Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Dairy Management
  • Farm Business Management
  • Field Crops
  • Livestock & Small Farms

Enrollment Benefits

  • Telephone / Email Consultations
  • Ag Focus Newsletter
  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

Enrollee Login


Log In To Access:

  • Issues of Ag Focus Newsletters
  • Helpful Diagnostic Tool:
      What's wrong with my crop?

Nitrogen Applications for Winter Small Grains Silage

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

February 1, 2013
Nitrogen Applications for Winter Small Grains Silage

Applying enough nitrogen at green-up will be crucial to raising the yield potential from 2 to 4+ tons of DM per acre. Supplying enough spring nitrogen will also increase crude protein from about 14% to nearly 20% DM if the silage is harvested by the boot stage. The application rate of spring nitrogen needed for high yielding, high quality winter small grain silage may range from 0 to nearly 100 lb. per acre depending on the previous crop in the rotation, and the field manure history.

Typically rates of 10-20 lb. of nitrogen per acre are applied at planting for wheat that is grown for grain. These rates are also sufficient for small grains grown for silage. Too much fall nitrogen leads to excess fall growth, leaving the small grains more vulnerable to damage over the winter.

Rotation Scenarios
One of the most common planting situations for winter grain silage last fall was after corn silage. The amount of spring nitrogen needed will depend on the amount manure applied before planting the small grain. Winter grain silage fields with high manure rates may still respond to a small nitrogen application at green-up (20-30 lb. per acre). If little or no manure was applied at planting than small grain silage yields and quality may respond up to 75-100 lb. of nitrogen per acre.

Small grain silage following a haylage field that contained over 50% alfalfa or clover and had at least 6 inches of growth will not require much spring nitrogen fertilizer. Lodging can occur from over fertilization of nitrogen without responses to yield or quality. In these situations farmers may still want to apply 20-30 lb. nitrogen per acre at green-up as the nitrogen from the previous legume will not start to mineralize and become available to the small grain until temperatures increase later in the spring. If fields were mostly grass and didn't receive manure, then at least 75 lb. per acre of nitrogen should be applied.

Small grain silage planted after soybeans, field peas, or snap beans will likely to respond to a middle range of nitrogen rates (40-60 lb. per acre) as there will be some legume nitrogen that should be available to the small grain silage.

Small grain silage planted after a small grain will likely require between 75 & 100 lb. of nitrogen per acre. Yields of small grain silage following a small grain will likely be lower due to higher disease, insect, and weed pressure compared to the other scenarios described above.

Join the Nitrogen Rate Study
If you are growing winter triticale, winter rye, or winter wheat for silage this spring we would like to include your farm in an on-farm research trial that is being conducted this spring in collaboration with Quirine Ketterings at Cornell. We would need an area 100 feet by 100 feet in each field where we would apply rates of nitrogen from 0 to 120 lb. per acre in 30 lb. increments. Prior to green-up we will document field history (January-February), apply the fertilizer at green-up (March-April), take yields at harvest time (May), and then provide you with report comparing your farm to other farms in the study (Fall 2013). We currently have farms in four of the ten counties signed-up and would like to include some more farms from all across western New York.

Contact Bill Verbeten if you are interested in joining this study.











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Beginning Farmer/Hobby Farmer Workshop $5/pp, class size is limited, so pre-register by April 15th!

April 27, 2019
9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Canandaigua, NY

This hands-on workshop is for beginning or part-time farmers who would like to improve their farm machinery skills, learn to properly and safely maintain their equipment to protect their investment. If you have been thinking about buying a tractor, new or used, two-wheel or four-wheel drive, compact or utility or more come join us. Topics include: selecting the right size/type tractor for the job; basic maintenance; staying safe around tractors and equipment; attaching implements properly; and information about ROPS and SMV's. There will be time for questions.

Pre-registration requested by April 15, 2019 email Amy with your name, address, and phone number or call 585-394-3977 x 429.
Fee: $5.00/person. Class size is limited.

view details

2019 Pastured Poultry Seminar, lunch included so please register by May 10th! $25/person

May 18, 2019
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.w/ coffee & donuts with the Program running from 9:00 a.m. - 5 p. m.
Attica, NY

The main speaker this year is Eli Reiff of Mifflinburg Pennsylvania. Eli raises broilers, turkeys, sheep, and beef, all on pasture. Topics to be covered will include the pasture, feed and nutrition, marketing, costs, and much more. As we grow as farm operators and get bigger, we may not pay as much attention to the basics as we should. So those areas are where we will start, and then expand to cover the group's interests.

Mike Badger, Director of the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association will also be available for a round-table discussion. Plans are to have representatives from Farm Bureau, NYCAMH for farm health and safety, Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, as well as others.

view details

Calling all 9th-12th graders! 4th Annual Precision Agriculture Day at Genesee Community College

May 21, 2019
9:00 am - 1:30 pm Register by Friday May 10th! $15/per person includes lunch
Batavia, NY

Calling all 9th-12th graders!  We have an exciting new program for students interested in technology, science, engineering, and agriculture!
Would you like to:
  • Learn about how Drones collect information
  • Check out some potential career opportunities that have new and ever-changing technology
  • Learn how these technologies can be used in our own backyards in WNY
  • Discover potential and exciting career opportunities

view details


Producers Previously Enrolled in the LGM Program Now Eligible for MPP

Dairy Producers Previously Enrolled in the Livestock Gross Margin Program Now Eligible for 2018 Margin Protection Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that dairy producers who elected to participate in the Livestock Gross Margin for Dairy Cattle Program (LGM-Dairy) now have the opportunity to participate in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy) for 2018 coverage. Sign-up will take place March 25 through May 10, 2019.
Eligible producers can enroll during the sign-up period at their local USDA service center. To locate your office, visit

Smart Farming Team Technical Assistance Grant Application

The Labor Ready Farmer Project is offering grants to provide up to 12 hours of Technical Assistance (TA) consulting services to farms who want to make improvements to their farm's processes in hiring, training, managing or evaluating employees. Applicants will choose from one of the following four areas for TA assistance and identify a specific project. If selected they will be matched with a "Smart Farming Team" of consultants who will provide one on one technical assistance.
Please complete this application and send to Nicole Waters, Beginning Farm Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program. The form can be submitted by email, mail or in-person at the address listed below. Please feel free to call or email with any questions.

Nicole Waters - Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
Plant Science Building, Room 15b
Tower Road, Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: 607-255-9911

Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

USDA Announces January Income over Feed Cost Margin Triggers First 2019 Dairy Sa

WASHINGTON, March 6, 2019 ? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced this week that the January 2019 income over feed cost margin was $7.99 per hundredweight, triggering the first payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the appropriate level of coverage under the new but yet-to-be established Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

DMC, which replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, is a voluntary risk management program for dairy producers that was authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill. DMC offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced last week that sign up for 
DMC will open by mid-June of this year. At the time of sign up, producers who elect a DMC coverage level between $8.00 and $9.50 would be eligible for a payment for January 2019.

For example, a dairy operation with an established production history of 3 million pounds (30,000 cwt.) that elects the $9.50 coverage level for 50 percent of its production could potentially be eligible to receive $1,887.50 for January.

Sample calculation:
$9.50 - $7.99 margin = $1.51 difference
$1.51 times 50 percent of production times 2,500 cwt. (30,000 cwt./12) = $1,887.50

The calculated annual premium for coverage at $9.50 on 50 percent of a 3-million-pound production history for this example would be $2,250.

Sample calculation:
3,000,000 times 50 percent = 1,500,000/100 = 15,000 cwt. times 0.150 premium fee = $2,250

Operations making a one-time election to participate in DMC through 2023 are eligible to receive a 25 percent discount on their premium for the existing margin coverage rates.

"Congress created the Dairy Margin Coverage program to provide an important financial safety net for dairy producers, helping them weather shifting milk and feed prices," FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce said. "This program builds on the previous Margin Protection Program for Dairy, carrying forward many of the program upgrades made last year based on feedback from producers. We're working diligently to implement the DMC program and other FSA programs authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill."

Additional details about DMC and other FSA farm bill program changes can be found at

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.|1