January 3rd Farmhour

Community Events                                                                                                                      1. Catskill Regional Dairy, Livestock & Grazing Conference, January 13, 2011 at SUNY-DELHI, Sanford Hall from 10am – 3:30 pm.  $25 includes local foods lunch          For more information call (607) 865 6531 or visit http://www.ccedelaware.org or http://www.nycwatershed.org
2.  “COST EFFECTIVE RENEWABLE ENERGY OPTIONS FOR LOCAL FARMS” at the Community Center, Hobart Village, Cornell Ave,                                                  Saturday, January 15 · 12:00pm – 2:00pm
$15 per person includes lunch and lecture

Dick Riseling and Sonja Hedlund of Apple Pond Farm in Calicoon, NY have combined energy technologies and found the way to make their farm run essentially independent of outside energy sources. NYSERDA incentives made the energy improvements possible with payback periods of 10 years or less for installed technologies. If you are a commercial or hobby farmer, don’t miss this important presentation on the trends and opportunities in renewable energy on your farm.          

RSVP by January 10th to reserve your seat call John Adams at 607-538- 9983 or           email jobe60 {at} directv {dot} net


DEAN NORTON re-elected NYFB President Dean Norton, a dairy farmer and agricultural consultant from Elba (a town in Genessee county) was re-elected as president of New York Farm Bureau during the organization’s State Annual Meeting in Melville, Long Island.  Membership delegates representing farmers from around the state participated in the Bureau’s Annual meeting and vote.

Dean Norton hopes to continue advocating for better policy in Albany and Washington to support the Bureaus 2011 agenda.  A few of the discussions topics on the table at The annual meeting were  dairy, honey, antler size for deer and labor issues.   New York Farm
Bureau is  the largest agricultural advocacy group in New York State,
that represents nearly 30,000 member families.  Norton said he wants to make membership growth a priority in 2011, when NYFB celebrates its 100th anniversary and he recommends that the Farm Bureau devise a 5 and 10 year membership plan with the goal of increasing membership to 50,000 by 2018.   For the curious, the membership fee is 65$ annually and with 30,000 or so current members, thats about a 1.9 million dollar revenue stream.
So, in addition to driving membership, New York Farm
Bureau is dedicated to solving the economic and public policy issues
challenging the agricultural community and is known to members and the public as “The Voice of New York Agriculture.
Norton is employed by Freed MAxick and Battaglia CPA’s as senior agriculture consultant . He works with farms in many ag sectors, and has a lot of experience with both small and larger commodities size farms that help him understand the needs  of the state’s $4 billion ag industry. His family runs a dairy farm in Elba as well as manages a custom trucking operation for forage and commodity harvesting.
Norton also is serving on a transition team for Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo. Norton was named to the team by Bob Duffy, the Rochester mayor and Cuomo’s running mate as lieutenant governor. Duffy was present at the Farm Bureau annual meeting informing all present about the new administrations dedication towards boosting upstaten and long island agriculture economies. Last January Norton also was picked to serve on the American Farm Bureau Federation board of directors. He represents the Northeast region.
He has served as New York Farm Bureau’s President since 2008. His term lasts two years.  Congratualations Dean Norton.

For a global perspective on agriculture today, we’ll take a look at Queensland Australia,  where we see FLOODED HOMES and STRANDED LIVESTOCK

Queensland’s interior, normally a vast outback of cattle properties, farms and coal mines, is now an inland sea, dotted with the roofs of flooded homes and islands crowded with stranded livestock.

The state’s emergency coordinator, Police Deputy Commissioner Ian Stewart, told reporters flood waters in Rockhampton stood 9 meters (30 ft) above normal earlier this week.  Queensland is also a top grower and exporter of sugar, but this year will need to buy more raw sugar from rivals Brazil and Thailand to meet sales commitments because of drenched canefields. The industry group Canegrowers estimated up to 18 percent of the 2010 cane harvest has been abandoned and early plantings for 2011’s crop were under water.

Australia is also the world’s fourth largest wheat exporter and floods also caused as much as half the crop — 10 million tonnes — to be downgraded to less than milling quality.

The transportation of all grain in Queensland was at a standstill, GrainCorp Ltd, the country’s largest grain handler, said on Monday. “We are unable to move anything by rail or, of course, road,” said David Ginns, corporate affairs manager at GrainCorp. Transport to port elevators from inland areas had all but ceased.

Harvesting was severely disrupted in many Queensland areas as machinery was unusable in sodden fields.

Though the latest floods were unlikely to affect the harvest in New South Wales, further south, supply concerns pushed up U.S. wheat futures on the Chicago Board of Trade 1.5 percent to a new 5-month high in trading in Asian time zones.

Queensland state Premier Anna Bligh said the effects of the floods could last weeks even if rains eased, she told reporters “Given the scale and size of this disaster and the prospect that we’ll see waters sitting for potentially a couple of weeks…we will continue to have major issues to deal with throughout January.”

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