Hands-on IPM workshops for Christmas tree growers were held around the state in 2016. Some were held on farm, one at a nursery and one at a CCE office. There were approximately 80 participants.
An on-farm IPM (integrated pest management) education program was initiated with field corn and alfalfa farmers to teach sound pest and crop management decision-making and to improve farm profitability while protecting the environment. Extension efforts of the Livestock and Field Crops Team of the NYS IPM Program focus on the use of on-farm education in small learning groups. These groups, were called Pest, Production and Profit (Triple P) teams met at local farms once a month basis over the course of the growing season.
For over a decade, Cornell scientists have been documenting the critical contributions of roadside ditches to flooding, water pollution, and droughts. A parallel extension effort to highway staff and local governments gained regional recognition when we held a ditch conference for the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed in 2014. Recommendations from this conference were officially adopted in 2016, providing a new suite of tools for communities throughout the Bay watershed to meet their TMDL pollution requirements, as well as to help buffer climate extremes.
Late blight is a serious plant disease that affects both gardeners and farmers. Because infected plants produce huge quantities of spores that spread the disease, accurate disease identification and appropriate response are important for everyone in the community growing tomatoes or potatoes. We engaged Cornell Cooperative Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program coordinators to plan and present a series of five workshops for Master Gardener Volunteers across the state.
Through conversations with farmers, I helped them to increase farm profitability by improving fertilizer use, reducing seeding rates, and selecting different plants for silage.
We are working to frame a regional discussion around Agriculture Economic Development vis-à-vis the NYS Regional Economic Development Councils. CCE's Harvest NY initiative focuses on a region that intersects with 3 regional economic development councils.
An on-farm field day was held to inform farmers of the benefits of subsurface tile drainage. The event was planned by three CCE regional and the local soil and water conservation districts. The topic of soil health was broad to cover multiple commodities.
Group housing of calves with its attendant use of waste milk in a safe manner offers economical and biological advantages to producers. Previously held beliefs regarding disease risk have been changed with a new definition of proper ventilation and the advantages of more natural feeding methods and social interaction amongst baby calves.
Tactical Ag (TAg) Teams have been an effective teaching model for bringing small groups of producers together in a hands-on approach by using their fields as outdoor classrooms. The principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and improved crop cultural practices have been the educational focus of the TAg program. In the past six seasons, 11 soybean TAg Teams encompassing 28,000 acres of soybeans, have been established in the Northwest New York (NWNY) region.
President Obama ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to elevate efforts to dramatically improve Chesapeake Bay water quality by 2025 through the implementation and enforcement of a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) program. The watershed states were asked to develop a Watershed Implementation Plan (WIP) and give target load reductions.