St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau favors proposal to add $500,000 in funding for agriculture development program
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - 9:45 am

St. Lawrence County Farm Bureau representatives say they are pleased with a state budget proposal that includes $500,000 for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

The program conducts innovative research, best management practices outreach, and technical assistance projects in the state’s six northernmost counties including St. Lawrence County.

“The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, the steering committee of North Country farmers from across the region, and the farm businesses we serve are pleased to see the Senate budget that recognizes how critical agriculture is to the Northern New York economy and to the state economy,” said NNYADP Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy farmer in St. Lawrence County.

The NNYADP received $500,000 in the last approved Senate and state budgets.

New York State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie recently announced the $5.2 billon Grown in New York plan designed to strengthen the state’s agricultural industry by expanding markets for New York-grown products.

“Agriculture is New York’s leading industry. Over the past two years, we have worked to restore budget cuts to vital marketing, research and educational program. including the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, that farmers depend on to strengthen their farm business bottom lines,” Ritchie said.

Nearly three dozen farmers select NNYADP projects for attention largely by researchers associated with Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension and W. H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute. The critical on-farm projects focus on practical real-world results to ensure long-term economic and environmental viability of the NNY agricultural industry. Current projects are focused on:

• boosting the dairy industry feed supply

• enhancing agricultural environmental stewardship with tile drainage,

• cold climate calf feeding and housing

• coping with diseases and pests such as brown root rot and alfalfa snout beetle in field crops and leaf mold and leek moth in vegetable crops,

• improving irrigation in NNY apple orchards, and developing amelanchier as a new berry crop for NNY

• increasing maple sap yields

• developing bioenergy crops, and

• controlling parasites in NNY sheep flocks and goat herds.

Two NNYADP-funded projects have recently been named award winners. The Entomological Society of America will present Dr. Elson Shields with the Entomological Foundation Award for Excellence in IPM for the development of a farmer-friendly biocontrol solution for the highly destructive alfalfa snout beetle (the treatment protocol is also being tested for use in apple orchards and grape vineyards in New York state).

The Adapt-N software built on 18 years of field research on Northern New York farms is designed to help farmers more precisely target nitrogen applications to crops for improved crop quality and yield and enhanced environmental stewardship.

AgProfessional magazine named Adapt-N Best New Product of the Year in 2012.

The Northern New York agricultural industry contributes nearly $600 million in farm product market value to the local economy and has a local payroll of approximately $53 million.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program farmer-leaders acknowledge the support senators Ritchie, Betty Little and Senator Joe Griffo.

More information on the NNYADP is online at www.nnyagdev.org