Crop Comments: Harnessing the Fringe

2020-08-13T13:14:04-05:00August 13, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

There are at least a couple options for planting forages that really put to good use the cooler conditions that surround Indian Summer in the Northeast. The best time to plant these “packages,” seldom just a single species, is the middle 10 days of August. The question then is where to plant these. Many folks were able to get 75- to 80-day corn planted more or less on time, despite a chilly, drawn-out April. According to my April electric bill statement, the average temperature in Otsego County was 41º F. Throughout April 2020, the only crops that looked good were late summer/early fall-planted small grains/winter forages. (more…)

Focusing on four farm values

2020-08-13T13:05:57-05:00August 13, 2020|Western Edition|

by Evelyn Leubner

If you have ever taken a drive through Cayuga County, there is a good chance you have cruised past some fields that belong to the Patterson family. The Pattersons run a sixth generation large-scale dairy and crop farm in Auburn, NY. On top of the 1,600-cow milking herd and 1,200 replacement heifers, they grow about 2,500 acres of hay, corn and wheat. Julie Patterson said that their children Tad, Wyatt and Rylie have their own show cows as well, but “they don’t get treated very special around here and are just a part of the herd.” She noted the show cows “still have to pull their own weight, just like the rest.” (more…)

Sixteen dairies honored for 30 years of Super Milk

2020-08-13T12:49:11-05:00August 13, 2020|Western Edition|

by Enrico Villamaino

A state program dedicated to recognizing the very best in New York’s milk producers has reached a milestone in 2020.

For the 30th year, the Empire State Milk Quality Council (ESMQC) has conferred its “Super Milk” award to dairies both large and small across the state. The award was created in 1990 and first presented in 1991 to acknowledge those producers who consistently go above and beyond New York’s quality standards for dairy herds. (more…)

Survey finds two-thirds of NY farms negatively impacted by COVID-19

2020-08-13T12:47:31-05:00August 13, 2020|Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

More than 500 New York Farm Bureau members participated in a survey in mid-June that asked how the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent shutdown of the New York economy affected both their bottom lines and their mental health. The survey found that 65% of the respondents’ farms and businesses were negatively impacted financially by COVID-19. (more…)

Crop Comments: Another dynamic duo

2020-08-13T12:46:57-05:00August 13, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

Mid-spring 1977, in my role as agronomy cooperative extension agent for Otsego County, I attended a field crop demonstration at one of Cornell’s off-campus research facilities. Several agronomy professors were stationed at their own demonstration sites. These educators would explain the details of their experiments to guests, mostly farmers. The presentation that I remember best was given by Robert Seaney, PhD. (more…)

Dairy Princess agvocates in new ways

2020-08-13T12:39:56-05:00August 13, 2020|Western Edition|

by Evelyn Leubner

The average person is more than four generations removed from the family farm. This means the majority of the public has never stepped foot on an operating farm. This poses a threat to farmers everywhere, as consumers grow confused about how their food is grown and raised. It is especially an issue in the dairy industry because there are so many groups that push untrue information out to the public as a way to scare them away from consuming dairy products. The good news is that there are people in the industry working hard to share the reality of dairy farming. One of those agvocates is Dairy Princess Kailey Kuhn of Marion, NY. (more…)

2020 corn silage strategies – NY and VT corn silage hybrid evaluations

2020-08-13T12:21:35-05:00August 13, 2020|Western Edition|

by Katie Navarra

Wet, cool temperatures and the unpredictability created by the coronavirus pandemic are challenging farms on planting timely silage crops. The full impact of the weather on the 2020 growing season is still unknown; however, there are opportunities to implement strategies to improve the chances of a successful outcome regardless of what the season brings. (more…)

Crop Comments: Trendy cereal grain has black-sheep weed cousin

2020-08-13T12:20:29-05:00August 13, 2020|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

The Veterans Administration Medical Service is very concerned about the physical (as well as mental) well being of former Armed Forces personnel. As a member of this distinguished group, I qualify for many medical benefits. One such benefit is the counseling service of a licensed dietician. The VA believes that a healthy diet helps veterans avoid becoming inpatients at their hospitals. In a tele-health visit this past February (before COVID-19 made such medical regimen part of the “new normal”), I met with such a dietician: she at the VA Hospital in Albany — myself at the VA clinic in Bainbridge, NY. I explained my diet to her, mentioning that every other day my breakfast consists of a blend of oatmeal and grits… both organic (she liked that). (more…)

Fesko Farms

2020-08-13T12:20:06-05:00August 13, 2020|Western Edition|

by Evelyn Leubner

Just off of Route 20 lies a farm that goes by the name of Fesko Farms. Nestled in between Skaneateles and Otisco Lake you can find this dairy and crop farm. Kim and Eric Brayman are the brains behind this 4th generation operation. Along with raising around 730 milking cows, they have 3 young kids who also take interest in the farm life. They utilize a double 11 herringbone to milk their primarily holstein herd. Along with livestock, they crop 2,300 acres of corn, hay, wheat, oats, and soybeans, allowing them to have all of their cow chow grown in-house. They work alongside 12 full-time employees and a handful of part time employees as a way to keep the farm running smoothly, and take some stress off their shoulders! (more…)