Schumer pushes for grape research funds

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-New York, is urging the Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service to provide a robust investment in new equipment for the Grape Genetics Research Unit in Geneva. Schumer said in a press statement that upgrades to the unit’s technology are necessary to ensure researchers have the state-of-the-art tools needed to respond to the... more

Got Stress? Falling milk prices push Helming to host seminar with FarmNet, Farm Bureau

Staying stress-free in the world of agriculture can be a challenge. Senator Pam Helming (R-54) announced that she has joined with New York FarmNet and New York Farm Bureau to host a free seminar on recognizing and managing stress for farmers, farm families, and agri-service providers. Many reports have highlighted the negative impact falling milk and commodity prices are having... more

‘Scary scene’ for New York dairy farmers

Cheaper milk on grocery store shelves is bad news for dairy farmers. It’s the fourth year of falling milk prices, and the crisis is hitting farm families hard. “There have been farms that have gone out of business,” said Elizabeth Wolters of the New York Farm Bureau. “Farms have had to take out additional lines of credit. Some farms have... more

Scipio Center farm, landowner settle lawsuit

A land dispute between the Elizabeth Lacey Trust and a Scipio Center farm has been settled after approximately five years of litigation. The trust, which owns land in the towns of Venice and Scipio, leased a parcel to Sharon VanNostrand and Vans Ridge Dairy, a concentrated animal feeding operation. The Lacey Trust decided to sell about 260 acres through a... more

Easy, breezy energy helps power Union Springs farm

A Union Springs farm will soon be harvesting more than just crops. DuMond Farms is the site of a new vertical wind turbine installed this week, which will harness energy from the slightest breeze to powerful hurricane-force gales, converting it into electricity. More typical turbines look like windmills, but this one has panels that harness the energy and spin like... more

Gillibrand seeks milk ‘price floor’ to help NY dairy farmers

As dairy farmers struggle with low milk prices, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing a solution that could provide some support for farms. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., unveiled legislation Tuesday that would establish $23.34 per hundredweight as the price floor for milk. It would be modeled after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Price Loss Coverage program for corn and soybean farmers. Under... more

Cayuga County farms awarded over $1.1M for manure storage

Three Cayuga County farms are getting some state aid to upgrade their manure storage, assistance greatly needed at a time when farms are dealing with new regulations and falling milk prices. Sennett farm Peters Dairy, Scipio farm Van Ridge Dairy and Valley Mound Farm in Scipio Center are all concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) benefiting from the latest round of... more

Dairy displeasure over time tweak

Sunday’s coming, and it’s going to hurt. Especially for area dairy farmers who may typically launch their work day at 3 or 4 a.m. They’ll have to dig deep to arrive an hour earlier when daylight saving time begins. The cows won’t be that happy about it either, according to John Mueller, manager of Willow Bend Farm in the town... more

Prime time for farming in Ontario County

In 2012, fewer than 150 farms in Ontario County logged a combined direct-to-consumer sales figure exceeding $1.54 million. Think farmers markets, roadside stands, Community Supported Agriculture and agritourism events. That sales figure, likely much higher now, shows how popular and profitable local agriculture is in Ontario County. Agriculture on all fronts is enjoying a recognition it didn’t have nearly 20... more

Kraut plant closure hits some farmers hard throughout region

The news that the GLK Foods plant in Shortsville will be closing about midway through September came as a shock to village, town of Manchester and Ontario County officials, none of whom said they saw it coming. In fact, Manchester Supervisor Jeff Gallahan said he only learned of the news from a farmer he was talking to, just days before... more

Wayne County tomato-growing project ripens

Wayne County grows more apples than almost any other place in the nation, yet it’s expected to be known for another product soon. Tomatoes. On Wednesday, the Wayne County Industrial Development Agency is holding a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. in Ontario Town Hall at 1850 Ridge Road. The hearing is related to an estimated $38 million plan to develop... more

Selling crops while staying local at Stanley site

Out in the countryside of Stanley, you’ll find Ontario Produce Auction. The company opened its barn doors in October 2017 with the intention of giving local farmers a place to sell their bounties. It’s open to the public at large, so people have the opportunity to buy produce and more. The company began in 2015 when several Mennonites and other... more

Owasco farm under investigation for worker living conditions

Nicole Catalfano said she wanted to cry. Four adults and five children have been living in squalor on a dairy farm in Owasco since December, and Catalfano helped them pack up their belongings Friday and leave. With temperatures dropping and a light sprinkle falling, young women and children carried out hampers and trash bags filled with food and clothes through... more

How do you like your organic in the Finger Lakes?

Can a tomato grown in a nutrient solution instead of dirt be called “organic?” Is organic farming about more than eschewing synthetic pesticides? Those questions are at the root of debate raging in the organic produce industry. The debate recently heated up when the National Organic Standards Board (a group that advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture) voted this fall... more

Helming: $5.5M available for farmland protection projects

Senator Pam Helming announced that $5.5 million is available through two state grant programs to fund farmland protection projects. Both the Farmland Protection Implementation Program and Land Trust Grants can help preserve viable farmland, protecting it from development and conversion to non-farm uses. The funding helps farmers identify available land and expedite the process of permanently protecting agricultural properties through... more

HELMING: Local farmers will be eligible for new $5,000 tax credit

New York State Senator Pam Helming recently announced that local farmers are eligible to receive up to a $5,000 tax credit for food donations made to food banks that serve needy families and seniors in our region. Eligible donations include fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat produced in New York State. Working with the New York Farm Bureau, Senator Helming... more

NY Farm Bureau declares victory in farmworker lawsuit

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that sought collective bargaining rights for farmworkers, satisfying a request from New York Farm Bureau. The lawsuit challenged a more than century-old law that exempts farm workers from the right to organize. Filed in May by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU), a not-for-profit focused on defending civil liberties and civil rights, the... more
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