It’s August, which means it’s time again for the summer tradition of Seneca Falls, New York: Empire Farm Days. The largest outdoor ag show in the northeastern region, the 300-acre Empire Farm Days event will be held at Rodman Lott and Son Farms, Aug. 9-11. Parking is $10 per vehicle. This year, organizers have added a few twists to the show. Here’s a list of the new attractions for Empire Farm Days:
An important change for those who enjoy the Field Equipment Demonstrations: 10 a.m. is the new time for the daily tillage and GPS-guided demonstrations followed by hay mowing at 11 a.m. Forage chopping and handling demonstrations move to 1 p.m. daily, followed by hay raking, baling, processing and handling at 2 p.m.
- Dairy Profit Seminars on Enhancing Herd Health Through Effective Protocol Management, Spreading the Word: Manure: the Planning and Implementation Process, and The Changing Labor Environment: Responses and Approaches.
- The 2016 Empire Farm Days Soil Health Center Seminars, crop plot tours and farmer panel discussions are focused on the use of cover cropping, interseeding, soil biology, reduced tillage practices and utilizing winter grain cover crops for forage. Presenters include Dr. Matthew Ryan and Dr. Janice E. Thies of Cornell University, and Cornell PRODAIRY Dairy Forage Systems Specialist Joe Lawrence. New York grower Donn Branton, farmer and nutritionist Gabriel Carpenter and Pennsylvania No-Till Alliance President Jim Hershey are among several farmers participating in panel discussions. Western New York Crop Management IT Manager Avery DeGolyer, Ben Flansburg with BCA Ag Technologies and a farmer panel will present a Precision Ag Seminar sponsored by the New York Farm Viability Institute on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Soil Health Center. Presentations will cover field prescriptions, data management and security, different hardware and software systems, and how to develop the right prescription for specific farm needs.
- Planter Technology and Tile Plow Seminars will be offered respectively at 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. daily by White’s Farm Supply. The short presentations will cover the advantages of using variable rate seed and fertilizer applications; section control and technologies that ensure proper seed depth and placement for optimal corn and soybean production; and how farmers can use a tile plow to install farm drainage for water management to improve crop production.
- A Small Farm Seminars series will be offered only on Wednesday, Aug. 10, in the theatre area of the Cornell Empire Building. The series includes programs on the Cornell Small Farms Program, the Northeast Beginning Farmers Program, building soil health, agroforestry, mushroom production basics and the NY Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program.
- New live coverage sprinkler irrigation demonstrations with systems designed for use in field crops, fruit orchards and berry patches will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily, sponsored by Nelson Irrigation and CFS Irrigation Supply. Presenter Steve McCoon will help growers learn how to balance available water supply with plant needs, soil health, depth and intake rates.
- Mock self-propelled applicator slow-moving vehicle inspection demonstrations with the New York State Police daily at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., sponsored by the New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, New York State Agri-Business Association and Northeast Region Certified Crop Advisers.
- The Empire Farm Days Equine Center Round Pen demonstrations with live horses will feature Miniature Horses for Show and Therapy with Jessica Gulvin of Hearts O’Gold Equine on Tuesday, Living American History with American Mustangs with Emma and Jack Minteer of Rose Hill Ranch on Wednesday, and an Introduction to Equestrian Vaulting with Laura Bagley of Sunshine Meadows Farm and Stables on Thursday. The demonstrations take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily and are sponsored by Layden’s Fence and Livestock.
- Casella Organics is presenting daily 10 a.m. field demonstrations of its Fiberlime product, a mix of recovered lime, clay and short paper fibers. The lime is calcium carbonate, similar to the ground limestone rock commonly used to raise soil pH and add calcium for plant growth while the cellulose fiber helps improve soil structure.
- The NY Beef Center will feature live cattle handling demonstrations with Cornell University Beef Extension Specialist Dr. Mike Baker daily at 11:30 a.m., a cattle breeds exhibit with live animals and a special Tuesday Beef Quality Assurance Training.
- The Empire Farm Days Test Drive and Ride Experience in 2016 features the opportunity to try CAT Equipment, a Kubota skid loader equipped with the new Michelin Tweel tires, and RAM trucks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
- The New York pork industry is in the Farm Bureau Family Education Center spotlight for 2016 with new interactive games for young and old. The Franklin County Farm Bureau Farm Safety Day program will be showcased as the Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Award Winner. The Ag in the Classroom exhibit focuses on What’s in the Garden as the Ag Literacy Week book for 2017.
- The Potato Field Days started in 1931 by the Empire State Potato Growers is now Empire Farm Days. The new SPUD NATION Food Truck, a 2016 initiative of the U.S. Potato Board, will be at Empire Farm Days with its globally inspired potato dishes menu.
- Shooting sports take center stage in the Empire Farm Days Outdoor Center for 2016 with members of New York’s firstever scholastic trap shooting team from Belleville Henderson Central School. They will have information on the growing interest in this student endeavor in New York and nationwide. The Outdoor Center is sponsored by Fred’s Tents and Canopies.
- A historic 7-foot round boat that looks like a flying saucer will be at the Empire Farm Days pond near the in-water safety demonstrations with New York Sea Grant, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and NYS Marine Services Bureau.
- The History of Matchbox Toys will be a new program at the New York State Grange Center tent at Empire Farm Days in 2016. The daily schedule of 25-minute programs opens at 9:30 a.m. with Fire Safety is Fun with Dalmatian ‘Sparks’ and Tibbie Dell. The Matchbox Toys program with Richard McKee will begin at 1:35 p.m. daily.
- The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health and National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) are teaming up to offer grain bin safety presentations with a simulator filled with corn on the half hour all day, every day of the show. NECAS Director Dan Neenan covers the four most common ways people become engulfed in grain bins, the equipment every grain bin operator should have on-site and how to protect yourself from the grain dust and mold associated with the bins. A special four-hour after-theshow training will be provided to firefighters and EMS personnel by preregistration.
- The new federal Worker Protection Standard requirements and implementation schedule for agriculture chemical handling will be presented only on Tuesday, Aug. 9, at 1 p.m. in a presentation by NYSDEC Pesticide Control Specialist Christopher Wainwright, sponsored by the New York State Agri-Business Association and Northeast Region Certified Crop Advisers.
- For daily schedules and more information, visit http://www.empirefarmdays.com or call 877- 697-7837.