BusinessIn today's world of rapid change, strong records and business skills are essential for sound decision making and agile maneuvering. There are many helpful resources available. Please contact us for clarification or any additional information that you may be seeking.

Rate Your Record Keeping System by Mary Kate (Wheeler) MacKenzie

Last Modified: December 11, 2020

Mary Kate (Wheeler) MacKenzie was recognized by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) with a national communications award for her feature story on recordkeeping, originally published by Cornell Small Farms Quarterly in January, 2020.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

Last Modified: April 24, 2020

On April 18, Dr. Andrew Novakovic, recently retired but formerly the Director of the Cornell Dairy and Markets Policy Program, sent an update on financial assistance provided by the federal government through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), including an overview of the program and estimates of the direct payments dairy farmers might receive.

USDA's Latest Dairy Forecast

Last Modified: April 24, 2020

April 13, 2020 - USDA's official, consensus forecast for agricultural markets, known as the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, just came out.  Their analysis of dairy market (as of early April) is as follows:

US Dairy Exports Feb 2020

Last Modified: April 22, 2020

Progress of the Dairy Farm Report 2019

Last Modified: April 6, 2020

This is the third Progress Report summarizing Selected Financial and Production Factors for 2019 with data from 135 NY farms who participated in the Dairy Farm Business Summary.

Custom Machinery Rates

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms & Livestock Specialist
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: June 1, 2016

Trying to figure out how much to pay or charge for custom machinery operations? Check out the 2016 custom rate summaries from Pennsylvania.

NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program - Fact Sheet

Janice Degni, Team Leader, Field Crop Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: May 26, 2016

NYSERDA offers energy audits to help eligible farms and on-farm producers identify ways to save energy and money on utility bills. Reports include recommendations for energy efficiency measures.  

Milk Price Protection Program - New Dairy Protection Included in 2014 Farm Bill

Joan Sinclair Petzen, Farm Business Management
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: May 1, 2014

Milk Price Protection Program (MPP) slated to replace Federal Dairy Programs in 2014. Passage of the 2014 Farm Bill made sweeping changes to how dairy farmers will receive protection from swings in price of both milk and feed ingredients. Learn more about the new MPP.

Would a National Checkoff fit Organic?

A. Fay Benson, Small Dairy Extension Educator
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: January 6, 2014

The New York Organic Dairy Task Force heard from two sides on this topic at its December 6th 2013 meeting at the Dairylea Offices in Syracuse. As an outcome of that meeting the 23-member Task Force decided that more education on the topic should be directed towards those that would be affected by a checkoff.

Apps for Ag

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms & Livestock Specialist
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: December 20, 2013

List of some apps for smartphone users.

Annual Farm Business Summary and Analysis Season Is Right Around The Corner

John Hanchar, Farm Business Management Specialist
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: December 2, 2013

  • Sound financial planning and control are keys to successfully managing agricultural risks.
  • The next few months present good opportunities to evaluate your business' financial management practices.
  • The NWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program has the capacity to work with a variety producers as they seek to improve their business' financial management practices.

Milk Harvest Cost Study - Extension Bulletin

Last Modified: September 13, 2013

In 2010 and 2011 PRO-DAIRY in partnership with Farm Credit East and with support from the NY Farm Viability Institute set out to determine the cost of harvesting and storing milk with the emphasis on milk harvest. The cost of operating the milking parlor for the farms in the study was $1.39 per cwt. with a range from $0.88 to $2.25 per cwt. Attached you will find an Extension Bulletin with the full report. You can also find this report online at or

In addition to the report, a calculator was developed for farms to use to calculate their milk harvest costs. You can find the calculator online at under Cost Calculators.

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Upcoming Events

Cornell Seed Growers Field Day

July 2, 2024 : Cornell Seed Growers Field Day
Ithaca, NY

Save the Date!

North American Manure Expo

July 17 - July 18, 2024 : North American Manure Expo
Auburn, NY

Save the Date for the North American Manure Expo

Professionalism in Nutrient Management -

Sundaes on the Farm

July 21, 2024
Spencer, NY

Learn about Tioga County Agriculture! IFree Admission! Enjoy Ice Cream, Animals and Farm Tours, Kid's Activities, Food, Live Music, and Farm Vendors. 


Farm Participants Needed for Bale Grazing Grant!

Information on the Project:  
  • Approximately 10 acres total needed to bale graze two different bale densities
  • "Core" farms will graze two winters, "Demo" farms will graze one winter.
  • Payments for both "Core" farms and "Demo" farms
  • Baseline soil sampling by bale grazing team
  • Forage measurements in early season by bale grazing team
  • Late season clipping if residual not trampled down by farm
Interested farms can enroll for this winter or next.

Looking for 2-3 dairy farms to enroll! If interested, please reach out to Betsy Hicks, 607.391.2673 or 

Cornell Cow Convos - New Podcast

On-going podcast, New episodes released on the last Thursday of the month.
Guest speakers, CCE Dairy Specialists.

Housed on Soundcloud Channel is CCE Dairy Educators

  • Preventative healthcare for cows
  • The trend of beef on dairy
  • What to look forward to in the new year for dairy
  • Socially grouping or pair-housing calves

Dairy Acceleration Program Funds Available

Funds available for the
  • organization of financial records/benchmarking up to $1,000
  • continued business planning (for farms awarded in a previous year) up to $2,500
  • business planning up to $5,000
Guidelines remain the same DAP covers 80% of the cost up to the value of the award and the farm is responsible for 20%.  Visit

2018 Drug Residue Prevention Manual

For more than 30 years, the U.S. dairy industry has focused educational efforts on the judicious use of antibiotics through the annual publication of a Best Practices Manual. The 2018 edition of the National Dairy FARM Program: Farmers Assuring Responsible Management? Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual is the primary educational tool for dairy farm managers throughout the country on the judicious and responsible use of antibiotics, including avoidance of drug residues in milk and meat.

The manual is a quick resource to review those antibiotics approved for dairy animals and can also be used as an educational tool and resource for farm managers as they develop on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues. Visit the Manual and Form Library to download copies of this important tool!

Follow us on Facebook

The team updates our facebook page frequently - follow us to be updated on our events, see some fun videos and get local area updates!

ProDairy Forage Management

Are you prepared to change your routine this spring?

By: Joe Lawrence, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and Ron Kuck, Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team

While spring tasks vary by farm, there are many "rites of spring," and they are often completed in a fairly rigid sequence. Depending on the farm, these often include fixing fence, spreading manure, planting new seedings, planting corn and harvesting first cutting, and are often performed in this order.

We are optimistic that the upcoming turn in weather will allow these task to be accomplished in a timely manner, but at this point it is time to ask yourself: Are you willing to change your spring routine?

In addition to adverse weather it is no secret that everyone is facing extremely tight economic times, and dealing with forage inventories of poor digestibility forages from 2017. This combination of factors makes it more critical than ever to be ready to tackle the task that will have the most impact on your business at the proper time.

Recent reference articles on dealing with tough times:
• Key Opportunities to Optimize 2018 Crop Production Efficiency
• Resources for Dealing with Spring Weather Delays
First Cutting
The number one focus should be on timely harvest of first cutting.
• Park the corn planter when a field of first cutting is ready for harvest.
o Monitoring 1st cut harvest timing
• Approach harvest by the acre, not by the field. Be ready to skip over a field that has passed its optimum harvest stage.
o Dynamic Harvest Schedules
• Strategically plan feed storage to best utilize forage inventories for the right group of animals.
o Strategic Forage Storage Planning
o When More is Better
Corn Planting
The window for planting for silage is generally wider than for grain, which is why first cutting can and should take priority over corn planting. However, in the event of extreme delays in planting corn, performance will diminish with late plantings. If corn planting progresses into late May or early June, begin to consider alternative options for those acres. Previous research from Cornell and Penn State suggest a 0.5 to 1 ton/acre per week decline in silage yield for planting after mid to late May.

First and foremost during a time of year that can be very busy and stressful, taking every precaution to keep your team safe is critical.

The idea of fitting all of this work into a condensed time period, and still getting key tasks completed before critical deadlines can seem impossible, but year after year many find unique ways to get it all done. Consider working with neighbors, custom operators or renting equipment to accomplish these key tasks on time.

If you currently utilize custom operators, now is a good time to set up a time to meet with them and make sure you are on the same page to get tasks accomplished in the time-frame needed. Make sure that your expectations and goals are clearly defined. They will also be under stress to fit their work into a condensed period and meet their customers' expectations, so defining expectations and pre-planning how to most efficiently get the work accomplished when the custom operator arrives can go a long way to increase the chances for success.

NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program

NYSERDA offers energy audits to help eligible farms and on-farm producers identify ways to save energy and money on utility bills. Reports include recommendations for energy efficiency measures.

Eligible farms include but are not limited to dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg. The farms must also be customers of New York State investor-owned utilities and contribute to the System Benefits Charge (SBC). Please check your farmís current utility bills to see if your farm pays the SBC.

Energy Audit Options
You can request the level of energy audit that best fits your farmís needs. NYSERDA will assign a Flexible Technical Assistance Program Consultant to visit your farm and perform an energy audit at no cost to you.

For more information and the NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program Application click here