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Agroforestry & Woodlot | Alternative Enterprises | Beekeeping | Controlled Environment | Field Crops & Forages | Vegetables | Fruit | Equipment | Grazing | Greenhouse & Ornamentals  | Integrated Pest Management  | Poultry | Urban Agriculture | Organic | Regulation & Laws

Agroforestry & Woodlot

Forest Mushroom Cultivation @ Cornell

The goal of this website is to encourage farmers and woodlot owners to cultivate forest mushrooms including shiitake, lions mane, and oyster. Here you will find fact sheets and videos describing in detail how to grow, manage, and market forest mushrooms, along with opportunities to connect with other growers through the Temperate Forest Mushroom Growers Network of North America.

Cornell Tool Helps Maple Tree Owners Evaluate Best Use

Mike Farrell, NYS Maple Specialist, has developed a Net Present Value calculator tool that allows landowners to evaluate the option to lease trees for syrup production vs. managing their trees for saw timber production.

Cornell Sugar Maple Research and Extension Program

Cornell University’s The Cornell Sugar Maple Program web site provides maple syrup production information for people of varied syrup knowledge, activities and information for students and teachers, extension research project information and publications, and additional resources.

Cornell Forestry Extension Homepage

Most small farms include a woodlot that has environmental, recreational, and economic benefits. The Cornell Forestry Extension Program has many valuable resources for small farm operators who want to capitalize on the benefits of these woodlots.

MacDaniels Nut Grove: Agroforestry Research and Application at Cornell University

MacDaniels Nut Grove is a forest farming and agroforestry research center located on the Cornell Plantations. The nut grove is host to student classes as well as public educational events. The online site provides information about forest farming and links to helpful resources.

New York Forest Owners Association

The New York Forest Owners Association promotes sustainable woodland practices and improved stewardship on privately owned woodlands. Members of the NYFOA volunteer their time and resources to promote stewardship of private forests, with the not-for-profit group consisting mainly of landowners.

USDA National Agroforestry Center

The web site for the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agroforestry Center. Features publications, events, and other resources related to agroforestry in the U.S.

Maple Sugaring Book

The Sugarmaker’s Companion, written by Michael Farrell, contains extensive information on how to develop an efficient, profitable, and enjoyable sugaring operation. Michael Farrell documents the untapped potential of American forests and shows how sugaring can turn a substantial profit for farmers while providing tremendous enjoyment and satisfaction. This book is available through Chelsea Green Publishing.

Best Management Practices for Log-Based Shiitake Cultivation

University of Vermont and Cornell have published a guide full of technical advice, step-by-step instructions, and helpful tips for growers who want to explore shiitake mushroom cultivation on their own land. Shiitake mushrooms are the second-most cultivated variety in the world, and the demand for locally produced, log-grown shiitakes is high among chefs and consumers. You can access the guide at

Tax Tips For Forest Landowners

Well-managed forests produce timber and other forest products, provide wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aquifer and watershed protection, and other amenities.  Non-industrial private woodlands comprise approximately 60% of the nation’s total forests. Providing tailored tax information is one way in which the Forest Service is working to increase forest productivity on non-industrial forest lands. For the latest tax information and tips regarding private woodlands, visit

Short-Rotation Woody Crops Program

Hosted by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the program’s goal is to provide a solid scientific base of information that will support the commercialization of willow biomass crops as a renewable cellulose feedstock for bioproducts and bioenergy in North America.

USDA Info Sheets on CRP and Windbreaks

The USDA National Agroforestry Center has released two new info sheets that are available online in PDF. Can Windbreaks Help with Organic Farming? examines how agroforestry buffers can be used to help organic farmers maintain the integrity of their products. The second two-page info sheet, Is Converting CRP to Silvopasture Right for You?, explains an option that landowners with expiring CRP land may want to consider.

Working Trees for Pollinators

The National Agroforestry Center has developed a number of publications that describe the role agroforestry can play in supporting pollinators. One publication, “Working Trees for Pollinators”, is a six-page color brochure that illustrates important pollinators for food production and how agroforestry practices can be adapted to meet the needs of both pollinators and producers. Find the PDF at

Cornell Institute for Climate Change & Agriculture: Cornell Maple

Cornell Institute for Climate Change & Agriculture has produced multiple videos on “Climate Smart Farming”. In this Cornell Maple video, Steve Childs, the NYS Maple Specialist at Cornell Maple located in Ithaca, NY discusses extreme weather, climate variability, and adaptations taken to overcome weather challenges. For more Climate Smart Farming resources and videos, visit

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Alternative Enterprises

Economics of Growing Alternative Crops

Thinking about trying a new enterprise? Before taking the plunge, you’ll want to check out the capital, labor and management requirements for the alternative agricultural production possibilities. A new series of crop and livestock enterprise budgets available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Beginning Farmers Center at Iowa State University gives farmers a quick overview of when alternative operations might work for them and how. Enterprise budgets for raspberries, dairy goats, Christmas trees, sweet corn, sorghum, popcorn, sheep and beekeeping are provided.

ATTRA — Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas

ATTRA is one of the best sources of information on non-traditional agricultural enterprises. It provides many publications, both online and in print, for those interested in alternative crop and livestock enterprises, including: horticulture, organic, livestock, dairy, and more.

Alternative Crops & Enterprises for Small Farm Diversification

The Alternative Crops & Enterprises List is a USDA resource to help farmers and farm advisors identify alternative crops, unusual livestock, and innovative farming enterprises. In addition, the USDA web site provides links to online documents, organizations, databases, and other sites that can help farmers assess and implement alternatives in their farming operations.

Diversify Crops to Boost Profits and Stewardship

A bulletin posted by SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Foundation) to help farmers identify alternative crops that command higher prices in the market.

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers

A new book, Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationist, is now available from NRAES. The handbook is a first-of-its-kind, in-depth, full-color guide to rearing and managing bumble bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, and other alternatives to honey bee pollinators. The 162 page book features 130+ color photos, 10 chapters, 7 appendices, nest construction details, parasite and disease management guidelines, and much more.

“A Growing Culture:” Sustainable Agriculture

“A Growing Culture” is a website that seeks to empower the sustainable agriculture movement by highlighting traditional and alternative farm practices used throughout the world, while cultivating a web-based community where farmers and ecological agriculture advocates can come together for education, networking, idea exchange, ethical debate and inspiration.


NewCROP (New Crops Resource Online Program) is an information-rich Purdue University site related to new and specialty crop plants.

Cornell Aquaculture Program Work Team

This Program Work Team is statewide, made up of individuals from the state’s aquaculture industry, employees from state agencies with aquaculture responsibilities, and members from academia with aquaculture responsibilities (research and outreach). The primary types of aquaculture represented on the team are shellfish aquaculture from the marine portion of NY, and recirculating aquaculture system technology (RAS) utilized for intensive production of seafood.

Northern Aquaculture

Northern Aquaculture is a monthly trade publication devoted to the growth of a strong, economically viable, and environmentally conscious cold water aquaculture industry in North America. It covers the latest news in finfish and shellfish culture from both coasts as well as the central regions of North America. Species covered include salmon, trout, arctic charr, halibut, and shellfish.

The Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm: A Cultivator’s Guide to Small-Scale Organic Herb Production

“Peg Schafer, the most experienced grower of Chinese medicinal herbs in North America, charts a new course in Chinese medicinal plant cultivation by providing the guidance needed to grow the most important of these herbs domestically. This book offers more than just cultivation tips, but also an assurance of proper plant identification, optimal growing and harvesting conditions, freshness of materials, and the ability to access Chinese medicinals with the lowest carbon footprint possible.” —Roy Upton, Executive Director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia.

The North American Deer Farmers Association

The North American Deer Farmers Association exists to establish, encourage, and facilitate an exchange of ideas on breeding, handling, and deer farm management among members. Visit this site for information about the goals of the NADeFA and deer farming in general.

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Beekeeping Clubs Around New York

  • Finger Lakes Beekeepers Club – The FLBC hosts meetings discussing current issues and events concerning beekeeping which are open to the public. If you are unable to attend meetings, extensive meeting notes are posted on the FLBC website, as well as other resources helpful to starting and maintaining a hive. For more information, visit
  • Catskill Mountain Beekeepers Club – The CBMC’s mission is to help local beekeepers with resources, education, interactions, and outlets to sell products. They host monthly meetings to discuss beekeeping adventures and hold talks. Anyone is welcome. Visit for more information.
  • Empire State Honey Producers Association, Inc. – ESHPA is open to all beekeepers in New York State, “from the hobbyist with one hive, to the commercial migratory beekeeper with thousands”. Their mission is to promote and protect the interests of New York State beekeepers, and to form an association for mutual benefit of New York State honey producers. See their website for more information or to become a member.
  • Syracuse Area Beekeepers Club – “A club of like minded bee enthusiasts” with no membership application or fee, this club meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month at the Fayetteville Free Library in Fayetteville, New York. See their website for programs and more information:
  • Southern Adirondack Beekeepers Association -Serves as a resource to young people, beekeepers, and the general public to educate and promote awareness about bees and beekeeping.  SABA holds five regular meetings per year at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County.
  • Many more!

Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health Published

Looking to learn more about top-bar hive management techniques? Les Crowder and Heather Harrell recently published an intensive guide to top-bar beekeeping. “This book presents practical advice, gained from first-hand experience, on the organic management of top bar hives. This book will serve as an excellent guide to the ever-growing number of beekeepers that utilizes less intrusive management schemes such as top bar hives. Thanks to Les and Heather for their efforts to provide sound advice on natural ways to keep bees.” —Dr. Jeff Pettis, USDA-ARS. Available at the Chelsea Green Publishing site:

Handbook for Natural Beekeeping – Certified Naturally Grown

Are you a beekeeper seeking to manage your hive naturally – without the use of synthetic treatments? Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) has recently updated their Handbook for Natural Beekeeping which describes practices for promoting hive health and managing pests and diseases. The handbook also details requirements for CNG certification. To read the handbook, visit

From Honeycomb to Consumer – Marketing Small Scale Honey

Small-scale farmers and hobbyists are keeping more honeybees than ever in NY. With concerns about adultered foreign honey, local honey is becoming more popular. This bulletin provides guidelines for small-scale honey producers who are extracting, packing, and marketing honey. It covers New York’s honey rules, proper labeling, packing area sanitation, health claims, and includes a wide range of marketing ideas to inspire newer honey farmers. It was written by Jim Ochterski, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County in collaboration with small-scale beekeepers and the Empire State Honey Producers Association. You can download the guide here: .

CNG Apiary Standards

Certified Naturally Grown has developed apiary standards with the primary focus on the health of honey bees and the sustainability of beekeeping. These standards include information about apiaray certification, allowed and prohibited substances, and hive transitions. Visit the website at

American Beekeeping Federation Beginner Resources

The American Beekeeping Federation has provided a number of free resources for those looking to begin a hobby or business pertaining to apiculture. The resources include information about package hives, beehive plans, and how to begin a hive. Download the PDFs for free at

Local Living Venture Bee Hive

Local Living Venture maintains a webpage for beginning to advanced beekeepers. Websites, a buying cooperative and workshops are just a few of the resources offered. Local Living Venture also holds a monthly Bee Discussion Group on the last Wednesday of the month at 7 pm. The gathering is a casual group setting where all are welcome to share valuable information about local beekeeping with each other. See their website for more details.

Other Contacts

Check out this PDF with contact information of people who work(ed) in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University. Each has a background in the study of bees. Cornell Bee Contacts

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Controlled Environment Agriculture

Aquaculture Courses

Cornell Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering offers a short course annually in Newburgh NY.  They also offer a fee-based online course open to the public in the US and globally.  Find out more at this site:

Cornell Aquaculture Program Work Team

This Program Work Team is statewide, made up of individuals from the state’s aquaculture industry, employees from state agencies with aquaculture responsibilities, and members from academia with aquaculture responsibilities (research and outreach). The primary types of aquaculture represented on the team are shellfish aquaculture from the marine portion of NY, and recirculating aquaculture system technology (RAS) utilized for intensive production of seafood.

Northern Aquaculture

Northern Aquaculture is a monthly trade publication devoted to the growth of a strong, economically viable, and environmentally conscious cold water aquaculture industry in North America. It covers the latest news in finfish and shellfish culture from both coasts as well as the central regions of North America. Species covered include salmon, trout, arctic charr, halibut, and shellfish.

Cornell Controlled Environment Agriculture

There is a leadership team for Controlled Environment Agriculture research and extension within the Cornell Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering.  This group offers workshops and conferences for teachers (all levels but broken into primary, middle and high school), the general public, and facility operators (current greenhouse growers).  Current research focuses on lettuce, spinach, and tomato. They also offer resources such as manuals and publications.  Here is their website:

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Field Crops & Forages

The Profit Potential of Certified Organic Field Crop Production

This study from USDA Economic Research Service uses data from targeted surveys of organic corn, wheat, and soybean production in an observational analysis of cost-of-production differences between conventional and organic crop production systems. Findings of this research suggest that significant economic returns are possible from organic crop production, mainly due to organic price premiums. View the report online here.

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

Available for free as either a download or in print, Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects will help you use cover crops to encourage populations of pollinators and beneficial insects on your farm while you address your other resource concerns. It begins with a broad overview of pollinator and beneficial insect ecology, then describes cover crop selection and management, how to make cover crops work on your farm, and helpful and proven crop rotations. It will also touch on the limitations of cover crops and pesticide harm reduction, among other topics. This 16-page bulletin helps farmers make thoughtful changes in cover crop selection and management that support pollinators along with their other goals, such as suppressing weeds, managing nitrogen and improving soil health. The guide was written by Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation staff members, with contributions from the NRCS.

Hay Production Resources for New York State and Similar Climates

Hay Production Resources was put together to add to the knowledge of veteran farmers and provide a knowledge base for new farmers. It is a collection of articles, spreadsheets, and other resources related to high quality hay production.

Cornell’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Web Site

Cornell’s Department of Crop and Soil Sciences web site includes research, extension, recent publications, and featured links.

Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management

Cornell Cooperative Extension’s comprehensive resource for aspects of field crop integrated pest management.

Penn State: Nutrient Management

This Penn State site features livestock-oriented information, regulations and planning resources, water and environmental policy, phosphorus and the P-index, and more.

Penn State: Agronomy Guide

The Penn State Agronomy Guide is designed for easy reading and quick reference. In Part One: Crop and Soil Management, the chapters on specific crops include information about varieties, nutritional requirements, establishment, harvesting, and special considerations. In Part Two: Pest Management, the chapters on pest control for specific crops include sections on weeds, insects, and diseases.

University of Vermont: Crops and Soils

University of Vermont Extension information on forage crop management, pasture management, corn grain and silage production, soybeans and small grains, nutrient and manure management, pest management, and more.

ATTRA Field Crops Resources

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas ATTRA provides many publications for those interested in field crop production.

Making Hay in a Day

In his publication Wide Swath Research: Open the Mowing Window While Maintaining Forage Quality, recently retired CCE Educator Tom Kilcer shows how farmers are able to mow wide swath on clear evenings, or early in the morning, and accumulate the same feed value as mowing that morning. This publication is one of many resources available at the website of the farmer-guided Northern New York Agricultural Development Program.

Making Organic Small Grains Work on Your Farm – ATTRA Webinar

Organic small grains are part of a growing niche market of staple crops that can command higher market prices and bring more to a farmer’s bottom line. Learn how farmers in traditional grain-growing regions are using organic production methods and find out if organic small grain production is right for you. Using organic techniques can cut input costs and the organic premium for high-quality grains can be 75 percent above the conventional market. But there are challenges in organic production, including over-dependence on tillage, proper nutrient management and rotation development.

Yield Expectations for Mixed-Stand, Small-Scale Agriculture

Without a lot of experience production farming, it can be difficult to forecast crop yields. However, yield expectations are a crucial aspect of farm planning. Rutgers Extension has compiled reasonable yield expectations for a variety of crops in small-scale agriculture systems to assist beginning farmers and others in planning farms and agricultural projects. The report is available at the Rutgers Extension site:

Research: Saving Soil, Nutrients and Money with Cover Crops

Oregon State University (OSU) Extension specialists, with funding from SARE, have spent six years studying the role cover crops play in fertility management. To date, the OSU researchers’ main contribution is a calculator for estimating the cost and Nitrogen (N) contribution of cover crops, compost, and organic and synthetic fertilizers. The calculator has been used by more than 620 people since 2010, representing more than 52,000 acres. The profit potential from cover crops’ role in nutrient management is immense: In one trial, the OSU researchers found a vetch cover crop could replace 110 pounds per acre of feather meal for a broccoli crop, leading to a cost saving of $500 per acre. To use the calculator and access more cover cropping resources, click here.

Cornell University Releases Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook

In the Northeast, vegetable farmers are rediscovering how to manage buckwheat effectively, thanks to Cornell University research that demonstrated a well-established stand of buckwheat eliminated 98 percent of summer weeds. The Cornell team, supported by a 2005-08 SARE grant, developed a definitive, 18-page Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook, based on their research, that outlines important management strategies. Based on their surveys and outreach, the team estimates that by 2008, their efforts had helped 3,000 farmers use buckwheat successfully on a combined 18,000 acres in vegetable production. The handbook can be accessed here.

Research: Sustainable Approaches to Onion Production

With funding from SARE, Cornell Extension Vegetable Specialist Christine Hoepting, is investigating new approaches to onion production which incorporate conservation tillage and other soil conservation measures. Previous studies have shown reduction in onion spacing can decrease bacterial rot and the effect of surface residue decreasing wind damage. Hoepting’s findings are available on the SARE site by searching “Hoepting” under coordinator-name search:

Post-Harvest Handling Presentation

The Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture is making a presentation available online on post-harvest handling for produce. The presentation covers harvest, cleaning and cooling, packing area infrastructure, sorting and grading, storage, transport, and more. Companion handouts are also available online. View the presentation at

FARMDATA Records Management System

FARMDATA, an open-source, smartphone-compatible records management system for produce farmers, is available for free download. FARMDATA is a Web-based database system for entering and reporting crop-production records, including seeding, transplanting, harvest, cover crop, compost, fertilization, irrigation, pest scouting, spray activities, packing and distribution records, and customer invoicing. Find more information at

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Cornell Vegetables

The Cornell Commercial Vegetable Production program is a cooperative effort between Extension educators and horticulturists, entomologists, pathologists, economists, and engineers at both the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva and academic departments in Ithaca.

Organic Vegetable and Fruit Production Guides

Cornell University has published a series of organic vegetable and fruit production guides. The guides cover the vegetable crops: carrots, peas, beans, cole crops, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, peas, potatoes and spinach. Fruit crops include apples, blueberries, grapes and strawberries. With pest control product limitations, the guides offer commercial vegetable producers organic integrated pest management (IPM) techniques such as keeping accurate pest history records, selecting the proper site, and preventing pest outbreaks through use of crop rotation, resistant varieties, and biological controls. The guides can be downloaded as free PDF documents.

USDA 2012 Plant Hardiness Zone Map

The zone map is a great resource for gardeners, farmers, plant breeders and seed companies in determining the plant varieties appropriate for a specific region. The model is also used by scientists to project the spread of weeds and insects. The 2012 map registers an increase in temperatures in most areas, so it may change the varieties of plants that will thrive in historically colder regions.

High Tunnel Web Resources from Rutgers University

High tunnel growing offers season extension, yield and quality improvements, reduction in fertilizer leaching, reduction in costly pesticide and fungicide inputs, and quick payback on capital investment. They are an answer to many farmers’ problems, if you are willing to manage the technology. This expanded online resource center includes a 60-image step-by-step how-to tunnel construction tutorial by A.J. Both and Wes Kline:

Video: High tunnel seminar, Dept. of Horticulture, Cornell University

This video from Sept. 14, 2009 captures a recent Department of Horticulture seminar on the benefits of high tunnels for extending the season early and late for vegetables, flowers and berries. Presenters: Dr. Marvin Pritts, Dr. Chris Wien, and intern Elizabeth Buck. For more info, visit the Cornell High Tunnels website at:  Video:

How to Build a Hoop House Slide Show

Want to build your own hoop house? Learn how by watching instructional slide shows available free on the Kerr Center’s website. The shows take would-be builders through the construction process step-by-step. An up-to-date materials/cost list and links to websites with more information are also available free online.

Managing Cover Crops Profitably

Managing Cover Crops Profitably explores how and why cover crops work and provides all the information needed to build cover crops into any farming operation. Revised and updated in 2007, the 3rd edition includes chapters on brassicas, six new farm profiles, as well as a comprehensive chapter on the use of cover crops in conservation tillage systems. Updates throughout are based on more than 100 new literature citations and consultations with cover crop researchers and practitioners around the country. Appendices include seed sources and a listing of cover crop experts.

Farmers and Their Innovative Cover Cropping Techniques

This University of Vermont video features 10 vegetable and berry farms in 5 northeastern states (MA, NH, NJ, PA, VT) that have experimented with and refined a wide variety of creative cover cropping practices.

SARE Fact Sheet: Grafting Tomatoes as Cost-Effective Way to Increase Yield

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Foundation found that grafting tomatoes is a cost-effective way to increase disease resistance and improve plant health and yield. The fact sheet, Tomato Grafting for Disease Resistance and Increased Productivity, is available at the SARE Learning Center along with many other fact sheets.

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Cornell Fruit Resources: Resources for Commercial Growers

The Cornell Fruit Resources web pages are designed to enhance access to Cornell’s fruit production resources. The site features food safety guidelines, marketing and value-added resources, business and labor regulations, as well as a number of other resources.

New York Fruit Quarterly

This publication is a joint effort of the New York State Horticultural Society, Cornell University’s  New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Geneva, and the New York State Apple Research and Development Program. The publication is available online in PDF format.

Pollinator Toolkit Available for Organic Farmers

Organic farming offers many benefits to pollinators but some common organic-approved pesticides and practices can be potentially just as harmful to bees and other pollinators as conventional farming systems. The Xerces Society developed Organic Farming for Bees, a tool kit for organic growers that includes guidance on how to minimize disturbance to pollinators from farm activities, and how to provide nest sites and foraging patches. In particular, two fact sheets provide information on toxicity to native pollinators for all major organic-approved insecticides and about pollinator-friendly organic farming practices.

Organic Vegetable and Fruit Production Guides

Cornell University has published a series of organic vegetable and fruit production guides. The guides cover the vegetable crops: carrots, peas, beans, cole crops, cucumbers, squash, lettuce, peas, potatoes and spinach. Fruit crops include apples, blueberries, grapes and strawberries. With pest control product limitations, the guides offer commercial vegetable producers organic integrated pest management (IPM) techniques such as keeping accurate pest history records, selecting the proper site, and preventing pest outbreaks through use of crop rotation, resistant varieties, and biological controls. The guides can be downloaded as free PDF documents.

The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way

“The words ‘holistic’ and ‘comprehensive’ barely do honor to Michael Phillips’ scope in The Holistic Orchard. The author has woven multiple strands of orchard knowledge—based on his expansive vision and a lifetime of experience, together with the wisdom of researchers and fellow fruit growers—into a brilliant web that captures the wonderful complexity of the orchard ecosystem. A sparkling joy to behold!”

Guy Ames, orchardist and tree fruit specialist with ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Organic Apple Production and Marketing Webinar – Available Online

This organic apple webinar was produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), with funding provided by USDA through the ATTRA program (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service). The hour-long webinar was recorded, and has now been posted online. You can watch it for free on your computer screen whenever you have the time.

Tree Fruit Scaffolds Fruit Journal

Cornell University’s Scaffolds Fruit Journal is the weekly update on pest management and crop development.

Fact Sheet on Thinning Asian Pears

Achieving the optimal size for Asian pears along with optimum yield requires substantial fruit thinning because this type of tree blooms so heavily. In the past, most Asian pear thinning has been done by hand, but a SARE-funded team of researchers and farmers in New Jersey recently studied how effectively Asian pears were thinned by a synthetic plant growth regulator called benzyladenine. They found that MaxCel, one of several chemical thinners that contain benzyladenine, can reduce the cost of hand-thinning by up to 50 percent while delivering fruit yields and sizes comparable to those of untreated, hand-thinned control trees. The fact sheet that they developed to introduce and guide growers through this chemical thinning process can be downloaded here.

Vineyard Site Selection Tool

Cornell University has developed a site selection tool for growers. The New York Vineyard Site Evaluation System offers users macroscopic aerial views of the state’s diverse grape-growing regions, as well as the ability to zoom into a parcel of land to assess site-specific factors, such as winter low temperatures, growing season length, soil chemistry and texture, drainage capabilities, and slope of the land. Access to the tool is free, and educational materials and a website tutorial are provided.

List of Smartphone Vineyard Apps Available

There are many GIS/GPS programs out there that can help with vineyard management, as well as various smartphone and tablet apps that can improve efficiency in the vineyard. This website provides a relatively comprehensive list of links to more information on these apps to help get you started. Visit to access the list.

Soils and Sites for Organic Orchards and Vineyards

This ATTRA publication is designed to help you develop sustainable and profitable fruit tree, bush, or vine production. “Soils and Sites for Organic Orchards and Vineyards” contains useful information about site selection and soil preparation for organic fruit plantings. It also describes cover crop and mulching options for orchards and vineyard floors, and discusses fertilization and the role of mycorrhizae in maintaining healthy fruit plants. The publication is available for free on the ATTRA website:

2014 Cornell Pest Management Guide for Berry Crops

Cornell publishes this guide annually, so it contains the most up to date information on pest management and crop production for berry crops, including wildlife management, and the harvesting, handling and transporting of berry crops.

The New York Berry News

Cornell’s New York Berry News online newsletter is a newsletter that aspires to provide a statewide perspective on the production of berry crops in New York.

Cornell Fruit Resources: Berries

A gateway to berry production information at Cornell University, the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, and related programs.

Beach Plum

Cornell University Beach plum (Prunus maritima) is a fruiting shrub native to coastal dunes of the northeastern United States. Cornell Beach Plum research has been working toward developing an integrated system for a sustainable beach plum industry. This includes fruit production, processing the crop into value-added products, developing niche markets for these products, and educating growers, processors, and marketers.

Strawberry Production

Cornell’s guidelines on growing and propagating strawberries.

Cold Climate Strawberry Farming Publication

The University of Minnesota has released Cold Climate Strawberry Farming, a free, interactive e-book that details innovative marketing techniques, comprehensive cultivar recommendations, insurance requirements, and other essential business information. The book discusses best practices for growing strawberries and also introduces a new, season-extending method of growing strawberries using low tunnels and day-neutral cultivars. Access the free e-book at

ATTRA Publication on Fruit Production and Climate Change

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has released a new climate change resource. “Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times” explores climate-related challenges to perennial fruit and nut production, including drought, frost, flooding, and extreme weather events. It discusses steps growers can take to build resilience into their farming operations through diversification, water stewardship, and soil building. The guide is available to download for free on the ATTRA webpage at

App for Strawberry and Peach Growers

A Clemson fruit specialist and a computer software designer have teamed up to develop a smartphone tool to help strawberry and peach growers. “MyIPM” is the first smartphone app that provides critical disease information for growers to use in making management decisions. The app has now expanded to all fruit crops on the east coast. Find more information at The app is available on the Apple Store and Google Play.

Specialty Melon Production for Small and Direct-Market Growers

This ATTRA publication provides an overview of production and marketing of numerous different species and varieties of specialty melons. The guide offers helpful advice on seed sources, planting needs, soil preparation and insect pest and disease control, discusses marketing outlets for producers to sell their melons, and summarizes results of current melon research. A resource list details sources for more information, seeds, and supplies useful for melon growing. Download the PDF at

Brambles: Organic Production

This publication focuses on organic practices for blackberry and raspberry production. It discusses cultural considerations including site selection, establishment, pruning and trellising, and it introduces organic practices for fertility, weed, disease, and insect management. It also provides new information on greenhouse production and season extension and addresses economics and marketing. The publication is available online for free here.

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The Seed Farm Small Farmer Equipment Videos

A non-profit organization called The Seed Farm has videos focused on four different types of equipment: Paper Pot Transplanter, Push Seeder, Plastic Layer, and Spader. These videos demonstrate how to use each piece of equipment and the potential benefits. Check out the videos at

Mechanical Cultivation Tools for Organic Farmers

Looking to diversify your cultivation techniques? A new publication from Penn State Extension and provides some useful tips and management strategies for controlling weeds on an organic farm. The recommendations emerged from equipment demonstrations conducted by The Seed Farm Incubator Program as well as discussions with farmers. The publication is available on the Penn State Extension site:

Draft Animal Power Network

An organization bringing together people who are interested in using draft animals for sustainable farming, forestry and homesteading. Newsletters, events, online discussions, and resource lists provide numerous educational and networking opportunities for traditional and modern draft animal techniques. An international online discussion forum, boasts 2,800 members engaged in over 3,200 discussions about draft animals, equipment and sustainable land based enterprises. To learn more, become a member or get involved, please visit

Backpack Sprayer Videos: Learn to Use Sprayers More Efficiently

Learn how to better use modified backpack sprayers to save time and money, and improve safety, by watching the 7 videos created by Rutgers Research Farm. This may be a helpful resource for small, organic and urban farmers, both beginning and experienced. To watch the videos, visit

Machinery Sharing for Fruit and Vegetable Growers

A new manual from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Machinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers, discusses operational and organizational issues related to sharing specialized farm machinery. The 50-page publication is available online for download at

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Grazing Heifers: An Opportunity for Large Dairy Farms

by Fay Benson and Dr. Sam Leadley of Attica Vet Clinic.  Topics covered in this booklet:
1) A comparative analysis of cost savings of using grazing during one grazing season of a heifer’s growth period
2) Health benefits to the heifer
3) A summary of the terms and description of Management Intensive Grazing (MIG)
4) Tips on handling and movement of large groups of new-to-grazing heifers
5) Tips on fencing for the dairy heifer which has no experience with grazing or fencing
6) Vaccinations and parasite protection specific to heifers going to pasture
7) Fly Control
8) Miscellaneous Bio Security issues
9)  Checklist for farmers considering putting heifers out on pasture
10) Sample Contract for the Custom Grazing of Heifers
Download the Guide.

Eat Wild

A clearinghouse for information about pasture-based farming, with extensive e-mail lists.

A Beginner’s Guide to Silvopasturing in the Northeast

Silvopasturing is the deliberate and managed production of livestock and timber or other forest products on the same land over an extended period of time.

Planned Grazing Charts

These grazing charts were developed for a SARE-funded project entitled “Utilizing Holistic Planned Grazing as a Regenerative Engine for Sustainable Agriculture.” To access this charts, visit the finalized report at:

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Home Page

Cornell’s reference guide to toxic plants with plant images, pictures of affected animals, and presentations concerning the botany, chemistry, toxicology, diagnosis, and prevention of poisoning of animals by plants and other natural flora (fungi, etc.).

ATTRA Online Managed Grazing Tutorial

A new online tutorial, “Managed Grazing Tutorial,” by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) goes in-depth into how changing the way grazing animals are managed can improve both the condition of your land and your bottom line. This tutorial features sessions taught by NCAT specialists who are also livestock producers. They share years of experience managing their own pastures to inspire you to start wherever you are and build or refine your own managed grazing systems. Detailed presentations and real-world examples will get you on the road to managed grazing.

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Greenhouse & Ornamentals

Greenhouse Management Publications: PALS Publications

PALS Publishing, formerly NRAES, offers multiple books for sale focused on commercial greenhouse production. Titles include: Enhancing Profitability in Greenhouse Firms, Greenhouse Engineering, and Energy Conservation for Commercial Greenhouses.

Integrated Pest Management for Greenhouse Growers

University of Connecticut information for greenhouse growers about how to use integrated pest management to manage pests while maintaining crop productivity, quality, and marketability.

Floral Facts — Index of Factsheets

University of Massachusetts Extension index of fact sheets on topics of interest to commercial flower and greenhouse growers, including cut flowers.

Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers: Publications and Information

The Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers (ASCFG) offers a wide variety of resources and publications for sale. Book titles include: The Flower Farmer: An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers by Lynn Byczynski and Field Grown Cut Flowers: A Practical Guide and Sourcebook by Alan Stevens.

EPA – Agriculture Sector: Nurseries and Greenhouses

This Environmental Protection Agency  site will give you information about environmental requirements for the production of many types of agricultural crops grown in nurseries and greenhouses, such as ornamental plants and specialty fruits and vegetables.

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Integrated Pest Management

Pesticide Management Education Program Distance Learning Center

This website is the home to online pesticide applicator courses provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension. All courses qualify for New York DEC recertification credits.

Backpack Sprayer Videos: Learn to Use Sprayers More Efficiently

Learn how to better use modified backpack sprayers to save time and money, and improve safety, by watching the 7 videos created by Rutgers Research Farm. This may be a helpful resource for small, organic and urban farmers, both beginning and experienced.

Cornell Insect Identification: Mail in a Sample or send a Photo

If you are unsure of the name of an insect or related organism, send in a sample of the insect to the Cornell Diagnostic Lab for identification. For a $25 fee, the Cornell Diagnostic Lab will identify your insect and provide management suggestions if needed. For more information about the program and proper sampling protocol, visit this site:

IPM Resource: Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them

This 12-page, full-color guide helps readers identify wild pollinators, provide them with food and habitat, and avoid pesticides that are toxic to them. By encouraging wild bee abundance and diversity, agricultural growers may be able to buffer rising honey bee rental costs while creating an environment that better supports both wild and commercial bees. Download the Wild Pollinators guide (pdf) at
To request hard copies in quantity, contact the Northeast IPM Center at

Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels

Having trouble with pests in your greenhouses and high tunnels? Interested in learning more about using biological control to manage them? Read SARE’s new fact sheet, Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels, to learn how beneficial insects can protect crops in season-extending structures and enhance the sustainability of your operation. The fact sheet can be found at

Apple IPM for Beginners

Apple IPM for Beginners is a new series of simplified factsheets and scouting guides that make integrated pest management easier for beginners. The guides include such topics as apple scab, aphids and leafhoppers, trunk borers, choosing sprays and more. You can download the free version at or contact Deborah Breth at for hard-copy purchase information.

Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines

If you’ve been looking for up-to-date crop and pest management information, the Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are for you! This series of publications provides useful crop and pest management information for small-scale growers. Each Cornell Guideline title is routinely updated to reflect current crop production practices and the latest pest management strategies (including pesticide options) for emerging and existing pests of economic concern. The Cornell Guidelines are designed as a practical guide for producers, consultants, educators, pesticide dealers, and others involved in producing agricultural crops. Cornell Guidelines can be purchased through any 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.

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Poultry Processor Web Listing by State

Are you or a local farmer looking for a place that can process your poultry flocks? Are you a processor that would like some free advertising? ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – has an interactive poultry processor web listing by state. To view and add information to the database visit the site at
If you know of a processor in your area, or are a processor yourself, you can also email with the name and contact information.

ATTRA Poultry Resources

Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas offers many publications related to poultry production.

Break Even Analysis for Organic Poultry

Washington State University and the University of Idaho have collaborated on a break even analysis of small scale poultry production. In five years of trials at the WSU Puyallup Experiment station, standard Cornish Cross broilers were compared to slower maturing meat breeds. Data for five years of CC production are compared to four years of Cornish Cross Slow (CCS) production as a basis for the estimates used in this bulletin. Breakeven Analysis Small Scale Production Pastured Organic Poultry.

University of Minnesota’s Poultry Publications

University of Minnesota’s list of poultry publications, from various sources. Topics include hatchery management, pest control, small scale production, and more.

Newly Revised Profitable Poultry: Raising Birds on Pasture Now Available

To help farmers interested in pastured poultry learn more about these important considerations – pasturing systems, animal health, cooperative marketing, quality of life concerns and much more – SARE is pleased to present the newly revised, Profitable Poultry: Raising Birds on Pasture. This bulletin, originally published in 2006 and updated in 2012, combines farmer experiences and the latest research to serve as a comprehensive primer on pastured-poultry systems. Get a free online or print copy here:

New Video in Pastured Poultry Series Now Available on ATTRA Website

This video features Ann Baier, an organic program specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), discussing “Branding for Differentiating and Marketing Pastured Poultry Products.” Baier has experience providing training and education to minority and limited resource farmers. She also is an inspector for the California Certified Organic Farmers and was the Executive Director of Roots and Wings, a nonprofit organization that provides farm- and garden-based education and training programs to young people. Baier’s keynote speech is archived on the ATTRA website at with the other keynote speeches in the series.

Stress Free Chicken Tractor Plans

John Suscovich from FoodCyclist Farm and the Growing Farms Podcast has published Stress-Free Chicken Tractor Plans to help interested parties find a functional yet practical way to raise chickens on pasture. This detailed guide on how to build a chicken tractor includes plans and designs, a materials list with cost breakdown, a walk through of the building process, and more. Visit the FoodCyclist website to pay for and download the ebook.

Squab Production Resources

Wild and domestic breeds of pigeons are raised for a variety of markets. The article Raising Pigeons, gives a general introduction to squab production. For information on choosing a suitable breed, refer to this excerpt from “Practical Animal Husbandry” by Jack Widmer. Information about avian health can be found here.

New Entry Poultry Calculator

This poultry profit workbook will help you estimate and track the overall costs and revenue from your poultry operation, and is designed to facilitate comparing the costs of processing your birds on the farm using the Mobile Processing Unit vs. paying for off-farm butchering. This worksheet should help you decide the price levels you need to obtain for a desired level of profit with your poultry operation. Some data fields have been pre-populated with rough estimates to assist those who are new to poultry raising. New Entry Poultry Calculator.

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Urban Agriculture

Urban Farming within Hobby Farms Magazine

It doesn’t take a farm to have the heart of a farmer. Now, due to a burgeoning sustainable-living movement, you don’t have to own acreage to fulfill your dream of raising your own food. This collection of articles is filled with how-to projects, profiles of urban farmers across America, “green” and innovative products, and of course, recipes for preparing your homegrown vegetables, eggs and other farm bounty, find the webpage here:

Just Food: The City Farms

The City Farms project goal is to encourage New York City community gardeners to understand and appreciate the concepts of community food security, and to be motivated to grow, distribute, and market more food within their communities. The program works to increase food production, marketing, and distribution via community gardens throughout NYC. Available for purchase on the Just Food site is The City Farms Toolkit, a comprehensive guide to urban agriculture in NYC. The Toolkit is comprised of over 70 tip sheets touching on everything from planting calendars to soil care to season extension. This toolkit also contains a resources directory linking community gardeners to over 100 relevant agencies and organizations. Although this toolkit was developed specifically for city farmers in New York City, most elements are useful to hobby gardeners, urban farmers and organic growers everywhere.

City Farmer’s Urban Agriculture Notes

A huge compilation of urban agriculture resources. The site includes local (Vancouver) city farmer stories and urban agriculture information from around the globe.

Farming Concrete’s 2012 citywide Harvest Report

Farming Concrete has a published  2012 inventory of New York City gardens.   For a full list of NYC community and school gardens, as well as more data on the productivity of these gardens, please visit to check out that report and others.

JUST FOOD Online Resource Center in Spanish

Just Food has released a Spanish-language version of the Farming for NYC Toolkit. The Toolkit provides resources on farming production in NYC and beyond. Resources include info on starting up, CSA’s, farmers markets, and much more! To view these great resources:

NYSDAM Urban Agriculture Webpage

Look here for what’s current in urban agriculture across the State of New York. See events around urban agriculture and learn of the latest funding and learning opportunities, and find the most critical resources for soil testing, data collection, and fundraising. The webpage can be accessed at

Urban Agriculture Website from University of California

This website offers science-based information and resources on urban farming, including soil, planting, irrigation, pest management, and harvesting. It also provides information on the business of farming, such as how to market urban farm products. Visit the website at

Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook

As with all types of businesses, an urban farm requires planning. And if the farm is located in a repurposed building or on an abandoned lot, it could present even more challenges than a traditional farm. To help guide you through the process of planning, the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, through EPA’s Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization, produced two useful resources-the Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook, and its complementary Urban Farm Business Plan Worksheets. The handbook, along with its worksheets, is available for free download. Urban Farm Business Plan Handbook.

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SARE Organic Production Topic Room

In order to address the challenges for both new and experienced organic growers, SARE has organized research results on organic production practices and approaches from over 30 years of SARE grants to researchers, farmers and Extension educators in their Organic Topic Room. Collated into one convenient, easy-to-navigate location, SARE’s Organic Production topic room presents ample resources on organic production by topic. Check out the table of contents to find the information you need to manage pests, choose seeds and stock, develop a whole-farm system approach, market your products, implement conservation practices on your organic farm, transition to organic, become certified, and much more.

Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs

This publication is a decision-making tool designed to assist with the development of actionable production, marketing, human resource and finance strategies when considering the switch to organic. The Organic Transition Planner includes worksheets as well as three business plans developed by transitioning dairy, row crop, and vegetable farmers. Download a copy for free here or contact USDA SARE at (301) 779-1007 for a $16 print copy of the publication.

National Organic Farming Handbook

The USDA has recently released the new Organic Farming Handbook, which describes organic systems and identifies key resources to guide conservation planning and implementation on organic farms. The handbook describes conservation practices and key resources for use on organic operations – some the same as those used in conventional operations, such as nutrient management, crop rotations, livestock grazing and pest management. Also included are additional practices and resources that address producers’ needs that are identified in the recent Organic Census.

National Organic Program

The NOP is a marketing program housed within the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. The NOP developed national organic standards and established an organic certification program based on recommendations of the 15-member National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The NOP web site provides information for producers, consumers, and certifying agents relating to USDA’s organic standards and procedures.

USDA Organic Resource Guide

The United States Department of Agriculture has recently developed a guide to help connect current and prospective organic farmers with USDA resources. The guide aims to help farmers and organic operations in obtaining technical and financial assistance; insuring crops and livestock; accessing and funding research; securing loans; and, much more! To view the guide, visit

The Road to Organic Certification: Interactive Movie

CFSA is a farmer-driven, membership-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people in the Carolinas grow and eat local, organic foods by advocating for fair farm and food policies, building the systems family farms need to thrive, and educating communities about local, organic agriculture. In partnership with the USDA and WILL, they have produced an interactive movie which will take you through NOP certification basics, the transition and application process, and record keeping, among other things. Click here to view this movie and discover how you can switch to organic.

Guides on Organic Certification

The USDA website includes many guides and resources to navigate organic certifications. There are various fact sheets and guides for organic crop producers, organic livestock producers, organic processors, and an overall guide to organic certification. Find the guides here:

NOFA-NY Farm Technical Assistance Help Line

The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA-NY) offers a Help Line for technical assistance questions relating to organic farming. Have a nagging issue or question about who, what, when, or how regarding organic? Try the NOFA-NY Help Line to help reduce risks associated with organic agriculture in your future. Call toll free, 1-855-2NOFANY, or 1-855-266-3269. You may also email our Education Coordinators for technical assistance at

Organic Agriculture Resource Area: eXtension Website

The eXtension website, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension, has devoted a new portion of the site to organic agriculture. This resource is designed for farmers, ranchers, agricultural professionals, certifiers, researchers and educators seeking reliable information about organic agriculture. It includes published research results, stories of farmer experiences, and information about organic certification. Currently, the site’s content is focused on general organic agriculture, dairy production, and vegetable production. The content is collaboratively authored and reviewed by a community of University researchers and Extension personnel, agricultural professionals, farmers, and certifiers with experience and expertise in organic agriculture. The site includes many great features such as an event calendar, an email question and answer section, access to publications, and relevant news updates.

Guide for Small Organic Farmers

Small Scale Organics is a guide produced by the Kerr Center for exempt organic farms (<$5,000 annual organic sales) and those in the marketplace that interact with these small growers, such as farmers market managers and produce buyers. The guide includes details for assessing compliance with the National Organic Standards, templates for abbreviated Organic System Plans, and simplified record forms.

Organic Agriculture at Cornell

The information on this website is a valuable resource for farmers and gardeners, agricultural educators, governmental agency representatives, university faculty and extension educators, and all others interested in organic production systems..

NEON — The Northeast Organic Network

A consortium of farmers, researchers, extension educators, and grassroots non-profits working to improve organic farmers access to research and support.

Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables & Herbs for Market

Keith Stewart, author of Storey’s Guide to Growing Organic Vegetables & Herbs for Market addresses everything you need to know to successfully grow and market organic vegetables and herbs, covering land, equipment, crop mix, growing techniques, irrigation, soil fertility, pests, greenhouses, harvesting, storage, labor, debt, customer management, sales, accounting, and much more. With this comprehensive guide, you can turn your dream of a thriving farm into a profitable reality. Visit to order the book.

Organic Production Guide for Storage of Organic Fruits and Vegetables

Cornell University’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program offers a multitude of organic production guides, including a new guide outlining management principles for storage of fruits and vegetables. The guide provides specific product recommendations for over 50 different vegetables. To view the IPM guides, visit

Basics of Organic Seed Production – Free Online Course and Resources

Looking to incorporate organic seed production into your operation? The Organic Seed Alliance with a grant from SARE have provided a multitude of resources on seed production. Contributors to the course include representatives from High Mowing Seeds, Seeds of Change, Siskiyou Seeds. Topics include choosing the right seed for your climate, onion seed production, beet and chard seed production, brassica seed production, and more! To take the free course, visit

Protecting Organic Seed Integrity

This resource is designed to help organic seed growers maintain seed free of genetically engineered (GE) contaminants, and is available from the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA). The book serves as a one-stop tool for organic farmers, seed handlers, and seed companies to determine individual, scale-appropriate, and crop-specific strategies to maintain genetic purity in organic seed, as well as organic food crops.

On-Farm Processing Guide Available

Farm Made: A Guide to On-Farm Processing for Organic Producers is a publication that has valuable information for those who want to process organic ingredients into value-added organic products on the farm. It uses four example enterprises: Sorghum Syrup, Packaged Fresh Salad Greens, Jams, Jellies, and Spreads, and Table Eggs. The guide is published by Kerr Center, distributed by Kerr Center and ATTRA, with funding from the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

Dilmun Hill Cornell Student Farm

Mission: to provide experiential learning opportunities and educational facilities for Cornell students, faculty, staff and the local community in the exploration of sustainable food and agricultural systems.

Penn State Organic Crop Production Guide

Penn State has released the Penn State Organic Crop Production Guide, a 243-page field-crop guide tailored to the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. The guide provides science-based information on organic practices and ecological processes, and it features case studies from farmers and firsthand producer experience. It also includes Penn State research results. Find more information at

Planning Tool to Help Transitioning Organic Farmers Save on Paperwork

The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and NRCS have collaborated to provide producers working with NRCS on a Conservation Activity Plan 138 (CAP 138) with a new tool, NOP 2616: Resource Inventory Supplements. Instead of completing a full separate organic system plan, organic producers who complete a CAP 138 to apply for NRCS financial assistance may submit the CAP 138 Resource Inventory section and supplements to their certifiers. Find more information at

Preparing for an Organic Inspection: Steps and Checklists

This publication provides checklists of the documentation needed for organic certification. These will help organic producers or handlers organize their paperwork for an organic inspection. It includes steps for preparing for the organic inspection and checklists of audit-trail documents and required records for certification of organic crop and livestock production and organic handling facilities. Click here for an online version of the full guide.

New Tipsheets Outline Organic Regulations

A new series of tip sheets summarizes the rules and regulations along with basic steps, key processes, and additional resources newly certified operations need to know. Topics include the organic approach to animal health for poultry (meat and eggs), pork, and ruminant (meat and dairy) producers; treatment of sick and injured livestock; organic pest management; soil resources; manure; compost; crop rotation; and transitioning orchards. The tipsheets are available in both English and Spanish and are available to download for free from the ATTRA website,

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Regulation & Laws

NY Farm Bureau Farm Labor & Laws Guides

The New York State Farm Bureau has the following guides for sale: Farmer’s Guide to Labor & Employment Laws, Farmer’s Guide to ICE and Immigration Law Enforcement Activities: An Employer’s Rights and Responsibilities, Farmer’s Guide to Truck & Farm Implement Laws & Regulations, and Farmer’s Guide to Oil and Gas Leases. The prices are varied and depend on member or non-member status.

Online Legal Guide from Agricultural Law Center

The Drake Agricultural Law Center developed their online legal resource as a way of making their free publication “The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing” more accessible, providing regular updates on direct farm marketing law and policy, and allowing readers to ask questions directly to Center staff and law students.

Farmers Market Legal Toolkit

Vermont Law School Center for Agriculture & Food Systems has partnered with Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont and the Farmers Market Coalition to create The Farmers Market Legal Toolkit. This toolkit is a free, online resource that provides market managers with open-source legal tools. It includes legal resources, best practice recommendations, and case studies on selecting and enhancing business structures, accepting SNAP benefits, and managing common risks.

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