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Integrated Pest and Field Crop Management Outreach Project 2001

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Project Leader(s): Lisa Fields, Extension Educator, CCE Schoharie County

Cooperator(s): Ken Wise, NYS IPM Eastern NY Field Crops Specialist, Project Outreach F arms: Boulder Brook Farm, Davis Meadows Farm and Stone House Farm

Type of grant: Public Education

Project location(s): Schoharie County

Abstract: This project entailed a new approach to delivering IPM/ICM education to the local dairy farm community. The concept of on-site demonstration was employed by having volunteer host farms to serve as data collection and field meeting sites in three different areas of the county. The intent was to pique the interest of area farmers as they could see the process and result of employing specific practices close to home. The relationship to their own farm would be drawn from the similarities and differences of the project outreach farms. One accomplishment of the IPFCM project was that weather data was obtained along with crop data. Having similar weather conditions on three farms with differing crop yield/quality outcomes could be useful in breaking the barrier of acceptance by producers of the value of certain management practices. Examples are crop pest scouting, nutrient management, non-pesticidal fly control in barns and limiting secondary tillage in field corn. Conversely, having data that details the varying weather conditions between farms can convey the importance of choosing varieties and tillage regimes suited to your farm’s conditions. Project outreach stated that changes will be made as a result of this program (see attachment A). Regarding the outrach component, a challenge was that 2001 was a crop disaster year due to rainfall of about 10" below normal for the season. During such conditions of duress, people are not open to examining management practices that have a long term impact but do not provide immediate relief. Prior to the next season would be a more opportune time for such educational efforts.