Performance targets from proposal:
1) Out of 30 farmers that participated in cover crop demonstrations 15 will continue to apply cover crops on their own using this system on one field per year for three years after completion of the project.
Out of 35 farmers that participated 5 farmers put on significant acreage at there own expense. An additional 8 farmers tried a second or third demonstration on small acreage using the supplies provided by the SARE grant. Some of the problems with this system as reported by farmers is poor weed control for late germinating grasses like fall panicum and crabgrass, getting custom applicators to spray small acreages of imidizolinone herbicides and to spray them at the appropriate times. Applying a too heavy seeding rate is a common problem which can lead to additional competition from the cover crop.
2) Out of 25 farmers 5 will be willing to use their farms for a field day stop or write a testimonial on their experience with the system in a local SWCD or extension newsletter.
Eight farms were used for field days and extension tours. Empire Farm Days was used for 3 years giving opportunity for 1000’s of farmers to view the system. Tours were also given at Cornell’s Field Days in Aurora attended by farmers and agency personnel. Tours were given at Big Flats Plant Materials Center to many NRCS personnel as well as some farmers and other agency personnel. The Steve Stocking Farm which was used both in my grant as well as a farmer grant was featured in an article in the May 2005 publication “Farming: The Journal of Northeast Agriculture.”
3) Out of seven agency people involved in project 4 will instruct dairy farmers on their own on the use of this system resulting in cover crop plantings.
There were seven agency or consultants that instructed dairy farmers on this system. Due to the technical intricacy of the system this was more of a collaborative effort than a totally independent effort on their part. There continues to be an interest in the utilization of this system by other agency personnel based on continued contacts.
4) Research to be carried out according to proc