Press-Republican

March 3, 2013

Farm briefs: March 3, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Pre-season market training offered by Cooperative Extension

KEESEVILLE — Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Pre-Season Market Trainings are coming up to get everyone ready for the farming season.

Sessions will be offered in Clinton/Essex County Saturday, March 16, at the Ausable Valley Grange, 1749 Main Street in Keeseville, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and in Franklin County Saturday, March 30, at the 911 Building, 55 Bare Hill Road, Malone, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Topics offered include the following:

▶ “Am I Covered? — Insurance for Direct Marketers, How Much is enough?” Star Bashaw from Nationwide Insurance will answer questions about insurance and provide practical tips all direct marketers need to know.

▶ “Going Mobile — Using Your Smart Phone to Accept Credit Cards.” This will explore the different services, features, fees, security of transactions and much more. A panel of farmers who have already gone mobile will share their experiences using this technology.

▶ “Using Social Media to Promote Your Farm Business — There Are Options Out There, How Do You Choose the Best One for You?” Bernadette Logozar from CCE Franklin County will go over the options and provide tips on selecting what to integrate into market strategy.

▶ “On-line marketing & Branding.” Daniel Rivera, Adirondack Farmer Dan, will discuss getting your product out there. He has been working to establish an online community to foster sharing, discussions and networking among customers, farmers, chefs and foodies in the Adirondack North Country region.

There is a $15 fee with lunch included. For more information or to register for the Clinton/Essex Session, contact Laurie Davis, 962-4810, Ext. 404, or email her at lsd22@cornell.edu.

For the Franklin County session, contact CCE Franklin County at 483-7403, email bel7@cornell.edu or send a message via Facebook www.facebook.com/CCEFranklin. 

Equine conference to be held at Miner Institute

CHAZY — EquiDay 2013 at Miner Institute in Chazy is a day-long symposium on horse topics and a mini-expo to launch the spring season in the North Country.

On Saturday, March 16, the doors will open at 9 a.m. for free registration and refreshments with the speaker program starting at 10 a.m. and continuing until 3 p.m. ending with a door-prize drawing. 

Dr. Brian Neilsen, a researcher and professor at Michigan State University, will speak on two topics. The first will be conditioning for show season and how to know you’re on target, and the second will be about growing young horses, appropriate nutrition and exercise. Rosemary Root, a dressage instructor and AQHA professional horsewoman, will join the forum from her New Horizons Farm in Essex Junction, Vt., to talk about Western Dressage. 

Adirondack Tack of Plattsburgh will once again put on a fashion show and describe the outfits for various disciplines. It’s a good time to find out the latest in what’s hot, what’s not, or simply what’s comfortable.

No matter the weather, the show will go on. EquiDay is held in the Miner Center building, recently renamed the Joseph C. Burke Education and Research Center (BERC), at 586 Ridge Road, just west of Exit 41 off I-87. For more information, visit www.whminer.org or contact Karen Lassell at 846-7121, Ext. 120, or lassell@whminer.com.

Research helping vegetable growers evaluate soil

PLATTSBURGH — The total farm gate value for vegetables grown in New York’s six northernmost counties, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence, exceeds $11 million annually. To help fresh-market vegetable growers, the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) has funded research and educational outreach on improving soil fertility. 

“Consumer interest in local foods is driving a dramatic increase in fresh-market vegetable production and sales in Northern New York,” said Amy Ivy, a horticulture educator and executive director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension for Clinton County.

“We have seen large increases in vegetable acres, up 38 percent, and vegetable farms, up 60 percent, since 2002,” said NNYADP Vegetable Fertility Project Leader Dr. Stephen Reiners of the Cornell University Department of Horticultural Sciences.

“‘Hungry’ crops are a common sight in Northern New York vegetable fields, and growers’ commonly used solutions are costly and often insufficient to meet crop needs. Our short growing season makes it especially important for growers to keep crops growing at full capacity all season long to get the maximum yield possible in just a few months,” Ivy said. 

With NNYADP funding, Reiners and Ivy developed educational outreach to help growers increase their potential for season-long productivity and to respond to new and smaller-scale growers who need training on how to best manage production challenges due to the Northern New York region’s colder climate and short growing season.

“Many growers in the Northern New York region were suffering the effect of mid-season nutrient deficiencies when crop needs are greatest. Plants experiencing deficiencies of the macro-nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium will have lower yields, and that negatively impacts farm income,” Reiners said.

He said pH issues and uneven applications of soil amendments to try to combat the deficiencies were frustrating growers further.

Working with Cornell Cooperative Extension educators across the Northern New York region, Reiners and Ivy encouraged growers to submit soil samples for nutrient analysis in the fall of 2011. At day-long workshops in Watertown and Plattsburgh in 2012, they presented the results of five soil tests reflecting a range of soil nutrient levels and led growers in discussions on how to solve the issues each test revealed.

Of the 40 Northern New York vegetable growers who participated, nearly half indicated they would begin testing their soil on a regular basis. Eighteen indicated they would begin using cover crops to improve soil fertility and 20 said the training convinced them that investing in irrigation would be worth the cost.

More information can be found under Horticulture on the NNYADP website at www.nnyagdev.org and is available from local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices.

Ward Lumber to host free Swine Night 

JAY — Ward Lumber is hosting a free Swine Night at their Jay Store location on Tuesday, March 26, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for anyone who is interested in raising pigs.

The guest speaker is Steve Schaefer from Adirondack Heritage Hogs. Schaefer has been raising heritage-breed hogs and piglets since 2005 in Lewis with his wife and three children. His whole family is involved in the business and they strive to raise healthy pigs with family-friendly demeanors.

Their mission is to help supply quality pork or piglets to their community so they can raise them on their own. This seminar will focus on advanced pig farming. Topics will include breeding, birthing, weaning, marketing and castration.

The event is free, and there will also be free pizza and refreshments. To register, go to WardLumber.com or call Kim at 946-2110, Ext. 120.