:   Cornell
Website   I   Quarterly   I   News   I   Events   I   Projects   I    Resources   I   Contact
August 1, 2016

The Small Farms update summarizes announcements, information resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms.  Please feel free to share this information in newsletters, email lists, etc. If you have announcements or resources you would like to submit, please visit our new online form. Subscribe here. Thank you again for your interest and support of small farms in New York.   

Anu Rangarajan, Director, Cornell Small Farm Program
Featured Resource 
Cornell Climate Change Reports Data on Recent Drought
The current drought is having a severe impact on growers throughout the region.  While New York is characterized by abundant natural resources for water, this also means that many crops are grown without irrigation and, for others, irrigation infrastructure is not sufficient to deal with drought of this intensity. 
There is no unique climate change signature to this drought. Visit here to read more and view recent precipitation data.
Reduced Tillage in Organic Vegetables Field Day
The Cornell Small Farms Program is please to offer an in-depth field tour of strategies to improve soil health in organic vegetables. The event takes place on August 17th from 4-7pm at the Freeville Organic Research Farm, a part of the HC Thompson Vegetable Research Farm located at 133 Fall Creek Road, Freeville NY. Our tour will highlight current research on integrating cover crops and reducing tillage for farms at multiple scales.  We will demonstrate strip tillage for small-scale farmers and review impacts of new mulching and covering cropping techniques on weeds and crops.We will also have an in-field demonstration of measuring soil health impacts after different practices. Learn more about how these practices may impact pest or disease challenges, such as Swede Midge. This event is free and open to the public.Pre-registration is preferred here but walk-ins are welcome. Contact Ryan Maher at rmm325@cornell.edu with questions. This field day is sponsored by NOFA-NY.
New York Grazinglands Coalition Offers Soil Health Demonstrations

At four events in August, the New York Grazinglands Coalition will offer soil health demonstrations illustrating how healthy and unhealthy soil reacts to rainfall. The New York Grazinglands Coalition Soil Health Trailer uses a six-foot high rainfall simulator to show how the same amount of rainfall impacts soil in five different pans: from bare soil to soil sowed with a crop. Pans under the soil sections capture runoff to show how well or how poorly the soil retains the water.The New York Grazinglands Coalition Soil Health Trailer will be at the following events:
-August 4, 5, 6: Grasstravaganza, Alfred State College, Alfred, NY
-August 9, 10, 11:  Empire Farm Days, Seneca Falls, NY

-August 17:  Cornell Vegetable Research Day, Freeville, NY

-August 25:  Soil Health Field Day, New Paltz, NY.

For details on the soil health programs, visit here or contact Fay Benson at afb3@cornell.edu.
Cornell Research Supports Vineyard Cover Crops 
Cornell researchers have advice for vineyard managers in cool and humid climates like the Northeast: cover up. Researchers grew buckwheat, annual ryegrass, white clover and an assortment of local plants known as native vegetation over a period of three or four years, in a one-meter wide strip to see how the grape vines fared as an alternative to maintaining bare ground through either herbicide or cultivation. Their findings showed that growing cover crops beneath grape vines reduced nitrogen leaching through the soil compared to the herbicide plots. Dissolved organic carbon (a proxy for soil breakdown) was lower in the cover crop plots, and the neonicotinoid insecticide Imidacloprid - which has garnered attention for its harmful impacts on honey bees and other pollinators - was found in fewer leachate samples and at lower concentrations in the cover crop plots compared to the herbicide treatments. To find out more about the results, see here.

Empire Farm Days
August 9-11, 2016
2973 State Route 414, Seneca Falls, NY 13148, United States

Whether you are interested in expanding your business, improving your efficiency or increasing your profitability Empire Farm Days is the place to form strategies and get the tools. If your business is dairy, livestock, crops; if your focus is full time or part time; if you are experienced or just starting out- our business is YOU.
Empire Farm Days is where farmers, agribusinesses, and industry leaders come together face-to-face for buying and selling, and brainstorming the next great idea. Visit the Empire Farm Days website for a schedule of events and more information.
Soil Health and Fertility for Perennial Tree Crops
August 11, 2016, 11:00am-4:00pm
Westwind Orchard, 215 Lower Whitfield Rd, Accord, NY 

Managing orchard fertility is about more than just fertilizer. The reality is that your orchard soil is a giant digestive engine, chewing up carbon, nitrogen, and minerals to feed not only your trees but also the soil food web. In this workshop, we'll discuss the basics of understanding your soil so you can get a better grasp on what's going on right under your feet, the mineral connection, and what you can do to improve the soil's health, biology, and overall vitality to grow better fruit. We'll discuss the basics of soil chemistry, physical characteristics, and soil biology. We'll interpret soil tests, leaf analyses; go over some basic methods to assess your overall soil health, soil respiration, soil aggregate stability, and more. In essence, you'll leave knowing everything you should know to understand and manage your soils for better crop productivity. If you have soil or leaf tissue sample that you'd like to have me look at, bring them along. This event is sponsored by NOFA-NY through funding from the New World Foundation. Visit here for more information and to register.
NYS IPM Climate Conference
Climate, Weather, Data: Protecting Our Crops and Landscapes
August 15, 2016, 9:00am-4:15pm

Cornell Cooperative Extension, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY

With all the talk about climate change you might be wondering how it will affect food production, pests, and even landscapes - and what you can do about it. A wide variety of speakers from NYS and the Northeast will provide background information on the current state of knowledge on climate change and changes in our weather patterns, and how collecting climate and weather data can help us predict and manage pests. Open discussion sessions are included so you can ask your own questions. Registration and conference information can be found here. If you have questions, please contact Amanda Grace at arw245@cornell.edu or 315 787-2208.
Advanced Fluid Milk Packaged for Consumption Workshop

August 30-September 1

Food Science Conference Center, 148 Stocking Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
This workshop is designed for those involved and interested in fluid milk processing techniques with the intent of providing the tools to support and improve on quality assurance and food safety programs for bottled milks.  It will be instructed by Cornell Dairy Foods Extension staff and industry experts. The course design assumes participants have prior knowledge of dairy microbiology & processing (e.g., Basic Dairy Science & Sanitation Course). This course can be taken as a stand-alone program, but it also fulfills the core training requirement of a Cornell Dairy Foods Certificate for Advanced Fluid Milk after all required prerequisite courses have been taken (e.g., Basic Dairy Science & Sanitation, HACCP, HTST/Vat Pasteurization). The Workshop begins 8:30 AM on Tuesday, August 30, and will end in the early afternoon of September 1. Visit here for registration information.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.

Career, Etc. Opportunities
New York State Integrated Pest Management Program, Cornell University 

The following positions are available with the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program:
-Biocontrol Specialist (Extension Associate)
-Alternative Weed Management Specialist (Extension Associate)
-Coordinator for the Network for Environment and Weather Applications (Extension Associate)
-Coordinator for Livestock and Field Crops IPM (Senior Extension Associate)
All positions will be housed on either the Geneva or Ithaca campuses of Cornell University. Additional information and application instructions can be found here. Applications will be accepted until August 31st, or until a suitable candidate is found.

Funding Opportunities
Funding to Address Climate Change Impact on US Agriculture

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $8.4 million in available funding to study and develop new approaches for the agriculture sector to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. The funding is available through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), which is authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Applicants for fiscal year 2016 should focus on how land-use affects and is affected by climate change. Applications are due November 17 for climate and land use projects. Climate masters outreach and extension applications are due September 14. See the request for applications for more information.
AFRI Foundational Grant: Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health

The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) announced the availability of $19 million in competitive grants to generate knowledge surrounding the safety, quality, and nutritional value of food and its affect on human health. Knowledge generated from this program will enhance the microbial, physical, and chemical safety of foods, and provide information on the function and efficacy of foods, nutrients, and other bioactive components in promoting health. In addition, knowledge generated will improve processing, packaging and storage technologies to enhance the safety, quality and shelf life of foods. This knowledge will improve our understanding of human behaviors and how they are influenced by economic and other incentives in ways that enhance the safety, quality, and nutrient value of the food supply. Proposals for Improving Food Safety grants are due August 10th and Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance grants are due August 17th. Visit here for more information.
Latest Resources
Beef Cattle Drought Resources
The Cornell Beef Cattle Management team has put together a list of resources to help cattle producers deal with the drought. Resources include articles on pasture management and hay storage, spreadsheets to estimate cattle grazing days and forage inventory, and links to drought monitoring websites. The online resource page can be accessed here.

Workbook for Creating a Long-Term Agricultural Lease for Agroforestry

This Workbook is for farmers and landowners who have a long-term vision for a piece of land and are willing to collaborate and commit to a lasting arrangement to make such a vision a reality. It offers an overview of legal considerations for long-term leases that address key particularities of agroforestry. Agroforestry is a suite of practices and tools that involves intentionally integrating trees and shrubs into traditional crop and animal farming systems. While much of this Workbook is framed in the context of agroforestry, many of the issues raised are relevant for farmers and landowners who aspire to enter a long-term lease for annual crop or livestock farming. Access the Workbook here.

Get Connected!
Need personal help?
Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check out our county-by-county listing of small farm agents here. You can also get to know our Cornell Small Farms Program staff, or contact us. Just starting to farm? We have an extensive directory of beginning farmer service providers across the Northeast in the "Who Can Help?" section of our Northeast Beginning Farmers Project website.

SFP Small Farms Program Logo
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. Our mission is to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment.  The Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Cornell Small Farms Program | 15A Plant Science Building | Cornell University | Ithaca | NY | 14853