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Farmers waiting for it to dry out in the region

It’s a slow start for farmers this season. Many are waiting for their farm fields to get dry enough to start planting crops like tomatoes, beans and sweet corn. “Last year we were begging for rain, and now we want it to get shut off,” said Dave Borrelli of Borrelli Farms. “We could use some drier weather.”   Borelli says... more

Ontario County ag leaders recognized

Outstanding agriculture leaders recently were honored at the Ontario County Agriculture Appreciation Banquet at Club 86. The banquet celebrating agriculture in Ontario County during National Agriculture Week attracted 160 agriculture producers, educators, county officials, county supervisors, state Sen. Pam Helming and representatives of state legislators. During the evening, themed “Down Memory Lane,” the Jerome, Zimmerman, Kunes, and Lightfoote families shared... more

Depot property assessed at $8.2M

The long-awaited tentative assessment on the nearly 7,000 acres at the former Seneca Army Depot that Earl Martin wants to buy is in. The number is $8,212,600, according to Ann Morgan, assessor for the towns of Romulus, Varick, Ovid, Lodi and Covert. Morgan divided the land into three parcels and assessed each one separately. The total acreage of the three... more

Solar farm moratorium proposed

The Town Board voted last week to introduce a local law imposing an indefinite moratorium on the installation of large, commercial solar farms in the town. A public hearing on the proposed local law will be conducted at the board’s May 16 meeting. Town Supervisor Drew Wickham said the moratorium affects new solar arrays built for commercial, electricity-generating purposes. It... more

FARM ACCIDENT: 2-year-old airlifted to Strong Memorial Hospital after Penn Yan incident

A farm accident on Welker Rd. left a Penn Yan boy hospitalized at Strong Memorial Hospital, according to deputies. Deputies in Yates County say the incident happened around 9 am, when the 2-year-old and his brother were in a barn with their father. The younger child then climbed onto an operating feed conveyor and became pinched by the large machine.... more

Catalpa Farm in Canandaigua preserved

Gary Pritchard can breathe a sigh of relief. The Canandaigua resident has been farming for 50 years and he knows the multi-generation Catalpa Farm in the north section of town, alongside Route 332 near Trenchman’s Hill, will be conserved forever, thanks to a conservation easement through the Finger Lakes Land Trust. “Our livelihood is farming,” Pritchard said. “We’re under a... more

Cornell Cooperative Extension offices across NY struggle with stagnant state funding

Despite inflation and the rise in the cost of living, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wayne County and across the state have operated under the same budget since the 1970s. The Wayne County Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last month calling for the state to increase funding to the 56 Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations across New York state by a... more

Who will pick the grapes?

Art Hunt, co-owner, and co-founder of Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport, recently sent a letter to Congressman Tom Reed. It was signed by over 50 winery owners, vineyard owners, and individuals connected to the Finger Lakes wine industry. Their concern is that, without legally-employed immigrant workers, our local wineries and vineyards – and agriculture in general – could suffer a... more

Immigration order: Farm workers on the line

Border patrol agents last month detained a Geneseo mother and her brother for hours. Five farm workers were sent to a federal detention center after they were arrested on their way to trim apple trees. A Livingston County dairy worker with a Social Security number and a permit to work in the U.S. checked in by request at the Federal... more

Seneca Co. IDA gives lease deal the ‘OK’ for Seneca Army Depot

It’s a done deal. The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency approved a lease and tax abatement for Earl Martin related to the roughly 7,200 acres he is buying at the former Seneca Army Depot. IDA board members Tom Macinski, Steve Brusso, Robert Kernan, Valerie Bassett, Erica Paolicelli, Steve Wadhams and Don Trout voted yes on the final resolution and two... more

Sen. Helming sees first sponsored bill pass; will go on to Assembly

The New York State Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Pam Helming (R,C,I – 54th District) as part of a comprehensive package of bills that would strengthen and preserve agriculture as the state’s leading industry. This bill is the first piece of legislation sponsored by Sen. Helming to pass the Senate. Senate bill 4535 encourages farmers – particularly those located... more

Finger Lakes farms need migrant workers

In answer to allegations that “illegal” immigrants are draining our welfare system, we want to point out that they cannot and do not apply for our social services. You must be a U.S. citizen or at least a permanent legal resident in order to qualify. Mexicans, specifically, do not understand the concept of having the government support them. They come... more

Wayne County egg farm going cage-free

A Wayne County egg farm will be converted into a cage-free operation as part of a $64 million expansion at two egg-producing sites, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday. Newstead Ranch Inc. of Clarence, Erie County, is expanding operations at its egg farms in Wayne and Genesee counties, and it’s expected to create up to 55 jobs over the next five... more

Farms see tax relief, amidst concerns

Lawmakers heard from members of 90 county Farm Bureaus and like-minded organizations this week in Albany for the annual Taste of New York Reception and Lobby Day. The record turnout was not unexpected, given what’s at stake this year. A drop in farm income — to the tune of $1 billion in 2015 — signals a trend along with rising... more

Nyrop returns to roots: Interim leader of Experiment Station began his career in Geneva

Jan Nyrop looks around his new digs on the campus of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and admits it doesn’t have the look of a modern office, beyond the laptop and monitor on his desk. The meeting room table is a solid piece of furniture that has been refinished. Same for the solid chairs that wrap around it.... more

Local laws and litigation: Recent history of landfilling debate in Seneca Falls

The polarizing nature of the Seneca Meadows Landfill in Seneca Falls has folks from every walk of life weighing in. While the community remains largely split on the issues at play — this year is shaping up to be as important — if not more important than 2016. On March 14th a Public Hearing is scheduled to take place at... more

Canandaigua man charged after his livestock repeatedly wandered onto highway

A 74-year-old Canandaigua man was charged with second-degree criminal nuisance after an investigation by the Sheriff’s Office and Ontario County Humane Society. Deputies say 14 calls were placed in the last month to the 911 Center regarding Donald F. Nolan’s livestock, which were not fenced in properly — and had been walking onto the highway. Nolan was charged due to... more
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