Cazenovia Equipment is priming the market for drones

CEW-MR-1-Caz Equip2by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — Cazenovia Equipment, a farm equipment dealership in central and northern New York, isn’t waiting for farmers to catch up with technology — it’s already pushing the envelope in that direction.

Cazenovia Equipment began promoting and demonstrating unmanned aerial vehicles or drones for agricultural use at various trade shows in 2014. It has purchased four UAVs from Precision Drone, an Indiana company.

Cazenovia Equipment’s website has a special section devoted to the UAVs. It sells three different Precision Drone models, all helicopter-style (hexacopters) that have six rotors. [Read more…]

Unique cheese from big, gentle cows

CW-MR-2-CROSSWINDS 2by Sally Colby

On a farm situated on a high ridge between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, a twelfth generation farmer is pursuing her dream. Sarah Van Orden grew up on her family’s dairy farm in the Catskills area, and after completing her formal education at Cornell, she and her partner Charlie Morrow are successfully raising Brown Swiss and operating Crosswinds Farm and Creamery in Ovid, NY.

“My grandfather had Brown Swiss in the 50s and 60s, and that’s how I got hooked on them,” said Sarah, explaining her passion for the breed. “They make the most sense as a breed — they produce the volume of a Holstein and closer to the same components as Jerseys. They’re very rugged and don’t have a lot of health problems, and have a low somatic cell count.” [Read more…]

Good agricultural practices affecting produce sales

CEW-MR-3-GAPS1Aby Elizabeth A. Tomlin

October 2015 will mark the first time an FDA court mandated rule will affect producers of fresh produce in the marketplace.

“This is coming!” said Produce Safety Alliance Program Director Elizabeth A. Bihn, Ph.D. “Don’t panic, but do something now so it doesn’t hit you like a freight train when it happens!”

Bihn was speaking at a 2015 ENYCHP Good Agricultural Practices Farm Food Safety Training Program, where producers and farmers’ market managers drove for hours in inclement weather to attend the 2-day workshop. [Read more…]

Dehulling ancient grains

by Katie Navarra

Though ancient grains have the potential of being a value-added crop for farms, the dehulling process continues to be a roadblock in the production of grains like einkorn, emmer and spelt.

The eOrganic webinar, Dehulling Ancient Grains, explained the methods used to dehull grains and the components needed in a dehulling system. Guest speakers representing with extensive experience growing and processing grains shared feedback on the economics of dehulling and the options available to both large and small-scale growers. [Read more…]

Get ready for credit – prepare for your first farm loan Part 1

by Sanne Kure-Jensen

How does a beginning farmer secure their first farm loan? A farmer may wish to purchase equipment using a loan instead of taking on expensive credit card debt for cash flow until harvest brings cash. Most lenders seek similar business information to analyze when considering beginning farmer credit worthiness.

Short-term loans are used to finance seeds, fertilizers and/or other annual inputs. This can include cash to help farmers pay their farm and/or personal bills between harvests. Short-term loans are under a year and are repaid after harvest. Intermediate-term loans help farmers purchase capital equipment like tillers, tractors, coolers and have repayment terms up to seven years. Long-term loans for farmland may extend to 30 years.

Gary Matteson of the Farm Credit Council and Benneth Phelps of the Carrot Project shared their recommendations on planning for obtaining credit in a workshop for beginning farmer educators at the Beginning Farmer Learning Network Conference in late 2014. [Read more…]