New York Certified Organic Sets 2018 Winter Program Series: Crop Rotations, Quality Forage Harvest, Pastured Hogs, Farm Startup on Agenda

Dairy and crop growers from across New York State gather for the annual NY Certified Organic Winter Meeting series. Photo: NYCO

New York Certified Organic, NYCO, has announced its 2018 series of Winter Meetings with a January 9 session on crop rotations with a presentation on, February 13 focus on harvesting quality forage, and a March 13 spotlight on adding pastured hogs to a diversified dairy or crop business and general farm start-up opportunities.

The free-to-attend NYCO meetings begin at 10 AM in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North Street, in Geneva, NY, and provide organic crop growers and dairy farmers together with the opportunity to hear speakers and network. There is no need to register for meetings. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018: Crop Rotations

The Tuesday, January 9 Crop Rotations topic was requested by a number of farmers attending the 2017 NYCO meetings in 2017. The program will cover how farmers select the rotations that fit the financial needs, environmental concerns, and weed pressures of their farms. The program includes a representative from Kings AgriSeeds presenting on how they see farmers selecting rotations; a review by Fay Benson of an organic field crop growers survey by the NY Organic Dairy Program, and a farmer panel.

Also on January 9, Dr. Joshua Woodard, founder of, a live open data, open source data integration and automation platform, and farmer Luke Gianforte of Gianforte Farm, Cazenovia, NY, will offer a presentation on how to use an online tool for managing field and crop data.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018: Harvesting Quality Forage

Harvesting quality forage year after year is the topic of the February 13 NYCO meeting. The challenges of the drought of 2016 followed by the wet spring of 2017 have many farmers wondering how to develop resiliency in their forage system. Invited speakers include Tom Kilcer of Advanced Ag Systems, on his new work adding resiliency to rotations through double cropping and multi-use cover crops.

Also on February 13, Cornell Horticulture Professor Dr. Thomas Björkman will show research on planting dates and when to include clover in cover crops, and Dr. Heather Darby from the University of Vermont will share details on forage and small grain research she has recently conducted in northern Vermont.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018: Adding Pastured Hogs to Diversified Dairy or Crop Farm; Farm Start-Up Opportunities

The March 13 NYCO meeting will cover two topics. Rodale Institute Farm Manager Ross Duffield will provide an overview of current projects at Rodale and present a how-to talk on how Rodale incorporated hogs into its farming system and the multiple benefits of doing so. A panel of three organic dairy farmers will share how they have used social investment capital to help their farming business, and representatives from Dirt Capital Partners and Iroquois Valley Farms REIT will be on hand to outline the opportunities they offer farms.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for the NYCO meetings. There will be a brief description of how Crop Insurance can benefit organic farmers at each of the three NYCO 2018 Winter Meetings.

NYCO winter meetings have grown from a gathering of six organic grain producers in the Martens Farms farmhouse kitchen in 1994 to filling the auditorium at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. More than 300 farmers attended NYCO meetings in 2017. For more information, contact Fay Benson at 607-391-2669 or Information on previous NYCO meetings is posted at

Adapt-N Technology Acquired by Global Company

It was announced on November 6, 2017 that Yara International ASA completed the acquisition of Agronomic Technology Corporation (ATC) which operates Adapt-N, a Cornell-developed technology that helps farmers optimize N fertilizer use. Yara is a Norway-based leader in the fertilizer industry and the largest global manufacturer of synthetic nitrogen with a retail presence in 160 countries. The acquisition of ATC is in line with Yara’s strategy to accelerate its investments in digital farming and sustainability.

History of Adapt-N at Cornell University

Adapt-N is Cloud-based technology platform that provides field-specific nitrogen recommendations for corn by simulating the nitrogen cycle utilizing soil, weather, crop, and field management data. It was developed at Cornell University and first launched in 2008.  Lead inventor Harold van Es and colleagues Jeff Melkonian and Art DeGaetano worked with teams of  researchers, farmer collaborators, extension staff, crop consultants and graduate students to test the tool in over 200 on-farm trials in several states with the support of federal, state, and foundation funding. With this, the economic and environmental benefits of Adapt-N were documented, showing that it can improve profits while reducing environmental losses.

In 2013 Cornell University licensed the Adapt-N technology to ATC, a New York and California based startup company, which greatly expanded its reach through significant software improvements and professional marketing. In the past years Adapt-N operated as a “public-private partnership” where Cornell advanced the research agenda and ATC focused on the commercial aspects and making it broadly available.  The tool is being expanded to other crops and geographies, which will now be significantly accelerated with Yara’s global footprint and knowledge. Yara has a strong commitment to sustainability ( and plans to continue collaboration with Cornell University.  This will further advance digital agriculture along with opportunities to scale the tool globally, innovate across a wider product portfolio and crop base, and maintain focus on the success and sustainability of farmers and those who support them.  To learn more about the acquisition, please visit