Green Mountain) chicken.

Tyler has experience with the day-range model along with their current chicken-tractor pasturing system and will discuss both. He will cover meat birds from day one through harvest. Mike Tholen, farm manager at North Country School in Lake Placid, has many years of experience in all types of livestock and has been an environmental educator. He will be covering laying hens. Eric Dutil is the family owner of Green Mountain Feeds, which focuses on organic feeds. He has done poultry research and will be sharing some of his knowledge at Poultry Night.

Topics will include an overview of poultry, meat chickens, laying hens and organic feed options. The event is free, and there will also be free pizza and refreshments. To register, go to or call Kim at 946-2110, Ext. 120.

Agriculture Biomass Heating Seminar set

SARATOGA SPRINGS — The 2nd annual Northeast Agricultural Biomass Heating Seminar on April 3 at the City Center in Saratoga Springs will present project and business leaders from Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ontario sharing experiences with agricultural biomass crops and combustion.

The seminar is part of the three-day Northeast Biomass Heating Expo, the largest biomass heating conference and expo in the region.

Seminar presentations will be offered on agricultural biomass fuels for heating such as grass, willow and crop residues; how to establish energy crops on marginal lands; and the densification, combustion, emissions and economics of crop biomass at residential and commercial scales. A mid-afternoon session will show the video Grass Fuels.

“This seminar focuses on an emerging sector of the biomass heating experience and highlights grass energy as a local source of renewable fuel and a complement to heating with wood,” said Alice Brumbach, administrator of the New York Biomass Energy Alliance.

The alliance is one of the lead sponsors of the event with the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Farm Credit East, the Catskill Grass Energy Project and Ernst Conservation Seeds.

Attendees can network with regional experts and come away with the knowledge of what it takes to grow crop biomass and a better understanding of the opportunities to use it for heating institutional buildings, commercial and agricultural spaces and homes.

The Agricultural Biomass Heating Seminar is open to the public. Online registration and the program agenda are available at

In its 5th year, the expo unites a diverse audience from the engineering, biomass fuel, supply chain, developer, manufacturer and government sectors to break barriers and ground for biomass thermal and combined heat and power systems. The interactive event includes exhibits, panel discussions and technical workshops for engineers, emphasizing practical learning and real project case studies.

For more information, visit

Training sessions scheduled by Extension

MALONE — Pre-season market trainings are now being scheduled by Cooperative Extension.

Topics include Am I Covered? — Insurance for Direct Marketers, How Much is Enough?; Going Mobile — Using Your Smart Phone to Accept Credit Cards; and Using Social Media to Promote Your Farm Business.

Sessions will be held in Franklin County Saturday, March 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the 911 Building, 55 Bare Hill Road, Malone. To register, call 483-7403. A cost of $15 includes lunch and materials.

Integrated Pest Management/FAMACHA Training for Small Ruminants will be held Saturday, April 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Paul Smiths College at a cost of $30 per farm. Attendees will learn how to manage parasites on small ruminant operations, how to do fecal egg counts with a microscope and how to check animals to determine treatment. Register with Betsy Hodge, 315-379-9192,; or Rose Bartniss at Attendees can pay at the door.

A program called Marketing New York Farm Products to Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers will be held Thursday, April 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the  Extension Learning Farm, CCE St. Lawrence, 2043B St. Highway 68, Canton.

Seven workshops will be held throughout New York State, each designed to bring B&B innkeepers together with farmers with products for sale. The project’s goal is to give innkeepers and farmers a chance to meet, get acquainted, encourage transactions and, finally, to promote these opportunities in the future in a systematic way.

Each Bed and Breakfast owner will takes home a gift basket that could include jams and jellies, processed meat and grain products, flowers and produce in-season, or any kind of product or information on agritourism or services from New York farms. Project collaborators include the Empire State Bed and Breakfast Association, the New York State Small Scale Food Processors, and Northern Organic Farming Association of New York.

A Lambing and Kidding Clinic will be held Saturday, April 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. For more details contact Betsy Hodge.

Senate budget plan includes local ag funding

ALBANY — The New York State Senate Budget proposal includes $500,000 for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program that conducts innovative research, best-management practices, outreach and technical-assistance projects in the state’s six northernmost counties, St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Essex and Clinton.

“The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, the steering committee of North Country farmers from across the region, and the farm businesses we serve are pleased to see the Senate budget that recognizes how critical agriculture is to the Northern New York economy and to the state economy,” said NNYADP Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy farmer in St. Lawrence County.

NNYADP Co-Chair Joe Giroux, a dairy farmer in Clinton County, said the program has provided the means for farmers to access the best academic and field research expertise to solve problems such as alfalfa snout beetle, to develop new farm-based enterprises such as bioenergy crops, and to enhance agricultural environmental stewardship through precision targeting of nutrients, fertilizer and manure resources.

The NNYADP received $500,000 in the last approved Senate and state budgets. New York State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Sen. Patty Ritchie recently announced the Grown in New York plan designed to strengthen the state’s agricultural industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products.

“Agriculture is New York’s leading industry. Over the past two years, we have worked to restore budget cuts to vital marketing, research and educational programs, including the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, that farmers depend on to strengthen their farm business bottom lines,” Ritchie said.

Nearly three dozen farmers select NNYADP projects for attention largely by researchers associated with Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension and W. H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute.

Current projects are focused on boosting the dairy industry feed supply; enhancing agricultural environmental stewardship with tile drainage; cold-climate calf feeding and housing; coping with diseases and pests such as brown root rot and alfalfa snout beetle in field crops and leaf mold and leek moth in vegetable crops; improving irrigation in local apple orchards; developing amelanchier as a new berry crop; increasing maple sap yields; developing bioenergy crops; and controlling parasites in sheep flocks and goat herds.

Two NNYADP-funded projects have recently been named award winners. The Entomological Society of America will present Dr. Elson Shields with the Entomological Foundation Award for Excellence in IPM for the development of a farmer-friendly biocontrol solution for the highly destructive alfalfa snout beetle (the treatment protocol is also being tested for use in apple orchards and grape vineyards in New York state).

The Adapt-N software built on 18 years of field research on Northern New York farms is designed to help farmers more precisely target nitrogen applications to crops for improved crop quality and yield and enhanced environmental stewardship. AgProfessional magazine named Adapt-N the Best New Product of the Year in 2012.