Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Enrollment

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  • Dairy Management
  • Farm Business Management
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Steel in the Field

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

April 30, 2013

Controlling weeds with reduced reliance on herbicides is one of the main challenges facing farmers interested in moving toward a more sustainable agriculture. Some are concerned about the potential health implications of handling herbicides. Others worry about groundwater contamination. Still more farmers and ranchers have seen the escalating costs of bringing new, less environmentally harmful chemicals to market and have witnessed the development of "super weeds" that are resistant to commonly used herbicides.

Therefore, finding alternative weed control strategies remains of great practical importance. In some ways, cultivating for weed control is almost a lost art. Herbicides seemed to work so well for so long that many farmers abandoned mechanical means of control. But now, with new implements and improved versions of the basic rotary hoes, basket weeders and flame weeders of 50 years ago, we are seeing improved efficiency and renewed interest in mechanical cultivation.

Farmers are employing many techniques to control weeds, including careful selection of crops in rotations, using cover crops to compete with and smother weeds and, of course, mechanical cultivation.

This book will provide you with information about how each implement works in the field in sustainable weed management systems. It also rates each tool's usefulness in certain conditions, what problems other farmers have identified with that tool and where to obtain more information.

First published in 1997, this revised 2002 version of Steel in the Field includes updated tool sources with World Wide Web sites, updated contact information for our list of experts and current tool prices. Thanks to SAN's Jennifer Butler for leading the revision effort.

You may want to travel to farms or research sites to see these implements in use. (See p. 118 for a list of experts.) We hope this book will help reduce the legwork in finding the right set of implements that works well on your farm.

After you read the book, let us know what you think! We've included an evaluation sheet on p. 123.


Steel in the Field, A Farmer's Guide to Weed Management Tools (pdf; 1132KB)


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calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Income and Real Property Tax Primer-A Learning Circle for Women Non-Operating Land Owners of Ag Land

July 24, 2019
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Portageville, NY

For many of us taxes can be a mystery, let's have a conversation with the experts about the tax considerations agricultural landowners need to think about. 
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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers-Cancelled!

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm

The Finger Lakes Graziers pasture walk has been cancelled due to some scheduling conflicts. 
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Announcements

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions

June 29, 2019

RMA Announces Additional One-time Changes to Prevented Planting Provisions
for 2019 Crop Year

In response to delayed and prevented planting resulting from above average rainfall and wetness, the USDA Risk Management Agency has made a one-time change to the 2019 crop year prevented planting rules that effectively allows silage corn, if planted as a cover crop following local agricultural expert guidelines, to be acceptable as a post-prevented planting cover crop. Under this one-time rule change, producers are allowed to produce this crop while retaining their prevented planting payment. This change couples with previously announced one-time changes to the prevented planting rules - including expanded acceptable uses for post-prevented planting cover crops and a change in the cover crop haying and grazing start date rule - serve to help those struggling to meet their forage needs due to the weather.

Read the full article from the New York Crop Insurance Education Program.

The USDA-RMA states that "For crop insurance purposes, a cover crop is a crop generally recognized by agricultural experts as agronomically sound for the area for erosion control or other purposes related to conservation or soil improvement." PRO-DAIRY specialists Joe Lawrence and Karl Czymmek and Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Professor and Director of Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program have released a letter stating "Corn on Prevented Planting acres meets these objectives."


New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.

https://nwnyteam.cce.cornell.edu/submission.php?id=761&crumb=dairy|1

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