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Easy, breezy energy helps power Union Springs farm

Easy, breezy energy helps power Union Springs farm
A Union Springs farm will soon be harvesting more than just crops. DuMond Farms is the site of a new vertical wind turbine installed this week, which will harness energy from the slightest breeze to powerful hurricane-force gales, converting it into electricity. More typical turbines look like windmills, but this one has panels that harness the energy and spin like... more

Cayuga County farms awarded over $1.1M for manure storage

Cayuga County farms awarded over $1.1M for manure storage
Three Cayuga County farms are getting some state aid to upgrade their manure storage, assistance greatly needed at a time when farms are dealing with new regulations and falling milk prices. Sennett farm Peters Dairy, Scipio farm Van Ridge Dairy and Valley Mound Farm in Scipio Center are all concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) benefiting from the latest round of... more

Gillibrand seeks milk ‘price floor’ to help NY dairy farmers

Gillibrand seeks milk ‘price floor’ to help NY dairy farmers
As dairy farmers struggle with low milk prices, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is proposing a solution that could provide some support for farms. Gillibrand, D-N.Y., unveiled legislation Tuesday that would establish $23.34 per hundredweight as the price floor for milk. It would be modeled after the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Price Loss Coverage program for corn and soybean farmers. Under... more

Owasco farm under investigation for worker living conditions

Owasco farm under investigation for worker living conditions
Nicole Catalfano said she wanted to cry. Four adults and five children have been living in squalor on a dairy farm in Owasco since December, and Catalfano helped them pack up their belongings Friday and leave. With temperatures dropping and a light sprinkle falling, young women and children carried out hampers and trash bags filled with food and clothes through... more

Helming: $5.5M available for farmland protection projects

Helming: $5.5M available for farmland protection projects
Senator Pam Helming announced that $5.5 million is available through two state grant programs to fund farmland protection projects. Both the Farmland Protection Implementation Program and Land Trust Grants can help preserve viable farmland, protecting it from development and conversion to non-farm uses. The funding helps farmers identify available land and expedite the process of permanently protecting agricultural properties through... more

HELMING: Local farmers will be eligible for new $5,000 tax credit

HELMING: Local farmers will be eligible for new $5,000 tax credit
New York State Senator Pam Helming recently announced that local farmers are eligible to receive up to a $5,000 tax credit for food donations made to food banks that serve needy families and seniors in our region. Eligible donations include fresh fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat produced in New York State. Working with the New York Farm Bureau, Senator Helming... more

Wickham ends tenure as manager of Empire Farm Days

Wickham ends tenure as manager of Empire Farm Days
Melanie Wickham’s name is nearly synonymous with Empire Farm Days. After 32 years as organizer and manager of the largest outdoor agricultural trade show in the Northeast, Wickham is leaving. A town of Seneca resident in Ontario County, Wickham has served as executive director of the Empire State Potato Growers Inc., which sponsors Empire Farm Days every August. Since 1988,... more

Grape harvest at Shaw Vineyard on Seneca Lake (photos)

Grape harvest at Shaw Vineyard on Seneca Lake (photos)
The annual grape harvest is now complete for most wineries and farms across the Finger Lakes. In these photos below, winemaker Steve Shaw and the team at Shaw Vineyard process the harvest late last week in Himrod on the western shore of Seneca Lake. Shaw Vineyard is a artisanal winery dedicated to gentle processing, cellar aging, and risk taking. Since... more

Sen. Helming announces signing of agricultural tourism bill

Sen. Helming announces signing of agricultural tourism bill
Senator Pam Helming today announced that a bill that she co-sponsored to reduce the cost of insurance for agritourism businesses was signed into law. The cost of liability insurance is becoming increasingly costly particularly for small farms that host agritourism activities, such as U-Pick produce, U-Cut Christmas trees, farm and winery tours, snowmobiling, hunting, and other forms of outdoor recreation.... more

Region’s grape crop big in two ways

Region’s grape crop big in two ways
Hans Walter-Peterson has one word to describe this year’s grape crop in the Finger Lakes. Big. Big in two ways, specified Walter-Peterson, a viticulture extension specialist with Finger Lakes Grape Program, which is part of Cornell Cooperative Extension. The grapes are big. So are the bunches. As a whole, this year’s crop looks to be outstanding, Walter-Peterson said. “Some of... more

Inside the FLX: Talking rural development in the Finger Lakes (podcast)

Inside the FLX: Talking rural development in the Finger Lakes (podcast)
On Monday’s edition of the Inside the FLX podcast Josh Durso was joined by Jillian Kasow, Director and Counsel to the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, Christopher Stewart, Special Projects Coordinator with the USDA, and Jim Walfrand, Area Director for Rural Development with the USDA — who discussed shared efforts between regional, state, and federal officials to deliver valuable assets... more

20 years of apple touring in Wayne County

20 years of apple touring in Wayne County
The annual Wayne County Apple Tour returns for the 20th year this fall. Since 1997, apple lovers throughout western and central New York have explored Wayne County to pick fresh apples, enjoy the fall colors, and enjoy a day of family fun. Wayne County is the largest apple-producing county in New York State. The tour runs throughout the month of... more

FLX apple crop is bountiful, tasty

FLX apple crop is bountiful, tasty
There was a time not so long ago when New York’s apple farms were struggling. Competing against cheap, imported apple juice from China, the market for its own juice varieties was drying up quickly, leaving many farms with bottom lines as red as the fruit on their trees. Partly out of necessity, the industry here changed. Some marginal operations left... more
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