Cover crops prove to be a good management tool for vegetable growers

CEW-MR-2-Cover Crops1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Cover crops should be a part of every vegetable farmer’s toolbox. That’s the message that Thomas Björkman, Associate Professor of Vegetable Crop Physiology with Cornell University explained to attendees of a vegetable grower’s meeting and workshop that took place near Fort Plain, NY.
Since vegetable production compromises soil health, which directly affects productivity, building and maintaining soil is a priority for vegetable producers.

“One management goal that is central for many vegetable farmers is maintaining good tilth, which is accomplished in part by always feeding soil microorganism with fresh organic matter,” Björkman explained. “Cover crops can provide that organic matter between vegetables.” [Read more…]

From the rodeo ring to the pasture

CW-MR-3-Jim Brown344by Kelly Gallagher

After only a minute of conversation, it becomes clear that Jim Brown — a beef cattle farmer who works a 95-acre plot of land in Seneca Falls, NY with his wife, Elsie — loves his herd. For Brown, caring for his Charolais cattle goes far beyond providing them with essentials like food and medical attention. He makes it a point to get to know each of his 30 cows individually, and he works hands-on with them as much as possible. The result? Thirty happy cows, and a farmer who truly enjoys what he does.

Brown insists that he has no favorite breed of cattle. When asked why he currently keeps Charolais, he has a ready response. “When the neighbor calls up at 3 a.m. to tell me, ‘Your cows are in my corn!’, the Charolais are easy to see in the dark!” he jokes, referring to the Charolais’ white coat. [Read more…]

Can growing malting barley be profitable in New York State?

CEW-MR-2-Malting Barley6by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Despite thunderstorms with continuous lightning and torrential downpours, nearly 40 people traveled to Bob and Andy Crowe’s Inverness Farm near Ames, NY, to take part in a Malting Barley Field Day and Workshop presented by Cornell University and CCE of Central New York.

The workshop featured speakers Plant Pathologist Dr. Gary Bergstrom, Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology of Cornell University; Research Support Specialist David Benscher, Small Grains Breeding & Genetics Project of Cornell University and Central NY CCE Regional Field Crop Specialist Kevin Ganoe. [Read more…]

A new renaissance

CEW-MR-1-Soil renaissanceby Tamara Scully

Neil Conklin, President of Farm Foundation, NFP, introduced a new movement in today’s agriculture, one which is inclusive of all types of production systems, philosophies, farm sizes, and crops. It’s a movement with one key component — soil.

This movement is called the Soil Renaissance, and it is coming soon to a farm near you. According to Conklin, the movement began to take root after Klaas Martens, a New York state organic farmer, and Bill Buckner, formerly CEO of Bayer CropScience LP and now the President and CEO of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, had a discussion about their passion for soil health. No matter that they had disparate backgrounds. They agreed that soil health is key to a sustainable agriculture, one which can feed the world as the population rapidly grows, climate changes cause havoc, the agricultural landbase decreases, and decimated soils can no longer support food production. [Read more…]