Covering events in Chemung, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins & Schuyler Counties

Covering events in Chemung, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins & Schuyler Counties

Ag News

Upcoming events in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Horticulture

Upcoming Online Farming Courses: Starting from Square One, Poultry Production, Woodlot Management, and Introduction to Quickbooks
The Cornell Small Farms Program offers over twenty courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. Students connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection.
Classes starting the Week of September 26 include:

BF 101: Starting at Square One

This course helps new and aspiring farmers take the first steps toward setting goals, assessing resources available (physical, financial, and personal), and exploring enterprises that are the best fit for you and your land. Carefully defining what you want to do and how you will do it is a key element of any successful new farm enterprise.

BF 130: Poultry Production

Many new farmers get started with poultry, because it’s a relatively low-investment enterprise with a fairly quick turnaround time from investment to revenue. The margins can be slim though, and farmers need to develop the necessary skillset in order to produce a product that is both safe and profitable. This course will help you get started with all the basic information to build a successful poultry enterprise.

BF 150: Farm Woodlot Management
Woodlots are a common feature of most farms in the eastern US, and are often overlooked for the value they might bring to the landowner and to farm enterprises. During this course, we will examine the methods to assess forest resources and discuss common woodland activities such as cutting firewood, harvesting logs for mushroom cultivation, and support for wildlife and long-term forest health.

BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers

This course is an introduction to QuickBooks, designed to provide an overview of the QuickBooks Pro software application. It will cover the basic features, such as sales tax, inventory, invoicing, adjustments, and year-end procedures. Each student will gain hands-on experience reproducing the exercises presented by the instructor.

Most courses are six weeks long. Each week features an evening webinar and follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat. If you aren't able to attend the webinars in real-time, they are always recorded for later viewing.

Each course is $250, which entitles two people from a farm to attend. Discounts for early sign up and multiple course sign ups are available.
Check out the listings at for more information on a particular course and the instructors. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page to learn more about registration, payment, and computer requirements.

Contact Erica Frenay, or Steve Gabriel,
or call 607 - 255 - 2142

The Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast, and is provided to you by Cornell Small Farms Program. We help farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development, from initial growth to optimization to maturity. The Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Rotational Grazing Pasture Walk: “Planning Even In A Drought”
Friday, September 30th, 2016 starting at 5:00 pm. Maple Terrace Farm, John and Jackie Wickham, 2391 Co Rd 10 Alpine, NY 14805. (Please watch for signs) Please join us and the Tri-County Graziers for a twilight pasture walk to see how the Wickham’s utilize all resources available to them, to plan intensive rotational grazing on their farm, even in drought conditions. The goal of the Wickham’s is to raise totally grass fed and fattened animals with the objective to have their animals gain at least 2 1/2 lbs., minimal per day, including the winter months. The Wickham’s also have a handling facility that will be shown, as twilight closes in. This pasture walk will take place rain or shine, and is free and open to the public. No RSVP is required, but questions may be referred to Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District at 607-535-0878 or by email: Sponsored by Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District, with support by Steuben County Soil and Water Conservation District, The Upper Susquehanna Coalition and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler and Steuben Counties.
Interference with the Regeneration of Hardwood Forests
September 30th- day long workshop @ Arnot Forest
Come to Cornell’s Arnot Forest on September 30, 2016 for a day-long workshop that will (i) provide foresters and woodland owners information about the ecological role of American beech (and other interfering vegetation) and deer in limiting forest regeneration, and (ii) review herbicide, organic and fence management strategies to ensure effective regeneration. This workshop will help participants understand the ecological principles that underlie the complications of forest regeneration, especially the interaction of deer and interfering plants. Management strategies that limit exposure to deer impacts may reduce the need for herbicidal control of beech, and without deer control more vegetative control may be necessary. Addressing neither of these issues in a practical and viable manner will likely result in a failed attempt to regenerate an acceptable new stand.
The workshop will mix classroom and field lectures with presentations by Dr. Paul Curtis, Dr. Peter Smallidge, Brett Chedzoy and Kristi Sullivan. Registration starts at 9:00AM with light refreshments, and the workshop starts promptly at 10:00AM. Final session concludes at 4:20PM. Bring a bag lunch. Bottled water will be provided. Visits to field sites will be by carpooling. Field stops will include limited but quick walking on level terrain regardless of the weather. Pre-registration is required and is $20. Online registration closes September 28. Visit This workshop has been approved by NYSDEC Bureau of Pest Management (Pesticide Certification) for 3.75 credits in category 2 (Forest). Participants desiring pesticide recertification credits must bring the pesticide card and should arrive by 9:30AM. This workshop is pending approval by the Society of American Forests for CFE credits. A detailed agenda is available as a blog at Program questions - Peter Smallidge, NYS Extension Forester, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, 219 Fernow Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14889. (607) 592 3640.
Growing Shiitake Mushrooms on Beech Logs for Healthier and More Profitable Woodlots – Saturday, October 1st, 9:30-12:30. Many woodlots are overrun with unhealthy beech trees that are in decline from beech bark disease. Cutting them often makes a bad problem worse, as beech resprouts aggressively from the root system and outcompetes other native plants and trees. Thankfully there are solutions to this problem, as well as ways to turn low-quality beech stems into a valuable cash crop. Join small-scale shiitake farmer and NY Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) member Jeff Joseph on his 33-acre woodland homestead for a crash course in simple, low-tech ways of managing beech in family woodlots while at the same time using harvested trees to grow a valuable edible mushroom: the shiitake.
The morning will start with a short hike around the woods (under 1 mile) to see and discuss beech management scenarios and control options. Afterwards, we will cover [all] the essentials of how to confidently produce shiitake mushrooms in your own woods, concluding with the opportunity for each participant to drill, inoculate, and wax their own log to bring home.
Rain or shine, so please dress appropriately. Light refreshments will be served in the morning starting at 9am. This event is sponsored by the Southern Finger Lakes chapter of the New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA), and will take place at 529 Prospect Valley Road, Willseyville, NY. Cost is $20 for NYFOA members, or $35 for non-members. Limited to 25 participants; pre-registration is required. For more information, or to register, contact Jeff at or by phone at 607.659.5995.
Wild Mushroom Walk
Saturday, October 1, 2016, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Take a journey with mushroom expert Carl Whittaker through the forests and lowlands of Arnot Forest to search out wild edible mushrooms. After our mushroom walk (approximately 1 ½-2 hours), we'll return to the classroom to identify all our mushrooms and Carl will be available for any additional questions you might have. Be sure to dress appropriately for your walk in the woods. Pre-registration is required– fee is $30/ticket. Only 25 spots available. This walk will take place rain or shine, so please dress appropriately.**** Meet at the Sugar House. Follow the signs from County Route 13 to the Sugar House. Please do not use the campus/lodge entrance.
Nut Trees for the Finger Lakes
October 4, 2016, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Join, guest speaker: Akiva Silver owner of Twisted Tree Farm, in a nut growing workshop that will cover the powerful possibilities of nut trees in a changing world, the best types of nuts for growing in NY, their propagation, culture, harvest methods, and processing. There will also be samples of several types of local nuts.This workshop will be held in the Human Services Complex
in Montour Falls, in Schuyler County. Pre-registration is required with a $20 fee! Call 607-535-7161 for more information.
Fall Propagation of Fruit and Nut Trees
Wed. Oct. 5, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Start planning your edible food forest this fall! Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres will demonstrate techniques for propagating edible tree species, such as stratifying seeds of a variety of fruit and nut trees and striking cuttings from fruit bushes. Ripe paw paws from Cornell's orchard will be available to taste and participants will be able to take home seeds and cuttings as well. Self-determining sliding scale fee: $5-$10. Pre-registration required. Please click on the picture for more info and registration information.
Beef Quality Assurance Training in Central NY
Thursday, October 6th from 6:00pm-9:00pm
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County are pleased to offer a Beef Quality Assurance training to local beef and dairy producers. The training will be held on Thursday, October 6th from 6:00pm-9:00pm, with registration beginning at 5:30pm. Join us at Great Northern Farm located at 1716 Fisk Road, Eaton, NY for a presentation by Dr. Mike Baker, Extension Beef Specialist, and chute side training. Beef Quality Assurance is a national program that provides training to beef cattle producers in food safety, proper cattle handling techniques, handling of animal health products, injection sites, and record keeping. The goal of this program is to maximize consumer confidence and acceptance of beef by focusing the producer's attention to daily production practices that influence the safety, wholesomeness, and quality of beef and beef products. Many beef cattle buyers, feeders, packers, and retail outlets are requiring that the beef they purchase be produced by BQA certified cattle producers. Also, most "added value" sale opportunities for feeder and stocker cattle require BQA certification. Please visit the following link for more information and registration
Apple Identification and Documentation Day
Saturday October 8, 9am-12pm:

Reisinger's Apple Country

2750 Apple Lane (Off Ellison Road)

Watkins Glen, New York 14891

Find your Fruit: Do you have an old orchard or apple tree on your property? Do you want to know what the apples are? Come to our Apple Identification Day at Reisinger's Apple Country to learn about your fruit from our pomologist panel including Dr. Greg Peck of Cornell University and John Reynolds of Blackduck Cidery, and tell your fruit stories at the Documentation Booth. In cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County.
What to bring for Apple Identification:

*Bring 3-5 representative apples from each tree that you want to ID.

*Historical or horticultural info about the tree

*Take home all apples and plant material that you bring - leave nothing at the orchard to avoid the spread of plant diseases. For additional details please visit

New York Nut Growers Association Annual Meeting
October 15th from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm at the Otto and Grace Farnham Homestead, 148 Farnham Road, Conklin, NY 13748. The program will focus on the harvesting and processing of the nuts of NYS which includes black walnuts, butternuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts. Learn how to prepare the nuts for food use and for use as seed nuts for growing more trees. The cost of the program is $10 which covers a sandwich platter lunch plus drinks, snacks and nut related materials. The public is welcome to attend. A registration form can be found on the Northern Nut Growers Association website at: Please send your $10 to John Wertis, 8144 Searsburg Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886. Phone (607) 387-4331 or email him at
Introduction to Cidermaking
Wed. Oct. 19, 6:30 - 8:30 pm
Hard cider was a popular beverage in early American history, and it’s making a big comeback today. Pressing and fermenting apples is a great way to preserve them for winter! Learn about blending different apple varieties for the best flavor, equipment needed for pressing and fermentation, sanitation, yeast, bottling and other details to get you started with making your own cider. Self-determining sliding scale fee: $5-$10. Pre-registration required. Please click the picture for more info and registration.
Practical Aspects of Feeding Horses Workshop
Workshop Will Guide Horse Owners Towards Best Nutritional Feeding Practices
October 20th from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at CCE Ontario’s offices at 480 N Main Street in Canandaigua. Horse owners looking to provide the best nutritional care to their animals will benefit from Cornell Cooperative Extension Ontario County’s upcoming workshop, Practical Aspects of Feeding Horses. Presenter Carol Buckhout, Assistant professor of Equine Business Management and co-author of the recently published “Practical Equine Nutrition Manual” will present on a wide variety of horse feeding issues.Carol will cover forage quality, including forage analysis, and the impact that this has on feeding strategies. She will also address feeding challenges related to situations such as equine metabolic syndrome and horses with high energy needs. There will also be time for questions and answers from attendees. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to receive forage analysis kits, with one lucky person receiving a complimentary analysis courtesy of Equi-Analytical Laboratories. Pre-registration is required. Attendees may register in advance online at or call Nancy at 585.394.3977 x427. Workshop attendance fee is $15 per person or $25 per farm and will include light refreshments.
Grow and Sell Your Own Ferments
Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Commercial lacto-fermentation can add year-round income for farmers and local food processors here in the Northeast! For the past 6 years, Crooked Carrot has "boot-strapped" its local food processing business and flagship product line of ferments to statewide distribution from Buffalo to Brooklyn, sourcing 100% of its fresh ingredients from over 20 local farms (Certified OG, CNG, or NOFA-NY Farmers' Pledge). Founder Silas Conroy and production manager Anna McCown of the Crooked Carrot will present on all aspects of commercial fermentation from start to finish: sourcing, basic techniques and equipment, product design, marketing, and financial management of a fermentation business--taking a deep look at "the numbers" from Crooked Carrot's record-keeping. The fee to attend is $30/person. For additional details please visit-
Annual Cover Crop and Soil Health Workshop and Tour
November 4, 2016, registration starting at 9:30am @ The BIG FLATS COMMUNITY BUILDING-TOWN OF BIG FLATS MUNICIPAL CAMPUS. PLEASE NOTE THE STARTING LOCATION . Please see the attachment for further details as well as registration info.
Southern Tier Maple School- SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, December 3rd from 9:30 – noon at the Tyrone Fire Hall, State Route 226 Tyrone. Join Cornell Cooperative Extension’s state maple specialist, Steve Childs, for important updates that will make your maple operation more successful – no matter the size! Further information available soon at:

For Your Information

15 NYS counties were declared a primary disaster due to drought and heat using the streamlined Secretarial Disaster Designation process. Under this designation, producers with operations in any primary or contiguous county are eligible to apply for low interest emergency loans. Learn more here:

Please visit this site for information on training and registration for invasive species-

The updated “CCE Hay Manual” is now available at :

Funding is available for agricultural producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest conservation program that helps producers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands. The USDA NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016.

Here is a link to malting barley resources at the Cornell Field Crop website:

For the latest information on saving Hemlock from the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid pest in NY, visit:
IPM Insights: As Climate Shifts, So Do Pests January 2016 download. The January 2016 issue of IPM Insights—on the theme of climate and pests—is available for download. The NEIPMCommunication-L list is owned by the Northeastern IPM Center, which fosters the development and adoption of integrated pest management, a science-based approach to managing pests in ways that generate economic, environmental, and human health benefits. We use the list periodically to distribute news about IPM funding opportunities, research and extension projects, and great IPM information sources. To join or unsubscribe from the list, please send a request via e-mail to

Pilot Project Looking for Fruits and Vegetables
The New York State Office of General Services is looking for vendors to participate in the USDA's Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables. The goal of the Pilot Project is to develop opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with USDA funding, and develop new relationships with farmers, growers, produce wholesalers and distributors. This is a great opportunity for farmers, growers and food hubs to grow and expand their local customer base. Vendors of all sizes are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Diane Green at the NYS Office of General Services at (518) 473-9386 or

Cornell Small Farm Program- Check here for workshops and events all around New York State-

Finger Lakes Meat Locker is OPEN- read this article to learn more-

New RAPP website – The Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program, funded by NYSDEC, is charged in developing sustainable means for New York State farmers to manage their used agricultural plastics by recycling, reusing, and otherwise minimizing waste from plastics in agriculture.

Visit Cornell’s new Field Crops website at: for the latest information on varieties, integrated pest management and other resources for a successful harvest.

Pasture Management Resources: from K. Hoffman, NYGC Grazette
What’s growing in your pasture? If you have ever wondered what some of the plants are that can be found in your pastures, there are some great resource books that can help you identify them.For most of the cool season grasses, a good pocket guide is “Identifying pasture grasses” from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. It has good photos of most of the seed heads you’ll see, as well as some simple descriptions of other plant characteristics to look for. The guide can be ordered through or downloaded for free

The Renewable Heat New York Program promotes the implementation of high efficiency, clean wood burning technology. Included are incentives for retiring old wood and pellet stoves, and outdoor wood boilers. Here is a link to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's web page:

The Tax Tips For Forest Landowners
Well managed forests produce timber and other forest products, provide wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aquifer and watershed protection, and other amenities. Non-industrial private woodlands comprise approximately 60% of the nation’s total forests. Providing tailored tax information is one way in which the Forest Service is working to increase forest productivity on non-industrial fore


Monika Roth
Agriculture Issue Leader; SCNY Regional Ag Team member
(607) 272-2292 ext. 126

Last updated October 4, 2016