The Honorable Russell Redding, PA Secretary of Agriculture was officially welcomed at the PA FFA Association 28th State Legislative Breakfast where he was the keynote speaker. His appearance at this gathering afforded Redding the opportunity to meet and greet lawmakers and farm association leaders, as well as executive vice presidents, many of whom he has worked with before. Five years ago, Redding served for a year as Ag Sec, filling out the term of Secretary Dennis Wolff, who wanted to return to farming and international agricultural genetics. After that year of service, Redding became Dean of Agriculture at Delaware Valley College. “The best thing was stepping back from the department, being tested by students on what it is that this industry can offer, where there are opportunities and bring that back,” he said, adding “It gave me a fresh perspective to look at the job as Secretary and the industry that I am so honored to represent.” [Read more…]
by Katie Navarra
Leanne Pundt, Extension Educator for University of Connecticut at the Litchfield County Extension Center, shared strategies for biologically controlling pests common to herb and vegetable bedding plants during the annual Bedding Plant/Nurseryman’s Education Day and Tradeshow.
A variety of “good” bugs can be used to control “bad” bugs in a greenhouse to limit the need for chemical pesticides and reduce crop loss. There are several types of pests that can be used as part of a biological control program. Learning about each beneficial pest and subspecies is critical to success. [Read more…]
by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
In a press conference with NY Farm Bureau President Dean Norton, farmers presented their concerns about the impact raising the minimum wage will have in agriculture.
Expecting farmers to pay more to employees will mean even less income for farmers and cause a greater disadvantage in competing with ag products being imported from other states where production costs are less.
“The choices become very dark and very serious for everyone that is milking cows and farming in New York,” said Sandie Prokop of Crossbrook Farm in Schoharie County. Crossbrook is a multi-generation dairy farm, milking 375 and is still recovering from the effects of tropical storms Irene and Lee, which left the farm stranded for 11 days and caused $500,000 in damage. [Read more…]
VERONA, NY — There’s no doubt the Future Farmers of America chapter at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central School is a student group.
It’s also highly successful, winning recognition as the best FFA chapter in the state four of the last six years, according to the club’s adviser and VVS agriculture teacher, Keith Schiebel.
It takes an actual visit to the school in Oneida County during its annual maple syrup weekend, to realize this is also a thriving business. [Read more…]
Today’s conventional dairy farmer is more likely to use his land for producing grass, corn, soybeans and other feed crops for his cows than to use the land for grazing. Likewise, today’s dairy cow is more likely to consume its calories and meet nutritional needs from a total mixed ration (TMR) than from pasture grazing.
TMRs provide an efficient, nutritionally balanced and measured means of providing the dairy herd with food designed to meet their specific needs, thereby increasing milk output and components. A mixture of forages and grains, along with protein and mineral supplements, TMRs — when done properly — offer a homogenous feed supply with a known nutritional content. [Read more…]
by Tamara Scully
“Feed the soil to help feed the crops that you want to grow,” Neil Kinsey, soil fertility specialist, advised. “If you just put down what the plants need, you aren’t feeding the soil.”
Feeding the plants does not feed the soil. Growing plants remove essential elements from the soil. If those elements aren’t replaced, and aren’t in balance, then soil fertility is compromised, and crop health and yields will be impacted, Kinsey cautioned.
Just getting the pH right is not nearly enough. The result of the interactions of soil chemistry is pH, and a target pH can be achieved even when the chemistry is out of balance. But when the chemistry is unbalanced, important elements are not available to the plants. [Read more…]
GLENVILLE, NY — Glenville Town Justice Paul Davenport seemed a bit distracted as over 200 farmers and supporters filled his court room to show their solidarity for local farmer, Joshua Rockwood of West Wind Acres in West Charlton, NY.
The 36-year-old farmer who is facing 13 animal neglect charges pled not guilty to the charges in court Tuesday, March 24. According to court documents, authorities found sheep in an unheated barn with frozen water with animal feces mixed into the ice. The documents also stated 15 pigs had frozen, undrinkable water, and they were confined in a barn without food. In addition, three horses, around 30 cows and 10 pigs were without proper food or water, and goats did not have access to food. [Read more…]
Grain marketing was a hot topic at the Central New York Cornell Cooperative Extension’s 2015 Corn Day.
In a presentation given by Penn State Extension Ag Marketing Educator John Berry, both corn and soybean trends and predictions were addressed.
“It’s impossible to predict grain prices. But, I’m optimistic about the food business,” Berry stated. “What business would you rather be in then trying to feed this exploding population? But, I’m also cautious about the risk we’re going to face in the meantime.” [Read more…]