Organic Hemp Focus of Winter Meeting

2017 New York Certified Organic winter meeting: Organic hemp, alternative forage

organic hempMonday, March 13, 2017 at 10:00am to 2:00pm

Jordan Hall, Geneva Experimental Station, 614 W. North Street, Geneva NY

The last of the 2017 New York Certified Organic winter meetings on Monday, March 13 in Geneva, NY, will include an update on organic hemp production trials plus presentations on nutrient balancing, crop production, and alternative forage production for organic farming systems. Presenters include Cornell University and University of Vermont faculty and a New York organic dairy farmer.

The meeting will start promptly at 10 am in Jordan Hall at 630 West North Street at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva. There is no cost or need to register to attend the NYCO meetings; participants are asked to bring a dish for potluck lunch. The Monday date is a break with the traditional Tuesday meetings.

Dr. Heather Darby, an agronomic and soils specialist with the University of Vermont, will review field trials conducted at the University research farm on organic hemp production in the Northeast and narrow row organic spring grain production.

Dr. Quirine Ketterings of the Cornel University Nutrient Management Spear Program and Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program Senior Extension Associate Karl Czymmek will show how doing annual whole farm mass balance assessments can help farmers understand the long-term capacity to support optimum yields, identify management strategies that will optimize farm nutrient imports and exports, quantify a farm’s footprint and track how it is changing over time, and summarize and evaluate the farm as a whole system.

Organic dairy farmer Tim Demerree from Little Falls, NY, will talk about his experience with growing annuals, including sudangrass, millet and sorghum for forage and how they fit in his crop rotation. Demeree will also share a comparison of the ensiling profiles of baleage using different preservatives. Nutritionist Adam McFarland of Agriking worked with Demeree to develop this comparison.

Round table discussions after lunch provide farmers the opportunity to ask questions and hear from the combined experience of the group that includes new and transitioning farmers and long-time organic producers.

The March 13 NYCO meeting also includes a brief description of how crop insurance can benefit organic farmers.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for the NYCO meetings. For more details, contact Fay Benson, 607-391-2699, Benson is an educator with the Cornell University SCNY Regional Team, project manager for the NY Organic Dairy Program, coordinator of the NY Soil Health Trailer, and a member of the New York Crop Insurance Team. Information on past NYCO meetings is online at

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