Current Projects

Final reports and results of our research can found throughout this site. But, because some of our work can span several years to gather information, review and summarize our findings, we want to keep you abreast of our current projects. Check back for updates on our progress.

WCM: Session 1: Methane's Role in Global Warming & Current and Future Opportunit

Donette Griffith, Administrative Assistant
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: January 25, 2022
WCM: Session 1: Methane's Role in Global Warming & Current and Future Opportunit

WCM 2022: Session 1 (January 14) Resources

Topics: Methane's Role in Global Warming & Current and Future Opportunities to Decrease Enteric Methane

Speakers: Dr. Bob Howarth, The David R. Atkinson Professor of Ecology and Environmental Biology & Current and Future Opportunities to Decrease Enteric Methane
Dr. Thomas R. Overton, Professor and Chair of Animal Science-CU and Director PRO-DAIRY Program

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:

COVID-19 Resources for Dairy Farmers

Mary Kate MacKenzie, Farm Business Management Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: April 7, 2020
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.

Dairy Farm Risk Management Options

Mary Kate MacKenzie, Farm Business Management Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: April 7, 2020

In January 2020, before news of coronavirus became widespread, the futures markets showed signs that 2020 would be a recovery year for the dairy industry. Class III futures prices were between $17.75 and $18.25 per hundredweight from February through December 2020. However, 2020 milk futures fell as the coronavirus began to spread. As of April 6, Class III futures for May had fallen to $12.58 per hundredweight. In this article, Cornell University Professor of Applied Economics Christopher Wolf discusses the various price risk management options available to dairy producers in the context of COVID-19.

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.

Updated: Do's and Don'ts for Dairy Farmers When Facing Financial Difficulty

Last Modified: April 5, 2020

This is a revised Do's and Don'ts list for dairy farmers during times of financial stress that was originally published back in 2018. With the increasing likelihood of considerable financial stress in agriculture this year, this might be an easy read to help focus on some critical things as different decision need to be made.

Dairy Market Updates - April 1st 2020

Last Modified: April 3, 2020

Dairy Market Updates from Andrew Novakovic at Cornell University and Mark Stephenson at University of Wisconsin on April 1st, 2020.

COVID-19 Response: Leadership, Planning, and Communication/Collaboration

Last Modified: April 1, 2020

By Dr. Bob Milligan, LearningEdge Monthly

I have been visiting with clients and colleagues and thinking about how to respond to our COVID-19 crisis. My wife and I are hunkered down as we are among the vulnerable and are in position to isolate. This issue is a series of short articles focused around what I think are the three keys to navigating this crisis. They are: Leadership, Planning, Communication and Collaboration.

Regional Team Operations during COVID-19

Mary Kate MacKenzie, Farm Business Management Specialist
South Central New York Dairy & Field Crops

Last Modified: March 24, 2020

Our South Central NY Dairy and Field Crops Team is open for business! We are responding to COVID-19 social distancing and NYS workplace mandates by working from our home offices. We will be avoiding person-to-person contact to reduce risk of spreading the novel coronavirus. However, our staff are available during normal business hours for communications and information requests. We are as committed as ever to supporting the essential work of farmers and the agricultural industry, and we would love to hear from you! We will do our best to be your agricultural information resource during this extremely challenging time.

Is Double Cropping BMR Sorghum followed by a Winter Grain a Viable System?

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

Last Modified: July 22, 2013
Is Double Cropping BMR Sorghum followed by a Winter Grain a Viable System?

Alternative crops that yield well at a reasonable cost of production are needed for expanding cropping options on less than optimal ground. We propose to trial sorghum, as an alternative to corn silage, followed by a winter grain on 4 cooperator farms. Sorghum appears to be a reasonable substitute for corn silage offering similar yields and nutrition at a lower cost. Sorghum has not been widely grown in the NE and we want to understand the necessary management for its successful production. We want to quantify the benefit from a double crop system with a fall grain harvested as early spring forage. We will evaluate whether this cropping combination is cost effective with consistent performance, adequate yield and feed quality.

Sprouted Barley Fodder

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

Last Modified: July 17, 2013
Sprouted Barley Fodder

This Facebook group serves as a forum for dairy farmers who want to know more about using sprouted barley fodder as feedstock. Connect to the community of barley fodder producers and dairy farmers by posting questions and pictures and engaging with the group's resources, including a webinar with John Stultzfus of Be-A-Blessing Organic Dairy, and Fay Benson from Cornell University. 

more content - left










more content - right

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