Fighting the scab battle

CEW-MR-2-SCAB 2by Sally Colby
Dr. Christina Cowger, who conducts scab research at the ARS laboratory in North Carolina, says scab is the trickiest and most intractable fungus that affects grains. But organizations are fighting back in the form of initiatives, informational websites and online tools for farmers.

“The U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative is funded by the USDA through our budget,” said Cowger. “It started when scab became a huge problem in the upper Midwest in the 1990s. There were devastating scab epidemics of wheat and barley, and it really changed the face of the local communities. Some local towns were shut down because people lost their farms.” [Read more…]

4-H’ers find success at Regional Dairy Quiz Bowl Contest

CEW-MR-1-4H Dairy Quiz bowl9765Test your dairy knowledge — do you know the answers to these questions? What is the common name for Pneumonic pasteurellosis? According to the FDA, the official term for the ongoing relationship between a farm manager and veterinarian is called what? How many pounds of milk does it take to make one pound of authentic greek yogurt? (Answers are at the end so read on.)

Six Tompkins County 4-H members have dedicated six Saturday afternoons to study and prepare for the South Central Regional 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl contest. They’ve learned the answers to these questions, and much more! The Regional Contest was held on Saturday, March 15 at Chenango Forks Elementary School. The Tompkins County members earned the following success: [Read more…]

New York’s USDA Mobile Poultry Slaughter Unit

by Tamara Scully

Renee Smith, small farmer and  manager of North Country Pastured, LLC, recently discussed their newly-operational mobile poultry processing unit, as a part of Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County’s poultry panel workshop. The mobile unit is USDA-certified, and operates with a USDA inspector onsite at all times. This distinction means that poultry processed in the unit can be sold in a wider array of venues, including to educational institutions and across state lines, than poultry processed under standard poultry processing exemptions, or in state-licensed facilities. The mobile processing unit was funded by the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. [Read more…]

Benefits of cover crops

by Sanne Kure-Jensen

More and more growers are planting cover crops to improve soil moisture, reduce erosion and maximize profits. Cover crops can include grasses, legumes and forbs planted for seasonal cover. Over time, using cover crops improves yields, organic matter and soil water conservation. This change is most noticable with diverse crop rotation. [Read more…]