NYS DEC Clarifies Dicamba Court Decision

On June 3, 2020, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the EPA’s registration of three products containing the active ingredient dicamba which effectively cancelled their federal registrations.
The three products are:
    • Xtendimax with Vaporgrip Technology, EPA Reg. No. 524-617;
    • Engenia, EPA Reg. No. 7969-345; and
    • FeXapan, EPA Reg. No. 352-913.
On June 8, 2020, in response to the Court’s decision, the EPA issued a Cancellation Order (https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2020-06/documents/final_cancellation_order_for_three_dicamba_products.pdf) for these three products.
In light of the Court’s decision associated with these registrations and the provisions of  the EPA’s Cancellation Order to implement that decision, NYS DEC is taking the following actions:
Registrations. The registrations of the three products will be cancelled as of July 31, 2020 in accordance with the provisions of ECL Section 33-0713. Thirty days notice will be provided to the registrants of these products.
Distribution or Sale. Distribution or sale of existing stocks of the three products shall be limited as follows:
    • Distribution or sale by registrants is prohibited immediately, except for distribution for the purposes of proper disposal.
    • Distribution or sale of products that are already in the possession of someone other than the registrant is permitted only for disposal or to facilitate return to the registrant or a registered establishment.
    • Distribution or sale by commercial applicators is permitted to facilitate use no later than July 31, 2020.
Use. All use, including storage of open containers, is prohibited after July 31, 2020.
Questions about dicamba may be directed to pesticidecompliance@dec.ny.gov or ppr@dec.ny.gov or by calling 518-402-8727.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-7254
P: 518-402-8748 | F: 518-402-9024| www.dec.ny.gov |
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Erik Smith to join Central NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team

headshot of manErik Smith has been appointed to the position of Field Crop Specialist for the Central NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team, effective August 1. Erik comes to us with more than 15 years of experience conducting agricultural research and educational outreach as a graduate student, postdoc, and extension professional. He is a Finger Lakes native with family in grain and forage crop farming. He has a deep connection to New York’s agricultural community and is looking forward to the opportunity to combine his skills and passion into serving farmers in the Central NY region.

Erik earned his B.A. from SUNY Oswego in Biology and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University in Entomology working with Dr. Brian Nault and Dr. Elson Shields. He conducted post-doctoral research with Dr. Shields on the use of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPN) as biological control agents for soil-borne insect pests of field crops (alfalfa, field corn) and fruit. He then served as an IPM specialist for the Agri-Food Veterinary Authority of Singapore and a Research Scientist at the National Institute of Singapore.

Please join in welcoming Erik to his new role in Extension as Field Crop Specialist for the Central NY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Team! His email is eas56@cornell.edu.

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Mike Hunter, Regional Field Crop Specialist, North Country Regional Ag Team

I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you timely information regarding the sale of restricted use pesticides to applicators that failed to obtain sufficient continuing education credits necessary for recertification of their NYS pesticide applicator license.

On April 7, 2020 the NYS DEC issued an Enforcement Discretion for Extension of Pesticide Applicator Recertification and Business and Agency Registration during the COVID -19 Emergency notice (found here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/298.html).

Here are the highlights of this action and how it applies to pesticide applicators with expired licenses:

    • Any applicator, both private and commercial, whose certification lapsed on or after November 1, 2019 is allowed to possess, purchase and apply restricted use pesticides until 60 days from the expiration of Executive Order 202 (issued March 7, 2020 and found here: https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-202-declaring-disaster-emergency-state-new-york)
    • As of now, the Executive Order 202 expires September 7, 2020. The enforcement discretion will expire 60 days from that date or any extensions issued to it.
    • The pesticide applicator must follow these steps during the period of time outlined:
      • Make sure that their applicator card expiration date is after November 1, 2019
      • Keep the expired applicator card in their possession
      • Have a printed copy of the Enforcement Discretion Letter in their possession
      • Present both the expired license and a copy of the Enforcement Discretion letter to the pesticide dealer when purchasing restricted use pesticides.

It is strongly recommended that the pesticide business that sells restricted use pesticides to a person with an expired applicator license retains a copy of both the expired license and the enforcement discretion letter on file.  This will provide added insurance in case there is any question that may arise in the future.  Again, make certain the person’s license expired after November 1, 2019 prior to making the sale.  This special arrangement DOES NOT apply to applicators whose licenses expired before November 1, 2019.  If a person does not have a copy of the Enforcement Discretion Letter please print a copy for them to carry and one for you to keep on file.

If you have any additional questions regarding this matter please contact your local NYS DEC pesticide control specialist in your region of the state.  The NYS DEC statewide directory can be accessed here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/about/558.html

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2020 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management Now Available

2020 Field Crops Guide CoverThe Pesticide Management Education Program (PMEP) at Cornell University is pleased to announce the availability of the 2020 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management.

Written by Cornell University specialists, this publication is designed to offer producers, seed and chemical dealers, and crop consultants practical information on growing and managing field corn, forages, small grains, and soybeans. Topics covered include nutrient management, soil health, variety selection, and common field crop pest concerns. A preview of the Field Crops Guide can be seen online at https://cropandpestguides.cce.cornell.edu.

Highlighted changes in the 2020 Cornell Field Crops Guide include:

    • Revised pesticide options for economically important field crop pests.
    • Updated corn, forage, and small grain variety trial and research data.
    • Pesticides available for stored grain management.

Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy, online-only access, or a package combining print and online access. The print edition of the 2020 Field Crops Guide costs $31 plus shipping. Online-only access is $31. A combination of print and online access costs $43.50 plus shipping costs for the printed book.

Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office or from the Cornell Store at Cornell University. To order from the Cornell Store, call (844) 688-7620 or order online at https://www.cornellstore.com/books/cornell-cooperative-ext-pmep-guidelines.

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USDA Gathers Data about On-Farm Labor

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will conduct its biannual Agricultural Labor Survey during the second half of October. The survey will collect information about hired labor from more than 4,000 farmers and ranchers across the 11-State Northeastern Region.

USDA and the U.S. Department of Labor will use statistics gathered in the Agricultural Labor Survey to establish minimum wage rates for agricultural workers, administer farm labor recruitment and placement service programs, and assist legislators in determining labor policies.

In the survey, NASS asks participants to answer a variety of questions about hired farm labor on their operations, including total number of hired farm workers, hours worked, and wages paid for the weeks of July 7-13 and October 6-12. For their convenience, survey participants have the option to respond online.

“By asking about two separate reference periods each time we collect data during the year, we are able to publish quarterly data and capture seasonal variation,” said Whetstone. “This approach reduces the number of times we ask farm operations to respond to surveys while ensuring that accurate and timely data are available for anyone conducting research or analyses.”

NASS will compile, analyze, and publish survey results in the November 21 Farm Labor report. All previous Farm Labor publications are available online at: www.nass.usda.gov/Publications .

For more information on NASS surveys and reports, call the NASS Northeastern Regional Field Office at 1-800-498-1518.

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USDA to Measure Small Grain Production

During the week of August 26th, growers of small grains around the country will receive survey forms from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The agency is taking a comprehensive look into the 2019 production and supply of small grains, which include wheat, oats, barley, and rye.

“The small grains industry is an important part of Northeastern agriculture and it is crucial for all involved with the agriculture sector to have accurate data about this key sector of the economy,” explained King Whetstone, director of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. “We will contact more than 4,000 producers in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania to accurately measure 2019 acreage, yield, and production for small grain crops. The data collected from this survey will also help set small grain acreage, yield, and production estimates at the county level, to be published in December 2019.”

NASS will contact survey participants to gather information on their 2019 production and the quantities of whole grains and oilseeds stored on farm. As an alternative to mailing the survey back, and to help save both time and money, growers will have the option to securely respond to the survey online. Farmers who have not responded by August 30, 2019 may receive a phone call or visit from a NASS representative who will help them fill out the survey form.

“NASS safeguards the privacy of all respondents and publishes only county, State and National level data, ensuring that no individual operation or producer can be identified,” stated Whetstone. “We recognize that this is a hectic time for farmers and ranchers, but the information they provide helps U.S. agriculture remain viable and capable. I urge them to respond to these surveys and thank them for their time and cooperation,” said King Whetstone.

NASS will analyze the survey information and publish the results in a series of USDA reports, including the annual Small Grains Summary and quarterly Grain Stocks reports, both to be released September 30, 2019. Survey data also contribute to NASS’s monthly and annual Crop Production reports, and the USDA’s World Agricultural Outlook Board’s monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE).

All NASS reports are available online at https://www.nass.usda.gov/Publications/. For more information call the NASS Northeastern Regional Office at (800) 498-1518.

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USDA-NASS: Farm Computer Usage and Ownership Highlights

General computer usage and internet access categories increased from 2017 to 2019 in the United States. Nationally, 75 percent of farms reported having access to the internet, while 83 percent of farms in New York reported having access to the internet. Farms that used a desktop or laptop computer to conduct farm business was down 4 percent from 2017 in New York. While nearly 60 percent of the farms in New York used a smart phone or tablet to conduct farm business, equal to that in 2017. Notably, the percentage of farms with internet access in 2019 was 81, down from 83 in 2017.

In 2019, 21 percent of N.Y. farms used satellite, significantly up from 8 percent in 2017, and 25 percent of farms used a Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) to access the internet. Since 2017, Satellite and DSL continue to be the most popular choices that United States farms use to access the internet. While mobile access has also seen an increase since 2017, up 3 percent.

For the complete “Farm Computer Usage and Ownership” report, go to:

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Incentive Program Survey – make your voice heard!

Cover crop, Diakon radish field and blue sky

Cornell University, with support from Sustainable, Agriculture, Research, and Education (SARE), is conducting a survey for all fruit, vegetable, field crop, grain, and mixed crop-livestock producers in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Vermont to identify the biggest challenges that farmers face, as well as the best solutions in regards to cover crop incentive programs. You do not need to have experience with cover crops to participate.

Our goal is to understand what the most important factors are for farm owners and managers when deciding whether or not to use incentive programs. Notably, the survey also provides an opportunity to share your experience managing issues related to cover crops and incentive program requirements.

Key findings from the survey will be published and communicated to grower organizations and other farmer advocates so that recommendations, actions, and outcomes reflect what you identify as being most helpful for your operation. Whether your farm is small or large, organic or conventional – your responses to this survey can be a powerful tool for change.

Please click the below link fill out the survey:

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New York Farm Viability Announces 2019 Dairy and Field Crops Projects

NY Farm Viability Institute HeaderThe New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) is a small nonprofit grant making organization funded by a NYS legislative appropriation.  It runs a competitive grant program seeking proposals that will improve the economic viability of NY’s farmers. The NYFVI Board of Directors recently announced the 15 projects selected for funding in its competitive Farm Viability grant program. A total of $1.58 million was awarded. The projects reflect a diverse mix of strategic approaches for improving the economic viability of New York farmers.

All proposals are reviewed by commodity specific farmer review panels as well as the board. 14 of the 46 proposals submitted in the 2019 FVI grant round were specific to dairy and/or field crops. Six projects were funded for a total of $667,605.

Following are profiles of each of dairy and field crops projects that were selected for funding.

Faster Cheaper and Safer: Re-engineering Best Management Safety Practices on NY Dairies
Between 2007 and 2014, 36 workers died on NY dairy farms. Although, on-farm safety training has been provided for decades by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) , injury statistics demonstrate that additional solutions for encouraging workers to adopt safety best practices are needed. This project seeks to apply advancements in human behavioral research to the field of dairy safety. Led by Julie Sorenson with NYCAMH/Basset Healthcare Network, the project will integrate international expertise in “behavioral nudging”. Anticipated outcomes include the development of safety solutions that increase worker adoption, reduce risks, reduce time and effort required to complete identified work-tasks and increase farm profitability either through improved work efficiencies or the elimination of waste. Farmers will be involved in many phases of the project, from identifying priority work-tasks to evaluating solutions. Results can be implemented on most NY dairy farms and will be shared through multiple, existing partner networks and NYCAMH promotional activities.

Onboarding Dairy Farm Employees: Safe, Productive and Engaged from Day One!
Recent research with large dairy farms indicates annual employee turnover rates ranging from 20% to 80%. Assuming a 500 cow farm with 10 employees, a 50% turnover rate mean 5 new employees each year. Getting them started right can make or break the business. The goal of this work is to help farm managers learn how to “onboard” their farm employees to help them be safe, productive, and engaged from day one of employment. A closely related goal is for farm employers to become more professional in their human resource practices and fully compliant with existing state and federal employment regulations. This project, led by Richard Stup of Cornell University and executed through regional extension educators will work with 50 NY dairy farms to develop their onboarding process. A wide array of templates and training materials will be created and made available to ensure the knowledge can be utilized by all dairy farms.

Measure to Manage: Why Does the Colostrum Vary?
Colostrum is the “liquid gold” produced by mammals before giving birth, and is known to be critical for a healthy start of the newborn. Prepartum risk factors influencing colostrum production of modern dairy cows are largely unstudied despite the fact that the volume and/or quality of colostrum may vary significantly among operations and individuals. Cornell researcher Sabine Mann, with the College of Veterinary Medicine and her colleagues want to understand what factors affect the quality and quantity of colostrum produced. The possible contribution of age of animal, nutrition, stocking density and season (photoperiod/temperature/heat stress) will all be evaluated. This information will help farms understand the practices that they can modify to ensure that all their calves receive high quality colostrum to aid in the prevention of preweaning diseases such as diarrhea and pneumonia. Research will take place on 21 New York dairy farms.

Forage Evaluation On-Farm Using Handheld NIR Units
The use of Near Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy (NIRS) analysis for forage quality was developed in the mid 1970s. It allows for fast, accurate and precise evaluation of the chemical composition and associated feeding value of forages and other feedstuffs. Since that time, the knowledge of animal nutrition has grown exponentially, and now dairy farms are increasingly practicing “precision feed management” an approach that evaluates the nutritional value of feed relative to its cost and the benefit of increased production. In the US, most farms that are using this approach are sending forage samples to labs for testing on a regular basis. The development of new handheld NIRS devices offers potential for on-farm testing and immediate results. Jerry Cherney with Cornell University wants to help farmers know how well these tools work. This project will evaluate four commercially available devices for accuracy, precision and practicality of use on the farm. At its conclusion NY dairy farmers will understand the potential value of using these tools on their farm.

Regaining Control of Herbicide-Resistant Weeds in Corn and Soybean.
New York corn and soybean growers are fighting to keep horseweed (marestail) and waterhemp out of their fields. Both plants have developed resistance to certain herbicides and improved management approaches are needed to keep corn and soybean fields productive. Bryan Brown, with the Integrated Pest Management Program at Cornell AgriTech will be trialing a number of options at five farms across the state to help growers understand which combination of cultural, mechanical and chemical processes may prove to be most effective. Cost effectiveness of the practices will also be evaluated. Results will be shared via the NYSIPM YouTube channel, podcasts other traditional outreach methods such as field days.

Growing the Potential of Red Clover: Optimum Stage of Harvest, Feed Value Compared to Alfalfa
Across New York there are soils that simply don’t drain well enough to grow alfalfa, particularly in a wet year. Farmers are looking for profitable alternatives. Recent Cornell varietal trials demonstrated that red clover can match alfalfa yield in short rotations and the University of Wisconsin found it potentially equals or exceeds alfalfa in feed value. In this project, Tom Kilcer, with Advanced Ag Systems, seeks to establish the value compared to alfalfa in NY; and the unknown optimum time frame for NY farmers to harvest based on the analysis of the nutritional profile at various stages. Trials will take place on three farms and the results will be shared broadly within the ag community. The livestock panel also reviewed this proposal.

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TIME SENSITIVE – NYSABA Launching Testimony Gathering Campaign to Combat Protectant Bans

The following is posted on behalf of our colleagues at the New York State Agribusiness Association

Dear Agrarians,
The Battle to Ban key agricultural protectants is heating up in Albany. I am told that Chlorpyrifos will see action as early as next Monday.
We need each of you take action now. We have been asked by the legislators to produce farmer testimony to oppose the protectant bans.
On the hotseat are:
*Neonics as a group
It appears Chlorpyrifos will be the test case, and thus needs immediate action.We need Chlorpyrifos letters before MONDAY MORNING!
The ask- We have been asked to provide letters of testimony from farmers who use the product
·        Product Name-
·        On which crop-
·        To combat-
·        What alternatives are and why not used-
·        Farmer name-
·        Farm detail-
·        Effect ban would have on farm-
Hit up your farm clients today. Gather the testimony and send it to me at nysaba@rochester.rr.com. I will coordinate getting the testimony to the right hands in Albany. *Remember to remind your farmers that these chemicals may be in their mixes also.
Jeanette Marvin
NYS Agribusiness Association
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