July 28, 2013

Farm briefs: July 28, 2013


Farm Days features planting error demonstration plots

SENECA FALLS — Crop plots illustrating what happens when seed is not properly planted or suffers from weather events will be on display at the 2013 Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls.

Fifty-foot-long strip trials showing common planting errors and simulating weather impact are planted with two to four rows of each treatment at Rodman Lott and Son Farms, which has hosted the largest outdoor agricultural trade show for 26 years.

DuPont Pioneer is sponsoring the unique field demonstration plots that showcase the importance of properly calibrating planting equipment and the environmental challenges that can limit yield.

Corn plots planted with a 96-day corn hybrid will show differences in crop emergence and establishment when seed is planted at depths from 1/2-inch to 3 inches. The strip plantings also show the differences of various plant populations, row width, irregular plant spacing and differences in plant ability to withstand simulated root lodging.

“The new demonstrations plots at Empire Farm Days simulate weather damage, such as hail damage, to show how plants recover differently at various growth stages,” Daniel Mongeau, DuPont Pioneer field agronomist for New York and New England, explained.

DuPont Pioneer is a leading developer and supplier of seeds, advanced plant genetics and agronomic support to farmers in more than 90 countries.

Empire Farm Days covers 300 acres with exhibits and activities by more than 600 representatives of agricultural manufacturers, suppliers, institutions and organizations. Find information on DairyProfit and Equine seminars, live animal exhibits, field equipment and ag plastics recycling demonstrations and more at

Lake conservation farm series to continue

WEST CHAZY — A Farming in the Basin Twilight Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Dyer Farms, 227 Duquette Road, West Chazy.

This will be the fourth in a series of on-farm meetings that will focus on lake-friendly farming practices and techniques. Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Lake Champlain Basin Program are collaborating to hold the event. This meeting will focus on use of no-till seeding as a management and conservation tool.

This month’s meeting will be at the farm of Sam Dyer in Beekmantown. He has many years of experience using a no-till drill to seed hay fields, pastures and cover crops.

Staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension, the Clinton County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Lake Champlain Basin Program will also be on hand to talk about best management practices for using the district’s new no-till drill.

Contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County at 561-7450 for directions to the farm and to let staff know you’ll be coming, or e-mail Peter Hagar at for more information.

USDA has funding available to repair homes

ALBANY — U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development State Director Lee Telega has said that funds are available to help repair homes in rural New York.

The Rural Housing Service (RHS) Section 504 Loan and Grant Home Repair Program offers very-low income homeowners living in eligible rural areas, loans to make general home repairs or modifications, which may improve or modernize a home. A one percent interest rate for a maximum term of 20 years may allow eligible homeowners the opportunity to make the home improvements they have been planning. Applicants may obtain multiple loans, with a maximum outstanding loan balance at a given time of $20,000. 

“Improving the quality of life in rural areas is a primary goal of Rural Development,” Telega said. “Our home-repair program helps residents in rural New York improve the reliability, safety and energy efficiency of their homes.”

The announcement is one part of the department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

To be eligible for home-repair loans, an applicant must have the ability to repay the loan, an acceptable credit history and an income that falls within the very-low income category for the size of their household. 

Grants are available to senior rural home owners age 62 or older who cannot afford a loan. Grants are limited to a lifetime assistance of $7,500 and must be used to remove health and safety hazards or make a home more handicap accessible. To see if you meet the income and property eligibility, visit . 

For more information on the Home Repair Program and other USDA Rural Development programs, contact the New York State Office by telephone at (315) 477-6416 or visit to find a local USDA office.