October 14, 2012

Farm briefs: Oct. 14, 2012


---- — Beef producers to discuss feed management

PLATTSBURGH — Beef producers will have an opportunity on Tuesday, Oct. 30, to discuss how weather-related impacts on their feed crops will impact livestock management decisions this fall with Cornell University Beef Extension Specialist Dr. Michael J. Baker.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Associations of Northern New York are offering a 6:30 p.m. program with Baker at CCE Jefferson County in Watertown with telecasts to the CCE St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm classroom in Canton and CCE offices in Malone, Plattsburgh and Westport.

Due to weather-related crop losses, farmers may need to consider buying feed this year or consider selling stock. The Oct. 30 Extension program will help farmers take a feed inventory and estimate how much feed they will need to feed their cattle through the 2012-2013 winter.

CCE Livestock Educators Ron Kuck and Betsy Hodge will talk about the merits of keeping feeder stock or selling them now, how to buy feed if needed, and how to improve storage to improve feeding efficiency.

Farmers are encouraged to bring information on the types of feed, number of bales and other feeding program details to the meeting. Baker will cover feeder cattle grading and update producers on the price survey. Producers interested in an afternoon farm visit by Baker on Tuesday, Oct. 30, or Wednesday, Oct. 31, can contact the local Extension office for availability.

The evening program also includes a discussion of using pasture and forage insurance to protect against crop losses.

There is a $5 program fee. Register with the local Extension office: Clinton County, Peter Hagar, 561-7450,; Essex County, Linda Gillilland, 962-4810, Ext. 416,; and Franklin County, Diane Dumont, 483-7403,

Program for women farmers gets grant

PLATTSBURGH — The Central New York Resource Conservation and Development Project Inc. (CNYRC&D) is currently accepting applications for the fourth year of the Beginning Women Farmer Program.

Empowering Beginning Women Farmers in the Northeast through Whole Farm Planning is provided in association with Holistic Management International (HMI). Across the Northeast, more than 200 women have graduated from the training giving them new tools, information and perspectives on how to succeed in farming.

Funding for this program was recently awarded by the U.S.D.A. National Instiute of Food and Agriculture through HMI.

“This grant will allow us to offer an unlimited number of scholarships for the program,” said New York State Coordinator Lauren Lines. “We are so pleased to be able to offer this valuable program to all women regardless of ability to pay. In order to allow applicants to take advantage of this scholarship opportunity, we are extending the deadline to apply to Friday, Oct. 26.”

This program instructs participants on using a holistic approach to decision making on their farms. Participants from all across the state will meet for 10 sessions on topics such as goal setting; financial, business and marketing plans; land and infrastructure planning; soil fertility; and planned grazing. The final three sessions are located on farms to allow for hands-on learning.

According to participant Linda Haley Ross of Madison County, “The NE Beginning Women Farmer program allowed me to learn hands-on, in-classroom, and through peer discussion the real challenges I would be facing as a farmer today, while providing me the tools to address them. In addition, I leave with a lifelong support system and perpetually growing network of resources to guarantee my success.”

Participants are provided with a mentor and are connected with a network of other beginning women farmers throughout the Northeast for additional support. Participants from previous classes continue to meet after graduation to stay connected, enjoy the camaraderie created by the training and expand their learning.

Applications are available at or by contacting Lauren Lines, New York State coordinator, at The sessions will begin in December. A central location will be selected based upon the location of the majority of accepted applicants.

Guaranteed farm loans available for next year

GREENWICH, N.Y. — U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Farm Loan Manager Rebecca DeSorbe has announced that guaranteed farm ownership loan funds for fiscal year 2012 have been exhausted, but farmers and ranchers in New York will have more funds available for fiscal 2013, which started Oct. 1.

Farmers and ranchers in New York received $24.1 million in guaranteed farm ownership loans this past year.

FSA-guaranteed loans allow lenders to provide agricultural credit to farmers who do not meet the lender’s normal underwriting criteria. Farmers and ranchers apply for a guaranteed loan through a commercial lender and the lender arranges for the guarantee.

FSA can guarantee up to 95 percent of the loss of principal and interest on a loan. Guaranteed loans can be used for both farm ownership and operating purposes.

According to DeSorbe, the guaranteed loan limit will increase to $1,302,000 starting next fiscal year.

“FSA is committed to providing credit through guaranteed and direct loans to eligible farmers and ranchers who need capital to continue or start their agricultural operations,” she said.

For questions regarding guaranteed farm loans, contact the Greenwich Service Center FSA office at (518) 692-9940, Ext. 2.