Manure management with apps

by Tamara Scully

Technology is impacting day-to-day farming operations, whether your farm is large or small. While the price tag that comes with some of this technology may be a barrier to many small farmers, there is a type of technology which can offer farmers high-tech information, without a large investment in specialized equipment: the cell phone app. [Read more…]

Preparing houses for healthy vegetable crops

CW-MR-1-Preparing-houses1by Sally Colby

Growers who use greenhouses or tunnels strive to keep crops in them for as much of the year as possible. Whether a greenhouse is used for a continuous cropping cycle or to extend the season, sanitation is critical to minimizing disease and ensuring a healthy crop.

Steve Bogash, Penn State University horticulture educator, says managing weeds is an important first step when it comes to sanitizing houses and materials associated with growing between crops. [Read more…]

Ooms & Sons Dairy ~ A family tradition

CE-MR-3-OOMS-DAIRY11by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“Our family traces our dairy heritage back to 1525,” remarked 41-year-old Eric Ooms of A. Ooms & Sons Dairy. “The farm started in America when my grandparents emigrated here in 1950 from the Netherlands.”

The 475 cow, 1700-acre dairy, located in Columbia County, includes property in both Chatham and Kinderhook townships, and is a partnership between Eric, his brothers, Ron and Tim, and their father Adrian, founder of the New York state farm. [Read more…]

Solar heating and barn expansion at Finndale Farms

CE-MR-2-Finndale-Farm21by Pat Malin

HOLLAND PATENT, NY — With some 800 cows, the sprawling Finndale Farms is one of the largest, most modern and efficient operations in the greater Mohawk Valley.

But the 50-year-old farm has faced one significant problem for years — steadily rising energy costs. Thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Finn family is now incorporating renewable solar thermal hot water technology. [Read more…]

Birch: the other sap

CEW-MR-Birch21by Tamara Scully

In Alaska and Canada birch trees have been tapped for sap for centuries. In New England, maple syrup has been the prime product, although birch trees are also prevalent in many parts of the region.

For Bucky Shelton, a partner in Vermont Birch Syrup Company and long-time maple syrup producer, birch trees have become more than just another tree in the sugarbush. They’ve become a food crop, providing sap which is ultimately transformed into a versatile cooking syrup. [Read more…]