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Cayuga County CAFO farmers say unity, not blame, needed to protect water

Cayuga County CAFO farmers say unity, not blame, needed to protect water
Jon and Julie Patterson are the sixth generation of their family to work the land at Patterson Farms, an approximately 1,400 cow dairy farm that straddles the border between the towns of Aurelius and Springport. With such a strong family history, the husband-and-wife duo said it’s one of their most important goals to leave behind a healthy farm for their... more

Melrose Farm owner has ‘no intentions’ of letting workers continue to live in condemned housing

Melrose Farm owner has ‘no intentions’ of letting workers continue to live in condemned housing
The owner of Melrose Farm was back in Owasco Town Court Monday night with a decision on what he plans to do with a structure he was using to illegally house workers on his farm. Joe Tidd told Justice Mark DiVietro that since his last court appearance on Sept. 24, he has “totally gutted” the workers’ housing building. During his last court appearance,... more

Bright spot for Ontario County farmers

Bright spot for Ontario County farmers
On this damp Tuesday morning, Ontario Produce Auction came to life with farmers from across the county bearing bounties. Shiny orange pumpkins, squashes of all stripes, grapes aglow in purples and greens and peppers so vibrant they could take your breath away arrived in pickups, buggies and flatbed trucks. Mums galore, bursting in autumn fullness, were ready to be sold... more

Owasco judge tells Melrose Farm owner to fix condemned workers’ housing or tear it down

Owasco judge tells Melrose Farm owner to fix condemned workers’ housing or tear it down
The owner of Melrose Farm in Owasco was given 14 days to decide what he wants to do with a condemned building previously used to house farm workers on his property. Monday night in Owasco Town Court, Justice Mark DiVietro gave Joe Tidd two weeks to decide to fix the building to bring it up to code or tear it... more

New DEC rules for livestock farms won’t affect Cayuga County

New DEC rules for livestock farms won’t affect Cayuga County
New permits governing large livestock farms in New York being developed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation in response to a lawsuit over federal clean water rules will not affect Cayuga County. The DEC recently unveiled a draft version of new permits for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, or CAFOs, developed in response to a ruling from the state Supreme Court that foundexisting... more

Town cites Owasco farm for illegally housing workers

Town cites Owasco farm for illegally housing workers
The owner of an Owasco farm currently under investigation by several local and state government agencies was summoned to court later this month for illegally housing workers on his farm for months. On Thursday night, town of Owasco code enforcement officer J. Patrick Doyle visited Melrose Farm to inspect a building that the farm’s owner had been using to house... more

Seaweed & dairy farms could be a match made in heaven in the Finger Lakes

Seaweed & dairy farms seem like a match-made in heaven in the Finger Lakes
University of California researchers are studying whether feeding seaweed to dairy cows will reduce their emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas released by livestock. Early results look promising, and more studies are planned. If the results continue to be promising, it would seem there would be ample opportunity for economic development around the new technology right here in the... more

New York Assembly to hold hearings on legalizing marijuana

New York Assembly to hold hearings on legalizing marijuana
The state Assembly will seek public input on legalizing marijuana in New York at four hearings this fall. The hearings are being planned by Assembly members Joseph Lentol, Richard Gottfried, Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Linda Rosenthal. Peoples-Stokes has sponsored a bill to regulate and tax the adult use of marijuana in New York. Vermont and Massachusetts recently legalized recreational marijuana and... more

Toddler killed in Milo farming accident after being run over by loader

Deputies are investigating a farm accident that happened in Milo, which left a one-year-old child dead on Tuesday. Those deputies and first responders were called to Hoyt Road in Milo for the report of a one-year-old run over by a piece of farm equipment around 10:40 am. Investigators say a 32-year-old man, who was not identified, was driving a skid... more

‘A great way to scout your fields’: Scans done by drones can help farmers identify problems

It’s hard to say if any of the farmers who saw drone demonstrations Wednesday at Empire Farm Days will ever buy one. However, judging by the reactions of those who stopped by the CNY Drone Works area, they were fascinated with the technology. “I had some crop damage from wind once in the middle of a field and never knew... more

Empire Farm Days underway in Seneca Falls

In 1931, Empire State Potato Growers Association developed Empire Farm Days to bring farmers the newest equipment, info & techniques. On Tuesday, the event kicks off for the 85th year at the Rodman Lott Farm in Seneca Falls where Empire Farm Days has been hosted since 1988, with 300 acres of exhibits, demos and activities. Official Event Program (.pdf) Empire... more

Tariffs hit home in Finger Lakes

Farmers are battling financial losses. Home builders and home buyers — all are feeling the effect of tariffs. Millions of dollars are planned for school capital projects, but costs may be rising. This summer, with prime time for big projects at schools across the Rochester and Finger Lakes area taking place, a price jump in aluminum and steel is forcing... more

Sen. Helming aims to ‘level’ playing field for hops farmers

Senator Pam Helming today announced that the New York State Senate passed a bill that she sponsors to include hop yards in the definition of agricultural land. The legislation (S.8841) would give hops farmers the same opportunities as orchard and vineyard owners to apply for agricultural tax exemptions. This measure will support the continued growth of New York’s hops industry... more

Legislation aims to move farm vehicles faster

Senator Pam Helming announced that the New York State Senate passed a bill that she sponsored to increase the speed at which a slow moving vehicle may travel on roadways. This legislation (S.6746) would require a slow moving vehicle emblem to be displayed on all farm machinery, whether self-propelled or towed, but would allow farmers to drive their vehicles at... more

Poop to power is turning waste to want in FLX

Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Dairy Barn — home to 200 cows — has installed a state-of-the-art system that separates manure from sand bedding material, providing clean bedding for the cows and creating muck perfect for making electricity and heat. Dairies also use sawdust, wood chips or straw as bedding material, but sand reduces potential bacterial growth while... more

Cayuga County dairy serves as model for manure management

There are more than 1,200 cows on Tim and Ronda Fessenden’s dairy farm. As one might imagine, those cows produce quite a lot of manure. But what happens to it all? To answer the question, the Fessendens hosted a a tour of their King Ferry farm to demonstrate the manure cycle. The Fessenden’s hosted the tour with the help of... more
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