Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’
Cornell Cooperative Extension – Providing Technical and Educational Information and Resources for Agriculture
For the first time, the Adirondack Council’s Essex Farm Institute’s Micro-Grants for Adirondack Farms and Value-Added Producers will offer grants of up to $8,000 for the implementation of environmentally-beneficial and sustainable projects led by Adirondack farms and value-added producers. Prior grants had not exceeded $5,000, with most awarded in the $1,500 range. The grant application was updated for the 2022 cycle to provide more resources for larger operations or those projects led by a team of applicants.
The 2022 guidelines have also been updated to provide clarity with respect to eligibility criteria and gives preference for historically-underserved or socially-disadvantaged groups. As the Adirondack Park’s largest environmental advocacy organization, the Adirondack Council recognizes the huge role agriculture plays in meeting climate goals, sustaining the health of natural resources and fostering economically vibrant communities. It adopted the Essex Farm Institute to ensure that local farmers would have assistance in reducing costs (fuel, fertilizer, electric power, waste removal) and increasing profitability/sustainability by adopting sustainable, environmentally friendly methods.
“Curbing climate change will require new investments in those parts of the economy that can help us conserve energy and reduce fuel use,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway. “That also reduces pollution, creates more local jobs and make the Adirondacks less dependent on easily-disrupted supply chains that reach halfway around the world.”
Harvesting the Sun
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, there are approximately 2,500 commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) energy gathering and generating stations currently serving the nation’s electric grid. Most produce one- to five-megawatts (MW) of power. A five-MW facility requires roughly 40 acres of land. Some analysts maintain that, depending on how quickly the nation moves from non-renewable to renewable electricity, an additional 10-million acres of land could be needed by 2050. That’s an area greater than the land-mass of Massachusetts and New Jersey, combined. Although commercial solar arrays are frequently built on low-quality, low-impact sites, such as landfills, brownfields, abandoned mining land, and former industrial locations, they’re often placed on agricultural land, as well.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article addressing solar development on agricultural land in the North Country. At the time, several large-scale PV energy generating projects were being considered in northern Franklin County, including a massive 150-MW power generating project on roughly 950-acres of land in the town and village of Malone, proposed by Minnesota-based Geronimo Energy. After the initial proposal encountered unwavering opposition from local residents, the application was scaled back to 50-MW, but resistance remained high and the project was eventually scrapped.
Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $14 million has been awarded to protect clean water across the state. This funding will support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state, benefiting 91 farms, and is provided through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control program, which supports projects that address water quality challenges in priority watersheds and protect the environment.
“New York continues to take decisive action to protect access to clean water across the state,” Governor Hochul said. “This money will go towards fulfilling both those goals by encouraging the implementation of cost-effective waterway protection and reducing our carbon footprint.”
The projects have been awarded to 25 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, on behalf of the farms, who will support on-farm environmental planning and the implementation of best management practice (BMP) systems to keep nutrients and other potential pollutants from entering waterways. BMPs include a variety of measures, including vegetative buffers along streams, cover crops, nutrient management through manure storage, and other conservation measures.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Agriculture and Markets have announced that the seventh annual Invasive Species Awareness Week (ISAW) will be held June 7-13.
ISAW is an annual statewide campaign with the purpose of building an awareness of the threat invasive species pose to New York States ecosystem. This year, considering the COVID-19 public health crises, organizations taking part in ISAW are encouraged to plan and incorporate virtual experiences and events that adhere to social distancing guidelines. This would allow New Yorkers to participate in ISAW from the safety of their homes.
The Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District (Soil & Water) has announced it has been awarded an urban agriculture conservation grant through a partnership with the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to boost technical capacity nationwide. » Continue Reading.
Gift giving during the holiday season can be a wonderful thing. It can be even more wonderful when what you give is not only appreciated by the recipient, but also supports a local farm business.
It is a well-established fact that money spent at local farm businesses has a huge multiplier effect. Instead of your money leaving the area to support a large business and employment elsewhere, the local producer you pay, will, in all probability spend the money right here to employ people, buy supplies, make more community investments, and pay local taxes. It is a win win situation for everyone involved.
So, now you may be asking yourself what exactly are your options for locally produced gifts? Many times, an unconventional, “think outside the box” gift can be the best gift, so let’s think outside the box. » Continue Reading.
Leanna Thalmann of Chazy, NY, earned nationally-recognized First Place honors for her poster presentation of the water quality research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) at the joint annual meeting of the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America in November 2019 in San Antonio, TX.
Thalmann, a University of Vermont soil science graduate student, has been involved with data collection and analysis as part of the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute team conducting the NNYADP-funded water quality research. This work plays a role in building the data-driven science needed to accurately guide water quality conservation. » Continue Reading.
Field-level research funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is responding to the need to better understand how tile drainage influences nutrient efficiency, water quality, crop production, farm economics, and environmental stewardship.
Results from the most recent data collection from tiles installed at the Lake Alice Wildlife Management Area in Chazy, and on a working farm in Clinton County are adding to a database designed to quantify surface and underground movement of nutrients beyond field boundaries. » Continue Reading.
The Harvest Festival is a regional event celebrating agriculture and the harvest in the Adirondacks and Champlain Valley. » Continue Reading.
Cornell Cooperative Extension has announced a class on managing Fruit Trees has been set for Thursday, August 22nd, from 4 to 6 pm.
Market growers as well as the general public are invited. The class will be led by Michael Basedow, Cornell Cooperative Extension Tree Fruit Specialist with the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program. » Continue Reading.
The Cornell University Willsboro Research Farm Open House has been set for Wednesday, July 10 from 1:30 to 4 pm.
Young specialty fruit trials funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) will be among the many crop plots available for touring during the open house. The tour of the farm facilities and research fields is free and open to the public. It will leave the main office at 48 Sayward Lane, Willsboro, at 2 pm. » Continue Reading.
Franklin County Cornell Cooperative Extension is set to host a workshop to explore industrial hemp production in New York State on April 25, at the Franklin County Courthouse from 1 to 4 pm.
In recent years, industrial hemp production in the United States has seen renewed interest. It is now possible to test for THC levels (THC is the main intoxicating ingredient in marijuana), to ensure that only low THC level crops are being grown legally, and hemp could once again be a profitable ag commodity. » Continue Reading.
Since the 1930s, hemp, once a widely grown and important crop in the United States has been considered a controlled substance due to its similarity with the cannabis plant grown for marijuana use. Although hemp used for industrial production, is in fact the cannabis plant, the same one that produces marijuana, there is an important difference – the THC produced in the plant.
THC is the main intoxicating ingredient in marijuana. Hemp cultivated for industrial purposes has much lower levels of THC than that grown for marijuana and cannot cause a drug induced high. It can however, be used to make over 25,000 different products ranging from textiles, to foods, to body care products, to building supplies. » Continue Reading.
Even if its precise definition isn’t at the tip of your tongue, most everyone gets the general drift of what is meant by the term biogas — there’s biology involved, and the result is gas. One might guess it’s the funk in the air aboard the bus carrying the sauerkraut-eating team home after a weekend competition. Others would say biogas is cow belches, or the rotten-egg stink-bubbles that swarm to the surface when your foot sinks into swamp ooze.
Those are all examples of biogas, which is composed primarily of methane, CH4, at concentrations ranging from 50% to 60 %. Methane is highly combustible, and can be used in place of natural gas for heat or to run internal-combustion engines for the generation of electricity and other applications. Formed by microbes under anaerobic conditions, it is a greenhouse gas twenty-eight times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere. The fact that it can be useful if harnessed but dangerous if released is why we need to trap biogas given off by landfills, manure pits, and someday, maybe even cow burps. » Continue Reading.
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