Tillage and Planting Reminders in a Wet Spring

Last Modified: May 12, 2017

Tom Kilcer outlines some precautions to prevent compaction when tilling and planting under wet conditions with some other spring tips 

Custom Machinery Rates

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms & Livestock
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.  

Delayed Planting Dates and Corn Maturity in 2014

Last Modified: August 21, 2014

Guidelines for Adjusting Corn Maturities

Last Modified: May 16, 2014

MAY 16 2014 UPDATE
Rainfall totals from last night (western NY), today (central NY), and tonight (eastern NY) will keep most growers out of the field for 3-7 days, depending upon soil texture and timing of the next precipitation event. The NASS data indicated that 8% of NY corn was planted by 5/11, last Sunday. Probably another 15-20% was planted this week so we probably have close to 25% of the corn planted, hopefully all to full-season hybrids.

Now is probably the time to consider switching to shorter season hybrids for grain?..silage or high moisture corn can probably wait until May 25th or so.
Grain growers should probably back off by 5 days in hybrid maturity, if they can get in later next week-May 22-25. If planting is delayed until early June, grain growers should consider backing off another 5 days or 10 days shorter than normal or consider switching corn acres to soybean acres if it is early June. This is especially true for no-till corn on corn ground (slower early-season growth translates into higher grain moisture at harvest if there is lots of corn residue?.if it is soybean residue not really an issue), fields that receive the first frost in the fall, or high elevation fields that mature slowly. As last year?s data shows, there was really no yield hit to staying with long-season hybrids right up until June but either harvest has to be delayed by 2-3 weeks or grain moisture will be much higher (see attached WCU article).

But again, anything can happen. In 2011, we had an exceedingly wet May allowing only for 24% of the corn to be planted in NY by 5/22 and 43% by 5/29. But then conditions turned exceedingly dry from mid-June through July before the drought was relieved in August. And guess what, the long-season corn planted in late May or early June yielded by far the best because it didn?t silk until the first week of August when drought was relieved.

So, it has been a tough spring so far but the season is not over (I keep telling myself the same thing when I read about yet another Red Sox loss?.no comment on the devastating Game 7 loss by the Bruins to the much-hated Canadians!). The long-term forecast has normal rainfall and normal temperature starting next week and for the following 10 days. Likewise, the worthless 3-month long-term forecast for June-August has pretty much normal conditions.
Hope springs eternal!

Variable Rate Fertility Management

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: April 24, 2014
Variable Rate Fertility Management

An expanded version of the February 2014 Ag Focus Article, Variable Rate Fertility Management.

Cover Crop InterSeeder

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: February 17, 2014
Cover Crop InterSeeder

Want to plant a cover crop into standing corn or soybeans, apply a herbicide, and sidedress nitrogen all in one pass? Check out the cover crop InterSeeder developed at Penn State in this PDF. For additional information go to InterSeeder website.

Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test (ISNT)

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: February 14, 2014
Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test (ISNT)

Curious about what the ISNT soil test is and how to use it? Download this Cornell Agronomy Fact Sheet describing the Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test. More Agronomy Fact Sheets are available at the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program website.

Soil Sampling for Field Crops

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: February 13, 2014
Soil Sampling for Field Crops

Not sure how to sample your soil? Download this Cornell Agronomy Fact Sheet. More Agronomy Fact Sheets are available at the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program website.

Mapping Management Zones with Soil Conductivity

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: February 4, 2014
Mapping Management Zones with Soil Conductivity

Interested in creating soil management zones with soil conductivity on your farm? Download this PDF.

Getting the Most Out of Your Manure Presentation

Bill Verbeten, Field Crops
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Last Modified: January 23, 2014
Getting the Most Out of Your Manure Presentation

There are many practical, cost-effective manure management practices can be adopted on farms of all sizes.

Abnormal Corn Ears Poster

Last Modified: January 21, 2014
Abnormal Corn Ears Poster

“Check out this poster describing the cause of abnormal corn ears.”

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Healthy, Hardy Heifers! Virtual Series Fall 2021

October 1, 2021
October 8, 2021
October 15, 2021
October 22, 2021
October 29, 2021
November 5, 2021
November 12, 2021
November 19, 2021
: Healthy, Hardy Heifers!

CCE Regional Ag Teams are excited to offer this NEW heifer series! Join us VIRTUALLY for an 8-week series on heifer management topics from post-weaning to calving! This series will be offered virtually via Zoom every Friday starting October 1st, 2021, at 12:00 pm EST. Sessions will be ~30 - 45 minutes in length, with a question period at the end.

Income Tax Planning for Farms that File a Schedule F

October 13, 2021
October 20, 2021
October 27, 2021
: Income Tax Planning for Farms that File a Schedule F

A three-part series for farms that are already filing a Schedule F covering tax planning and goals, handling farm profits/losses, and strategies to improve your tax position while also working positively with your accountant/tax preparer.

Farm Financial Records for Decision Making and Tax Management

December 2, 2021

A primer for beginning farmers, or a tune-up for those already in production, on recording income and annual expenses, capital expenditures and depreciation with additional information covering loans & credit card or revolving loan payments, sales of business assets, and deducting losses.


From Our Team to Yours: COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers

The South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team has compiled a list of articles that we think may be useful to dairy producers and their service providers as we all navigate the COVID-19 situation. Please stay safe and reach out to our team if you have questions or need help finding information. We are here to help with tools and resources to support all of the normal day-to-day dairy and field crop management considerations, in addition to emerging topics related to COVID-19.

For the full list, click here: COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers

Regional Team Operations During COVID-19

Click here for an operations update.

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


CCE Hemp Exchange Board On-Line
Dear Hemp Growers & Processors: Our exchange board has its first postings; plenty of interest in selling and purchasing. You can check it out at

 *The NY Hemp Exchange Board is posted for your information and research purposes. Cornell Cooperative Extension does not endorse or recommend any product, service, individual, business or other entity. All "Hemp Exchanges" are posted at the discretion of CCE. "Hemp Exchanges" requests may be denied or removed at any time for any reason Maire Ullrich, MBA Agriculture Program Leader Eastern New York Horticulture Team - Vegetables Cornell University Cooperative Extension Orange County

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!

Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship

Western New York Dairy Farmers Kim Shaklee and Janice Brown make the news with their successful Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship match. Kim and Janice are Master Graizers, and they are working hard with their Apprentice, Travis Belmore and preparing Lauren La Mar for an official Apprenticeship.

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 farm’s 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 farm’s 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