Precision Dairy Technology Forum set in Pennsylvania

Penn State’s Extension Dairy Team and the Maryland and Virginia Milk Producers Cooperative Association will host a Precision Dairy Technology Forum Summer Tour, July 9, 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m., near Martinsburg, Pa.

Dairy farm owners, herdsmen and related industry personnel will learn the positives and negatives associated with various precision technologies, enabling them to make informed decision regarding the role of the technology on their dairy.

Topics will include:

• cow cooling and ventilation

• solar energy options for dairy farms

• working with Hispanic labor

• cow bedding

The program, facilities tour and lunch will all be located on-farm at 811 Piney Creek Road, Martinsburg, PA. Sponsors include: Advanced Comfort Technology, Delaval, Genex, Select Sires, Cowkuhlerz, Paradise Energy Solutions, Roast-A-Matic, Fisher & Thompson, Lancaster DHIA, SCR North America, Fulton Bank, Lancaster Dairy Farm Automation, Land O’ Lakes, Susquehanna Bank. Ice cream and milk provided by Vale Wood Farms.

Registration is free, but advance registration is required by July 2. Registration can be done online at; call toll-free 888-373-7232; or download a registration form and mailing to Penn State Extension Dairy Team, 324 Henning Bldg., University Park, PA 16802.

For more information, call toll-free 888-373-7232 or contact Ximena del Campo, Extension Educator,; Mat Haan, Extension Educator,


Pennsylvania supports YDLI Program participants

The Dairymen’s Association and Center for Dairy Excellence are offering up to four partial scholarships for Pennsylvania dairy producers to attend the Holstein Foundation’s Young Dairy Leaders Institute (YDLI).

The Young Dairy Leaders Institute is a nationally recognized three-phase leader and communication skills development program for young adults (ages 22-45) working in the dairy industry, with all breeds of cattle. Each participant develops top-tier skills and the personal network needed to succeed in today's dairy business.

Class nine will meet Feb. 25-28, 2015, and Feb. 24-27, 2016, in Phoenix, Ariz. The application deadline is Aug. 1, 2014, and enrollment is limited to allow for increased one-on-one instruction. Scholarships will be awarded based upon the following criteria and will be used to offset the cost of an individual to attend the full Young Dairy Leaders Institute for the duration of two years.

Successful scholarship candidates shall be:

• Be an active Pennsylvania dairy farmer

• Have formally completed an application for the current class of Young Dairy Leaders Institute and submitted to the Holstein Foundation by designated deadline

• Have no pre-identified industry or business sponsor affiliate to offset the cost of attending Young Dairy Leaders Institute

• Shows commitment to encouraging other Pennsylvania dairy farmers to apply and participate in future Young Dairy Leaders Institute classes

• Willing to share Young Dairy Leader Institute projects and impact with Center for Dairy Excellence and Dairymen’s Association boards

Visit to download the application. Upon completion, applications should be sent to: Holstein Foundation, PO Box 816, Brattleboro, Vt., 05302-0816 or emailed to


Northern New York corn, soybean disease survey underway

Common, emerging and re-emerging crop diseases are a threat to two of the economically-important crops in Northern New York. A team of Cornell University faculty and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators with Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) funding are now in the second year of a survey of corn and soybean fields in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

This proactive disease assessment will help protect the health and profitability of corn and soybean production in Northern New York. The two crops combined are estimated to have a more than $106 million economic impact in the region.

The NNYADP has posted the early results of the first-year survey in 2013 on its website at First-year plant samples from 14 sentinel fields of corn and 10 sentinel fields of soybeans on Northern New York farms were tested by the Bergstrom Lab at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y.

A major benefit of this project will be to increase grower knowledge of crop diseases such as leaf blights, ear rots, and stalk rots in corn, and foliar blights, stem rots, pod rots, viruses and other systemic diseases in soybeans. 

Results will be posted periodically on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at and will be available from CCE offices.


New York farm worker housing loans available

Farm Credit East encourages farm businesses to consider seeking funds for farm worker housing construction and improvement from the New York State Farm Worker Housing (FWH) Loan Program. These funds are available to New York agricultural producers, including fruit, vegetable and dairy operations.

“The New York State Farm Worker Housing loan program has been a tremendous tool for farms seeking to improve housing for their farm laborers,” said Mike Haycook, Farm Credit East vice president and coordinator of the NYS FWH program. “Without the use of these loan proceeds, many of the farms would not have been able to provide quality housing and would have been at a disadvantage when hiring farm laborers.”

The FWH Loan program is administered by Farm Credit East in partnership with New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), and provides no-interest loans to help finance improvement of existing housing or the construction/purchase of new housing for farm workers.

The program is administered as a revolving loan fund, with loan repayments made by the borrowers applied to the balance of available funds. In 2014, approximately $3.2 million is available from this program. Since its inception in 1995, Farm Credit East and its predecessor organizations have provided 265 FWH loans, totaling $15.8 million.  Applicants must demonstrate the need to improve seasonal or year round farm worker housing, which they own or operate, in order for the housing to comply with the applicable state building and health codes or to construct new seasonal or year round farm worker housing. The funds cannot be used for housing for the farm owner’s family.

Agricultural producers may apply to borrow up to $100,000 per year for farm worker housing projects. An upfront, one-time fee is applied to cover administrative costs. There are no other fees or interest applied for the term of the loan. The loans are repaid in equal, annual payments of principal. The term of the loan may not exceed ten years.

To apply for a loan, contact your local Farm Credit East office (see for office locations). Agricultural producers may apply at any time; however, funds will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.