Posts Tagged ‘agriculture’

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Hemp: A Valuable Crop Returning to Production

Industrial Hemp 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.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Paul Hetzler Wants To Know – You Got Gas?

Dairy Cows in Collins Center New York 1999Even 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.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Farmer-Producer Mini Grant Recipients Named

Kevin Richardson of Agbotic speaks with Starbuck Elementary School staff and studentsThe Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has announced the recipients of its 2018 Farmer/Producer Mini Grant program, which was designed to support the farm to school procurement process for local food producers and Jefferson and St Lawrence County schools.

The second round of grant recipients since the program’s inception in 2017 include two farms and one co-packer, whose proposed projects are expected to increase their capacity to supply schools with local food. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, November 4, 2018

Ag Business Conference Set For Lake Placid

Adirondack Farm Produce - Photo by Shannon HoulihanFarmers and agribusiness people in the region are invited to attend the Strategic Marketing Conference taking place in Lake Placid on November 7-8.

This conference will serve as an opportunity for those involved in producing and/or selling agricultural products to learn how to develop their brands and marketing strategies in order to increase sales. Speakers from around the state will share their knowledge and expertise in the areas of finding new markets, brand development for a competitive market, exporting, legal issues, and multi-channel selling strategies. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Cornell Researchers Advancing Industrial Hemp

Christine Smart professor of plant pathology and director of the School of Integrative Plant Science discusses Cornell hemp researchAs farmers across the state get ready for the 2018 growing season, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is preparing to oversee a second year of industrial hemp field trials across New York State.

Cornell has been funded to develop, support, and advance the best management practices for optimal growing and processing of industrial hemp. Cornell scientists and research technicians are continuing to study and evaluate potential production barriers (e.g. disease and insect pests) and to identify and breed the best commercially available hemp cultivars for the state’s broad range of agricultural environments. The goals of the program include establishing certified seed production within the state and developing basic agronomic and production-cost information for growing industrial hemp in different locations around New York State. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Research Aids Dairy Calf Managers in Winter

Sarah Murray checks calves bedded in deep straw and wear calf coats at Murcrest Farms in Northern New YorkResearch funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has identified steps dairy farms can take to reduce winter season respiratory illness in dairy calves.

Respiratory illness in calves can negatively impact weight gain, age at their first calving, first lactation milk production, farm revenue and costs. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 28, 2018

CSAs: Taking Control, Ownership of Our Food System

CSA veggiesIn this age of global markets and marketing, more often than not, the food we eat is grown on large industrial farms; then shipped across the country, or from central or South America, or overseas, to huge distribution centers, where it’s sorted, packaged, processed, and then trucked to chain supermarkets, convenient stores, and fast food outlets.

We seldom think about the environmental impacts resulting from expanded mechanization and transportation of foodstuffs over great distances; of the ecological consequences of large-scale mono-cropping of food with intensive use of pesticides; or the impacts that food globalization has on our health (e.g. 2/3 of Americans are now considered overweight or obese). » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Local Foods Changing Views on Farming

nys veggiesToday’s explosion of an appreciation of and demand for local foods is a positive affirmation of farming. There is a new gratefulness for farmers as caretakers of the working landscape and purveyors of quality foods raised nearby. A better understanding of the need for open spaces, preserving soil, safeguarding water and practicing safe animal care has increased markedly. It is an invigorating time, especially for those of us who have been embroiled in agriculture most of our lives.

I think back to when I enrolled in a two-year agriculture program there were only 12 students in the major and only 1 female. The four-year baccalaureate was struggling and certainly not overenrolled. Fast forward to today and most Colleges of Agriculture are busting at the seams with students. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 29, 2017

Vermont’s ‘Seven Days’ Adirondacks Issue 2017

seven days coverFrom the west coast of Vermont, we really enjoy our sunsets — thanks, ‘Dacks!

Once a year, Seven Days’ ventures across the lake to see what we can see.

This time, we explored Craigardan, a new artist retreat with an agricultural twist, in Keene. In Essex, we met two farmers whose CSA caters events from the ground up. In Chazy, we explored reminders of philanthropist William H. Miner’s contributions to the North Country.

We walked the High Peaks with summit stewards — and witnessed the poop problem along the trails. (Eww.) And, in the age of President Donald Trump and congressional mayhem, we had to ask whether New York Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik might lose her seat if we lose Obamacare. As in the rest of the nation, opinion was divided.  At least we can all agree on the excellence of sunsets. » Continue Reading.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga Garden, Landscape Symposium Set

Garden & Landscape SymposiumThe King’s Garden at Fort Ticonderoga will hold the sixth annual Garden & Landscape Symposium on Saturday, April 8th in the Mars Education Center. Designed for both beginning and experienced gardeners, this day-long symposium includes insights from garden experts who live and garden in upstate New York and northern New England. This event is open by pre-registration only. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Agriculture, Forest Funding for Hamilton County Residents

The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to provide financial assistance for agriculture and forest management to Hamilton County landowners though the United States Department of Agriculture Resource Conservation Partnership Program.

Funding is available for residents who would like to enhance their agricultural practices through the installation of high tunnels over an existing garden. Funding is also available for implementing forest management plans and wildlife habitat enhancement practices. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Forest Land Conservation Program Opportunities

nrcs-logoNew York Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced February 3, 2017 as the application cutoff date for Signup 1 of the USDA’s Conservation Stewardship Program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017.

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is among the largest working-lands conservation programs in the United States. Through CSP, agricultural producers and forest landowners are paid for actively managing, maintaining, and expanding conservation activities like cover crops, rotational grazing, ecologically-based pest management, buffer strips, and pollinator and beneficial insect habitat – while maintaining active agricultural production on their land. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Growing and Buying Heirloom Apples

heirloom applesAs Eve so famously discovered, apples are alluring. These brightly colored orbs tempt us with crisp flesh and juicy sweetness. It’s no wonder that apples have spread throughout the temperate regions of the world.

The mother of all apples, malus sieversii, which originated in the rugged mountains of Central Asia, has given rise to thousands of varieties over time, bearing names ranging from regal to whimsical, including Maiden’s Blush, Blue Pearmain, Bellefleur, Duchess of Oldenburg, and Seek No Further. Apples first arrived in the Americas in the 1600s, and by the early nineteenth century were being grown to make everything from cider, sauce and pies to apple butter. » Continue Reading.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Precision Apple Orchard Management Project Results

precision-apple-project-sensory-panel-members-evaluate-honeycrisp-apples-sampled-weekly-from-several-orchards-throughout-new-york-stateThe Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of recent precision apple orchard management research evaluating the impact of applying precise orchard management practices to improve the yield, fruit size and quality of the regional apple crop for a more consistent higher economic return per acre.

Three specific strategies are under evaluation by a research team of Northern New York apple growers, Cornell University faculty, and Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel. The orchard management practices, designed to enhance the efficiency of apple production, include precision orchard thinning, irrigation, and harvest timing. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 12, 2016

Recent Crop Study Shows Good Results For Ginger

freshly harvested gingerThe farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has released the results of field trials indicating that fresh market baby ginger produced by regional growers can sell for four times the price of conventional ginger sold in stores.

But should every grower start planting ginger?

The market potential of ginger as a season extension and profit builder for Northern New York growers was evaluated as part of the Advancing Season Extension and Protected Culture Efficiency Project funded by the farmer-driven research program. The project also included enterprise budgeting for growing the high-value alternative high-tunnel crops of ginger, turmeric, summer lettuce and basil. » Continue Reading.