New York Farm Show to Host Precision Ag Decision-Making Program

Precision ag program on Feb. 25, by the NYFVI steering committee, tackles using the technology for profitable decision-making.

Really want to harness precision ag technology for profit? Then don’t miss the “Precision Ag: Decision-making for a profitable future” program.  That’s the theme driving a fast-moving afternoon seminar on Thursday, Feb. 25, at the 2016 New York Farm Show. The program, developed by New York Farm Viability Institute’s precision ag steering committee, will be a strong mix of keen farmer experience and ag industry expertise, says NYFVI Executive Director Dave Grusenmeyer.

Here’s a quick summary of the program that begins with registration and refreshments at 2:30 p.m. in the Bistro Room at the State Fairgrounds’ Arts and Home Center. Certified crop advisers are eligible for 2.5 continuing education units.

2:50 p.m.: Welcome and introductions

3:00 p.m.: Precision Ag basics, opportunities and industry trends:

Cornell University’s Harold Van Es will cover concepts supporting precision management of crop inputs in field crop and horticultural systems, plus enabling technologies. He’ll home in on greatest opportunity areas and new technologies enhancing precision

3:20 p.m.: Hardware and software capabilities, and options:

* Evaluating the data collected over the growing season (planting, soil testing, yield, application, Feed Quality from JD Harvest Lab) and interpreting big data in desktop software setting to provide real information from which the grower can either streamline record keeping for FSA/Crop Insurance and/or understand what practices are making a profit on their farm. Winter planning allows optimization of the crop season to best fit your agronomic and profit practices.
* Harvest tech tools to document production is the topic for Erick Haas, integrated solutions specialist for Cazenovia Equipment Company. He’ll demonstrate the value of yield maps/data and it be used to improve farm operation efficiency.

4:00 p.m.: Cost and benefits of entry-point tech:

That’s the topic tackled by Hass and John Hanchar, from Cornell’s Northwest dairy and field crops team. Haas will give an overview of auto-steer technology and important points to consider. John Hanchar will review auto-steer’s expected financial impacts via partial budgeting and capital investment analysis.

4:20 p.m.: Optimizing variable-rate seeding tech:

Savanna Crossman, precision ag research coordinator for the N.Y. Corn and Soybean Growers Association will present a variable-rate seeding model to be farm-tested this year. It’s customized to vary prescription seeding rate by hybrid, soil type, topography, plus soil sample data.

4:40 p.m.: Precision ag survey summary:

Josh Woodard, The Dyson School at Cornell, will share results of a farmer survey on promising technologies, barriers to adoption, cost, labor concerns, plus educational and infrastructure needs.

4:50 p.m.: Grower panel:

Bruce Wright, SUNY Cobleskill, will moderate a panel discussion of precision tech experience with three products by three producers: Ag Leader by Travis Torrey of Torrey Farms; John Deere by Dan Shirley of North Harbor Dairy; and Trimble by
Joe Brightly, Brightly Farms.

The session closes with summary comments and door prize drawings.
Program sponsors include: Farm Credit East, New York Farm Viability, New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association, Cornell University, SUNY Cobleskill, Morrisville State College, Ag Leader, Trimble, Agrinetix, Cazenovia Equipment, Z & M Equipment, Soil Max, Clinton Tractor, Whites Farm Supply, and Empire Tractor of Cazenovia.

NY Certified Organic Feb. 9 Meeting: Four Soil Health Presentations: Geneva Site Hosting Speakers; Four CCE Offices to Broadcast Locally

Geneva, NY.  New York Organic Certified has announced three presentations and a farmer panel on managing soil health with crop rotations and forage production to be offered February 9 with speakers on site at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva, NY.  Cornell Cooperative Extension offices will broadcast the program via web connection in Canton, Morrisville, Warsaw and Westport.

The February 9 meeting is the second of three New York Certified Organic winter meetings.  Rick Pederson of Pederson Farms, Seneca Castle, NY, will present on Putting Soil Health Knowledge into Practice. Pederson manages 600 certified organic acres and an additional 900 acres under conventional production. He grows a diversified crop mix for wholesaling to buyers throughout the Northeast. He will talk about the crop rotations he has developed to provide income and at the same time build resilience in his soil.

Tom Kilcer of Advanced Ag Systems, Kinderhook, NY, will present his research on Alternative Forage Rotations to Protect the Soil on Marginal Land. Kilcer will share his data on double cropping with winter grains and summer annuals to keep the soil covered and allow fieldwork to be done when soils are more likely dry. He will also cover solutions to storing nitrogen for such a system in organic production.

In the Reducing Pasture Compaction with Daikon Radish session, NY Organic Dairy Initiative Project Manager and Cornell University South Central NY Regional Team Small Dairy Support Educator Fay Benson will share the results of planting brassicas in compacted areas of pastures after a very wet grazing season.

A farmer panel on How to Decide Whether to Sell Forages to Dairy Farmers or Plow Them In for Green Manure includes Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms, a 600-acre certified organic enterprise growing diversified grains in Newfield, NY. Oechsner is also a partner in Farmer Ground, a small cooperatively owned grain milling business in Trumansburg, NY.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team, and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for these meetings. There will be a brief description of how crop insurance can benefit organic farmers at the February 9 and March 8 NYCO meetings.

The NYCO meetings begin at 10 AM in Jordan Hall at 630 West North Street at the New York State Agricultural Experimental Station in Geneva, NY. There is no cost or need to register to attend the program in Geneva that features presentations by and discussions with farmers from across New York State, crop and dairy consultants, Cornell University researchers, and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch.

Those interested in attending the February 9 NYCO program via website at an Extension office should contact that office directly as follows:

.  Canton: CCE of St. Lawrence County, 2043B State Highway 68, Kitty O’Neil, 315.379.9192 x253,

. Morrisville: CCE of Madison County, 100 Eaton Street, Katherine Brosnan, 315.684.3001,

. Warsaw: CCE of Wyoming County, 401 North Main Street, Zach Amey, 585.786.2251 x123, and

. Westport: CCE of Essex County, 3 Sisco Street, Anita Deming, 518.982.4180 x409.

For more information on New York Certified Organic, contact Fay Benson at 607.745.3807,