March 9 & 11
Free (A big Thank You to our Trade Show Sponsors)
Virtual via Zoom
This year’s Central NY Dairy Day will be virtual, and spread out over two days.  The cost is free, but you must pre-register (A Big Thank You to our Trade Show Sponsors)  Click here to register.

AGENDA Tuesday, March 9
12:30 p.m. Trade Show Opens
12:50 p.m. Older Cows Make More Milk & Make More Money – Corwin Holtz, Holtz-Nelson Dairy Consultants, Dryden, NY 

1:35 p.m. Trade Show Intermission 

1:45 p.m. Genetics Plays a Role, But How You Feed and Care for Your Calves & Heifers Sets the Stage for their Lifetime Productivity – Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Animal Science, Cornell University 
2:30 p.m. Adjourn 
Thursday, March 11
12:30 p.m. Trade Show Opens
12:50 p.m. Hoof Health & Care; Practices & Strategies to Keep Your Herd Moving – Charles Biche, Biche’s Hoof Care, Northville, NY 
1:35 p.m. Trade Show Intermission
1:45 p.m. Strategies to Get Old Cows Pregnant – Julio O. Giordano, DVM, Ph.D., Animal Science, Cornell University 
2:30 p.m. Adjourn  Registration is required. Click here to register.  The Zoom link will be emailed to you at the email address provided.
Reminder: Ashley McFarland, Livestock Specialist, is on leave, and her phone calls are forwarded to Nicole Tommell.
Nicole is ready and able to help you during this time with your livestock questions at 315-604-2156 or email at!   
USDA Resources for Beginning Farmers in New York
Thursday, March 4
12 pm – 2 pm Twenty-seven percent of farmers were categorized as new and beginning producers, with 10 years or less of experience in agriculture, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture. To institutionalize support for beginning farmers and ranchers and to build upon prior agency work, the 2018 Farm Bill directed USDA to create a national coordinator position in the agency and state-level teams for four of its agencies – Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Risk Management Agency (RMA), and Rural Development (RD). Register here, and feel free to reach out to the Beginning Farmer Team for additional questions. The New York team consists of: Suzanne Baker – NRCS –
Lynnette Wright – FSA –
Bill Ferris – RMA –
Joseph Heller – Urban Conservationist – USDA offers a variety of farm loan, risk management, disaster assistance, and conservation programs to support farmers, including beginning farmers and ranchers. Additionally, a number of these programs have provisions specifically for beginning farmers, including targeted funding for loans and conservation programs as well as waivers and exemptions. Learn more about USDA’s resources for beginning farmers at Additionally, find information on urban agriculture programs at If you need an accommodation to participate in one of these webinars, please contact Lynnette Wright at 315-477-6309, or by e-mail at, at least one day prior to the event. You may also contact Federal Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.
CCE Madison Presents: March Madness Equine Management Series
March 9, 11, 16, 23, & 25 
6-8 pm

Equine owners, managers, and enthusiasts are encouraged to join the online March Madness Equine Management Series organized by Dr. Karin Bump (Executive Director, CCE Madison County) and Nicole Tommell (Ag Business Management Specialist with the CNYDLFC Regional Team). This collaboration launches a new 5-part equine management series throughout the month of March.  The program focuses on critical fundamentals in equine management including behavior, nutrition, finances and liability.   The presentations are geared to an adult audience yet suitable for older youth as well.
Spread over 5 days, each two-hour session provides up to 90 minutes of prepared content with at least 30 minutes retained to ensure ample time for discussion and addressing participant questions.  Participants can register for individual sessions ($10 each) or register for the series ($40) and receive a certificate of completion, a 25% off Ariat coupon (online), a coupon for Poulin Grain, and 20% off code for Equine Law & Horse Sense. Tuesday, March 9:  Pre-Course – Horse Basics for the New or Potential Owner with Dr. Karin Bump, Cornell Cooperative Extension.    Thursday, March 11:  – Equine Behavior Management with Dr. Karin Bump, Cornell Cooperative Extension Tuesday, March 16:  Nutrition management with Dr. Tania Cubitt, Equine Nutritionist with Performance Horse Nutrition.  Tuesday, March 23:  Financial Management with Anna Richards, Owner of 2020 consulting and Nicole Tommell, Farm Business Specialist with the CNYDLFC Regional Team. Thursday, March 25:  Risk Management–  Insights & Tips on Avoiding Liability from a Lawyer with Julie Fershtman, Attorney and Author of Equine Law & Horse Sense        Please note that all times are EST and registration is required at least 24 hours prior to start of each session by registering here.
CCE Lewis Presents: The ABC’s of Co-Packing, Labeling and Packaging for Value-Added Producers

Friday, March 12
1 pm

COVID-19 has had a lot of negative impacts on our lives and the economy, but one silver lining has been strong interest in and demand for locally produced foods. Local producers have quickly learned how complicated it can be to get their products “on the shelf” and also compete with established brands and products.

One area that is particularly challenging for local producers is Packaging – the safe & efficient packing, packaging and labeling of their products. This critical element in retail food sales both from a regulatory standpoint, and a consumer marketing standpoint.

CCE Lewis and Harvest NY continue the Local Food Sustainability Series with a virtual workshop covering the basics of Packaging and Labeling, and also the “In’s and Out’s” of co-packing (when someone else process and packages your product).

Lindsay Pashow – Ag Business Development & Marketing Specialist and Anika Gianforte -Dairy Processing Specialist, team up to take you through the basics!  

While there is no cost to this program, we do need you to pre-register by clicking here or contacting CCE Lewis County at 315-376-5270 or
Understanding Eligibility Requirements for NRCS & FSA Programs
Wednesday, March 24
12 pm – 1:30 pm

An open conversation with USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) staff about how to get started with USDA. Including understanding and navigating the eligibility requirements and paperwork involved in applying for FSA and NRCS programs and loans.

Register here.
Brief Survey on the Use of Caustic Paste for Dairy Calves
Do you use caustic paste on your dairy? We want to hear from you! Please consider filling out this brief survey, which should take about 5 minutes. All responses are completely anonymous and will be used to better understand how dairy producers are using caustic paste to prevent horn growth in their calves. An article will be created to allow producers to bench mark their current practices to other responses. Survey responses will also be used to develop research projects that will inform best management practices for the use of caustic paste. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to Alycia Drwencke, Dairy Management Specialist with the Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops program at 517-416-0386 or

Click here to take the survey!
Survey: 2020 Farm Employee Compensation Benchmark
Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development is conducting a 2020 Farm Employee Compensation Benchmark survey of all agricultural commodities to help farmers evaluate and offer competitive compensation packages to maintain high quality employee teams. Participants will receive aggregate and anonymous reports customized by farm type (dairy, fruit, vegetable, greenhouse, etc.) and be invited to a webinar discussion of the findings.

While pay is not the most important factor in retaining and motivating employees, it does matter. If the compensation you offer is not enough when compared to other employers, then you’ll struggle to attract employees and you’ll always have a revolving door of employees leaving for better opportunities. On the other hand, it’s good to know about what others are paying so that you can keep your costs in line. This year, we’ll be able to focus on some key positions within industries: herdspersons, crop managers, crew leaders, etc.  Click here for more information!
Participating in the 2020 Farm Employee Compensation Benchmark will give you the information you need to compare your compensation to other farm businesses and make better compensation plans. 
Someone at the Farm Tested Positive for COVID-19 – Now What? By Joan Sinclair Petzen and Libby Eiholzer In this article, you will find resources to help you sort out your responsibilities as an employer and know what steps to take should someone associated with your business test positive. Click here to read the article.
Online Dicamb Training Module from Syngenta
Syngenta has announced that the online Dicamba training module is now available. This training is designed to meet the US EPA requirement for mandatory annual dicamba training that is required for users of Tavium® Plus VaporGrip® Technology, Xtendimax® with VaporGrip® Technology, and Engenia®.  Training is reciprocal across brands, meaning an applicator only needs to take 1 dicamba-specific training each year.

To log in and take the training module, click here  or Tavium Application and Stewardship | Syngenta US (
If this is your first time taking this online training, you will need to register by creating a username and password.
Hemp Disease Info in Hemp Benchmarks
Researchers Scramble to Combat Hemp Diseases, Protect 2021 Crop – Hemp Benchmarks

An understanding of the diseases that affect hemp is being rediscovered as farmers across the U.S. have cultivated the crop in recent years, planting myriad varieties in widely varying conditions. Meanwhile, research on diseases impacting hemp and methods of controlling them are still in their early stages after the decades-long prohibition of the plant.
Get “Into the Weeds” with a New Podcast!
From NYSIPM’s Integrated Weed Management Specialist Bryan Brown, Ph.D. Read more about it on the NYSIPM blog, and find the podcast here.
Risk Management Webinar Videos Available
Click each title to watch the video on that subject.

Dayton Maxwell: Credit as a Risk Management Tool

Nicole Tommell: Knowing Input Costs to Maximize Profits & Gabe Gurley: Knowing Input Costs to Maximize Profits: See Buying Example

Elizabeth Higgins: Cash Flow Management and the Annual Operating Cycle
NYS Agricultural Assessment – COVID-19 Revenue Threshold Exception By Joan Sinclain Petzen, CCE NWNY DLFC Team

Farmland owners across New York State participate in Agricultural Assessment to reduce their real property tax costs.  Each year an application(RP-305) or renewal(RP-305-r) must be filed for each eligible parcel with the local assessor in the municipality where the property is located in order to receive this benefit.  For farms with 7 acres or more a minimum income of $10,000, and for farms with less than 7 acres a minimum income of $50,000 may qualify the property for agricultural assessment.  During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the revenue of some farms may have fallen below the qualifying threshold.  Affected farms can apply for an exception to the revenue requirement by filing an additional form (RP-305-f) with their application or renewal.

Agricultural Assessment begins with the assessor determining the market value of an eligible property. A value is also established by New York State based upon the productive capability of the soil and average prices received in recent years for agricultural products in New York State. The difference between these two values is applied by the assessor in the form of an exemption.   Agricultural values for each soil type are set by a specific formula laid out by state guidelines.  Property owners who rent land to a farmer, may also qualify for agricultural assessment so long as they have a  five-year lease with a farm  that meets the qualifying sales criteria.  Farmers often assist their landowners with the application process for Agricultural Assessment to help keep taxes on rented land they operate in check.

Qualifying properties may be granted a reduction on both their municipality and school taxes when they receive an active Agricultural Assessment, renewed annually.  The property assessment reduction can result in tax savings ranging from 10 to 40 percent depending upon location, soil type and agricultural prices in recent years.

If a farm suffered from a reduction in agricultural income putting their total revenue below the sales threshold outlined above, they can still qualify for Agricultural Assessment on the 2021 assessment roll.  They must include a completed RP-305f, “Application for Exception from Minimum Average Sale Value Requirement of Agriculture and Markets Law Article 25-AA due to COVID-19 Disaster Emergency for 2021” with their application or renewal for Agricultural Assessment.  A completed exception application form must include certification from a Cornell Cooperative Extension Specialist or Educator familiar with agriculture in the county where the property is located.  Applications must be filed with the local assessor for the municipality in which the property is located prior to taxable status date (March 1st 2021 in most NYS communities).
To obtain real property forms related to Agricultural Assessment please click here.  Local assessors and County Real Property Tax Offices can be contacted for additional information regarding the administration of the Agricultural Assessment Program.
Dairy Froward Grant Opportunity Video Available
Cornell Cooperative Extension and American Farmland Trust invited dairy producers across the state to join a free webinar focused on the Dairy Forward grant program. This program aims to help dairy farm families in New York access information and professional services to plan for farm transitions in the face of tremendous challenges such as a weak dairy economy, disruptions from severe weather, and an aging farmer population. The webinar recording and supporting resources are available here.
Grass-Finished Beef Need High-Energy Forages By Kim Cassida Grass-fed beef is a growing niche market that provides opportunity for marketing cattle with enhanced value. In the Upper Midwest, selling grass-finished beef in local markets can also take advantage of the growing popularity of local foods. However, there is more to producing high-quality grass-fed beef than simply keeping cattle on pasture without grain. Successfully finishing beef on forage requires a radical shift to the way many beef producers think about forage quality. Say goodbye to the idea of “beef-cow quality” forages and hello to “dairy quality.”  Read more of this article here.
Could Early Weaning Increase Your Profits? By Dean Kreager Over the last couple of years, making hay in a timely manner has been nearly impossible. There just were not three- or four-day windows of dry weather without water standing in the fields. The result was a lot of poor-quality hay, producing cows with poor body condition scores (BCS) coming out of the winter.  Read more of this article here.
Dialing Into Your Best Dairy Episodes in this series discuss management practices and tips to reach your herd’s full genetic potential. Over eight episodes PRO-DAIRY and CCE Dairy Specialists discuss life stages of the dairy cow, including raising calves through the milk phase and weaning; managing weaned heifers up to freshening; making decisions about which replacements to keep, including inventory, disease prevention, and culling decisions; feeding and nutrition management during lactation; facilities, time management, and ventilation considerations throughout lactation; and management factors around reproduction, gestation, and the dry period.

Troubleshooting Herd Health Issues on Your Dairy
This podcast series focuses on troubleshooting herd health issues on dairy farms. Episodes will discuss specific areas to look at when experiencing issues in different life stages of the dairy cow.  Episodes focus on preweaned calves, transition through weaning, heifer phase, calving pen issues, metabolic disorders of the transition cow, specific fresh cow issues, lactating cow issues from mastitis, issues with reproduction, production, feeding behavior and facilities, hoof health and lameness, and problems during the dry period.   

Connect to these podcasts by going here
Dairy Market Watch – February The latest issue of Dairy Market Watch is now available on our website. The PDF version can be downloaded there, full link below if needed. If you would like an editable copy, please email me directly.
Dairy Market Watch is an educational newsletter to keep producers informed of changing market factors affecting the dairy industry. Dairy Market Watch is published at the end of every month, funded in part by Cornell Pro-Dairy, and is compiled by Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Business Management Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Program. It is available for your use in newsletters, mailings, educational handouts, etc. – or just to keep up to date on the market issues affecting our dairy industry!

By martha

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