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Shepherding the Sun: Grazing Sheep Under Solar Arrays

By Stephen Stresow / October 20, 2021

Sunlight is a precious resource in Central New York and a new collaboration between farmers and Cornell is looking at ways to harness it using technology that truly puts the soft in software: sheep. Thousands of acres in New York are being turned into solar farms and many fear that this will displace agricultural land.…

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COVID-19 Update on Pandemic Assistance for Farm and Food Small Businesses

By Elizabeth (Liz) Higgins / October 12, 2021

If your farm or food business is an SBA “small business” you may be eligible for funding for grants to help you respond to coronavirus. The recently announced USDA Pandemic Response and Safety (PRS) Grant Program provides grants between $1,500 to $20,000 to farmers of eligible commodities, businesses that provide post-harvest packing and sorting of…

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Be Well Farming: A Retreat Experience for Farmers

By Violet Stone / October 8, 2021

How do we feed and care for ourselves while we feed others? What types of practices and connections support us to be our best selves in the challenging work of managing a farm business? Most farms focus on two of the three pillars of sustainability: economic and environmental. What is often overlooked is the third…

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Whacking Weeds in Organic Apples, Grapes, and Hemp

By Jules Hart / October 5, 2021

Organic produce is a lucrative niche for growers to enter, the market having broken $60 billion in 2020. This makes organic weed control methods more important to perfect than ever — especially in perennial crops, where weeds cannot be controlled by tilling. Instead of tilling, Cornell researchers are looking at a different solution: electricity. Cornell…

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How We’re Building a Strong NYS Agricultural Industry with Current and Future Programs

By Nicole Waters / October 1, 2021

As the Winter season approaches, we would like to share information on existing and upcoming programs currently available to fruit producers. We welcome the opportunity for collaboration and adaptation to NYS’s vegetable producers and service providers. The Cornell Small Farms Program is currently recruiting for the Winter 2022 Futuro Financiero course! The Futuro Financiero course…

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A New System for No-till Soybean Production

By Jules Hart / September 28, 2021

In an organic setting, soil health is integral. However, current organic systems rely heavily on tillage and cultivation to keep weeds down; both of these techniques disrupt soil structure, which can cause soil to erode and nutrients to run off. They also cause compaction, which can hinder plant root establishment. A new guide to growing…

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Grow Your Farming Skills with Our Production-Focused Block Two Courses

By Kacey Deamer / September 23, 2021

This week marked the official launch of our online course season, as block one courses began live instruction. There’s still time to join in those courses, or you can starting planning ahead for our upcoming block two courses. With webinars starting at the beginning of November, our second block of courses focuses on production strategies…

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In the News: Our Agroforestry Educator Featured in “Sweet Talk” Podcast

By Stephen Stresow / September 20, 2021

In the latest episode of “Sweet Talk: All Things Maple,” a podcast by the Cornell Maple Program, the Cornell Small Farms Program’s specialty mushroom and agroforestry extension specialist, Steve Gabriel, shared his expertise on diversifying maple production through forest farming.  This was the eighth episode of the podcast, which focuses on the latest research, news,…

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Talking to Plants: The Future of Crop Monitoring

By Jules Hart / September 17, 2021

The future is now with the introduction of a new field called Digital Biology, where researchers aim to achieve two-way communication with plants, in order to learn what the plant needs — whether it be water, nutrients, light, or another factor — and respond. Digital biology is being pioneered by a brand-new Center for Research…

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Don’t Miss the Start of Our Online Course Season, Live Webinars for the First Block Start Next Week

By Kacey Deamer / September 15, 2021

The first block of our online courses begin live webinars next week, and we can’t wait to get started! Our suite of online courses is offered on a user-friendly platform, which grants registrants permanent access to their course content. Also, courses have tiered pricing based on household size and income to make access to the…

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