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Apple farmers feeling the chill of a cold spring as harvest season continues

Apple farmers feeling the effects of a cold spring
From being shot out of a cannon to being distilled down to a cider, Western New York apple farmers have found many ways to make use of their crops. But this year, as farmers go through harvest season, some say there’s been a catch. “I think, overall, the crop load, in general, has been a little bit lighter,” said Dale Wickham,... more

INSIDE THE FLX: Discussing rural challenges with leaders from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Small Business Administration (podcast)

INSIDE THE FLX: Discussing rural challenges with
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Small Business Administration are two federally funded agencies that work hard to improve quality of life in rural communities. What many people may not realize, though, is that these agencies are not nearly as one-dimensional as some may believe. Richard Mayfield, who serves as State Director for Regional Development with the USDA returned to... more

New York Assembly Agriculture Chair tours local farms

New York Assembly Agriculture Chair tours local farms
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, chair of the state Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, toured several Cayuga County farms on Friday, where she had the chance to learn about some of the industry’s latest advancements and challenges. Lupardo, D-Endwell, visited Spruce Haven Farm, a 2,000 cow dairy farm in the town of Fleming that doubles as a research center, to learn how farmers work... more

Growers say this was one of the best seasons for pumpkins in a long time

Growers say this was one of the best seasons for pumpkins in a long time
In the town of Onondaga, business is booming at The Pumpkin Hollow. “This is the best year for pumpkins we’ve seen in a long time,” said supervisor Gwendolyn Cox. Vegetable industry expert Steve Reiners from Cornell University said the quality of this year’s pumpkin crop is one of the best they’ve seen as well. “The 2019 growing season started cool... more

Wet spring delaying prime apple picking season in some isolated cases across Finger Lakes

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Fall means apple season in the Finger Lakes. However, there were some meteorological factors at play over the last 12-months that have had an impact on this year’s crop, according to the experts. Professor Susan Brown of Cornell University spoke with the Chronicle-Express about this year’s crop; and how weather last year had an impact. First, she explained that the... more

West Haven Farm transitioning to new family of farmers

West Haven Farm transitioning to new family of farmers
West Haven Farm, the longest-running Community Supported Agriculture program in Ithaca, is changing hands. Founders of West Haven John and Jen Bokaer-Smith are retiring this year, after 27 years. The new owners, Carlos Aguilera and Lorena Aguilera-Mendoza, are passionate about continuing the legacy of the farm, and creating a healthy lifestyle for their three young boys: Diego, 11, Benji, 3,... more

Cornell researchers look to turn apple waste into good tasting, nutrition packed products

Cornell researchers look to turn apple waste into good tasting, nutrition packed products
A Cornell University professor is leading research into ways to take apple waste and turn it into nutritional and tasty products. The process to produce apple juice, jams and cider ends up leaving roughly one-third of the fruit as waste. Processing apples into food products leaves behind pomace – the skin, seeds, core, stems and soft tissue of the fruit.... more

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls for investigation into produce, agriculture pricing

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand calls for investigation into produce, agriculture pricing
While the prices of fruits and vegetables have increased for both consumers at the grocery store and for wholesale buyers, the prices that farmers receive for these same products has not kept up with these increases. According to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the prices that farmers receive have even gone down in some cases. “Our New York farmers are facing... more

New local technology promises longer lasting milk

New local technology promises longer lasting milk
New York state is home to a revolutionary new technique that could improve the lives of the dairy farmers. A new pasteurization technique for milk was presented during the Rochester dairy conference this week. It’s called millisecond technology or MST. Researchers say it will more than double the shelf life of milk while maintaining taste and nutrients. That means it’ll... more

Potential chocolate milk ban in New York City schools draws opposition from farmers

Potential chocolate milk ban in New York City schools draws opposition from farmers
The state’s largest farm organization is warning New York City officials against a proposal to ban chocolate milk from school meals. The New York Farm Bureau wrote in a letter this month to New York City Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza that banning chocolate milk won’t produce healthier lunches and will have a substantial negative effect on the state’s dairy farmers.... more

Economic impact of changing agriculture across New York

Dairy producers continue to struggle across New York
New York State farms brought in $5.7 billion in revenue, according to a recently released report from the state comptroller’s office for 2017. Dairy is what leads the way for state farms.  A new report says there was $2.5 billion in milk sales in 2017. “Dairy is our largest individual sector in New York State. We’re very good at making... more

Mega-dairies shun state permitting requirements related to manure management plan disclosures

Mega-dairies shun state permitting requirements related to manure management plan disclosures
Not a single large dairy in New York State has applied for a newly rewritten state permit that includes court-ordered reforms, including public disclosure of farm manure management plans. An Albany judge ordered the rewrite last year after environmental groups sued the state for failing to follow federal Clean Water Act rules when regulating dairies that discharge pollutants. In a recent... more

Local researchers using drones and rovers to increase resiliency in agriculture

Local researchers using drones and rovers to increase resiliency in agriculture
Cornell University has been using Musgrave Research Farm to conduct studies for the past 80 years. Recently they’ve added something new: Digital technology. They are using new technology and working with the United States Department of Agriculture to create resiliency in the field. A massive drone and a rover aren’t just responsible for taking pictures. They’re collecting data, saving money... more

Rodman Lott & Son Farm cuts operating costs with solar

Rodman Lott & Son Farm cuts operating costs with solar
Residential and commercial development pressures are intensifying for farmers across the country. According to studies by the American Farmland Trust, each year, 1.5 million acres of the country’s farmland is parceled off and sold to developers. While New York’s Farmland Protection Program has preserved over 75,000 acres of the state’s countryside, many New York farmers are looking for ways to... more

Local farmers weigh in on Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act

Local farmers weigh in on Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act
The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act grants collective bargaining rights to laborers, provides a 60-hour work week, a day of rest, overtime pay, and allows for disability and paid family leave pay. Governor Andrew Cuomo says this will give, “100,000 farmers and their families better lives and protections.” “Well…it’s a sticky subject,” says Matt Kludt of Kludt Brothers Farm... more
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