DairyDairy is the leading agricultural industry in New York State, and the state ranks third in the country for milk production. Our ten counties in western New York form an especially vibrant dairy region, with 943 dairy farms of many different sizes and production systems. Wyoming county is the top milk producing county in the state, producing 1.1 billion pounds annually.

Most Recent Dairy Content

First Cutting Updates - Week of May 22nd, 2018

Betsy Hicks, Area Dairy Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: May 30, 2018

An overall assessment of first cutting growth from fields we measured: 

Quite a few farms across the region have started harvest of pure grass stands, as well as mixed stands.  Recommendations are for 50% or less alfalfa stands to make prudent use of this cutting window to harvest for peak dairy quality across the region.  There is still time for pure alfalfa stands to gain yield, given Jerry Cherney's observations.  Look for our final report on Wednesday, May 30th.  We will be sending out a brief survey of how you use the reports, so please feel free to give your assessment of how we are doing in regards to timing of first crop.  You can also reply to Betsy with any comments you may have on the use of the report or how we can improve. 

In the meanwhile, stay safe out in the fields and update the team with any conditions you encounter that would be of interest. 

First Cutting Updates - Week of May 29, 2018

Betsy Hicks, Area Dairy Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: May 30, 2018

An overall assessment of first cutting progress from fields we measured:  Most fields we measure have been harvested or are in the process of being cut.   Early samples we've gotten back have shown that grass cut on recommendations looks really nice.  One all grass sampled showed Adj Prot 22.0%, NDF 53.2 and NDFD 30h at 76.   Early grass varieties are well headed by now, but later maturing grasses are just to head stage.  If you have alfalfa fields standing alongside grass fields, it may be a good idea to harvest the grass for heifer or dry cow haylage, and focus on getting your alfalfa crop for lactating quality.  Most alfalfa fields still standing are showing signs of early bud.  A sample we've gotten back on a mostly alfalfa field cut on recommendations showed Adj Prot 22.6%, NDF of 48 and NDFD at 66, with the NDF and NDFD numbers a bit surprising.  We'd like to see more samples of both grass and alfalfa and mixed if you'd like to share with Janice or Betsy.  

First Cutting Updates - Week of May 15th, 2018

Betsy Hicks, Area Dairy Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: May 15, 2018

An overall assessment of first cutting growth from fields we measured:
Now is the time to cut Pure Grass fields across the region for peak dairy quality forage. Some higher elevations are just at that point, some fields in lower elevations and those in the southern portion of the region are just past that point. Weather forecast looks like rain over the weekend. If you have pure grass stands to harvest for your lactating cows, now is the time to park the corn planter and focus on quality hay crop. For 50/50 mixed stands, recommendations are looking like middle of next week for peak quality. Pure alfalfa stands we still have time - predictions are out to the end of the month at this point for peak quality. Please feel free to share samples you have analyzed with the team to let us know how predictions match up with reality. 











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2019 Hemp Events

Upcoming Hemp Events:

  • Eastern NY Hemp Growers Conference - Albany - June 3-4
  • Aurora Farm Field Day - Mid-July
  • Open House - Millsboro Research Farm - Mid-July
  • Hemp Workshop - Empire Farm Days - Aug 6-8
  • Cornell Hemp Field Day - Geneva - Aug 13
  • Long Island HREC Plant Science Day - Early Sept
  • Cornell CBD Hemp Field Day - Ithaca - Early Sept

For more information, visit:



To: Interested Parties From: Maire R. Ullrich Subject: CCE Hemp Exchange Board Information Dear Hemp Growers & Processors, Our exchange board has its first postings; plenty of interest in selling and purchasing. You can check it out at https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.cce.cornell.edu/attachments/35708/2.1.19.pdf?1549045091 

If you are interested in posting an ad, please fill out the survey at https://cornell.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e35Eb3pNfpWkqhv 

Complete the survey and submit. We will then download all of the entries weekly and post online. *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


Focus on Risk for Dairy Farmers:

Now available to watch online replay:

Webinar Presentation from Cornell University Crop Insurance and Risk Management and Education Program and Pro Dairy


New York's Dairy Farmers deal with risks all the time. Risks such as weather, labor, environmental, etc. Most farmers would agree that their largest risk is milk price. This has certainly been the case for the past four years. The USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has developed tools to help dairy farmers deal with milk price risks with varying success such as the Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC), Dairy Margin Protection Plan (DMPP), and the improved DMPP of this year. USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) has also had tools to help dairy farmers not as popular since there needs to be communication between a crop insurance agent and the farm and there is usually a higher cost associated with these policies but the protection is also higher.

Originally recorded on Thursday January 24th, this webinar features dairy farmer Ron Robbins of North Harbor Dairy in Sackets Harbor NY. And Ed Gallagher, President of DFA Risk Management.
Ron has used many tools to manage milk price risks on his dairy over the years including those from FSA and RMA and also buying contracts on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. During the webinar he will relay some of these experiences and which tools he uses now for his farm's milk protection.

Ed Gallagher will review RMA's new "Dairy Revenue Protection" policy. This is a new policy developed with the help of the American Farm Bureau. It is closer to the crop insurances offered for field crops and has helped that industry manage risks for a number of years.

Fay Benson, who works with Cornell University Crop Insurance and Risk Management and Education Program will host the webinar and indicate where more information can be found on the Dairy Revenue Protection Policy.

New Paraquat Certified Applicator Training Available

Paraquat Certified Applicator Training to Prevent Poisonings Now Available | US EPA



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 https://prodairy.cals.cornell.edu/dairy-acceleration/

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!


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.

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. 


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

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