Effort to highlight farms using conservation practices to improve farm viability, protect the environment
American Farmland Trust and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service announced the launch of the Genesee River Demonstration Farms Network on Wednesday.
“The Genesee River Demonstration Farms Network is a multi-year project using real New York farms to highlight practical and innovative conservation practices that benefit farm viability, water quality, and other natural resources,” says Aaron Ristow, agricultural stewardship program manager for American Farmland Trust. “The value of the network is getting farmers together out in the field, sharing knowledge and the lessons learned when trying new practices.”
Farmers can visit the Genesee River Demonstration Farms Network webpage to find upcoming field days and events hosted by demonstration farms in the network and gain access to farm case studies, resources and more.
“The Genesee River Demonstration Farm Network supports the effective use of conservation systems that reduce nonpoint source pollution in a critical watershed of Lake Ontario," said Blake Glover, state conservationist for NRCS in New York. "The opportunities for producers and landowners to share outcomes and experiences of new technologies will multiply sustainable benefits throughout the region.”
Goals of the Genesee River Demonstration Farms Network:
- Demonstrate conservation systems that support farm viability, build soil health and benefit the environment
- Quantify economic and environmental impacts of soil health management systems
- Share technology, information, and lessons learned with farmers, agribusiness, conservation agencies, landowners and the public
- Create on-farm research opportunities to evaluate and demonstrate conservation practices-
- Facilitate farmer-to-farmer discussions and learning opportunities
This partnership, spearheaded by American Farmland Trust and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, is supported by collaboration among researchers, agricultural and conservation organizations and others within the Genesee River Watershed.
Participating demonstration farms include:
Gary Swede Farms LLC, [Genesee County], 4,500-acre crop and vegetable farm with a partnership with a 2,000-cow dairy. Soil health practices: no-till, strip-till, cover crops, nutrient management.
Har-Go Farms, [Genesee County], 650-acre organic dairy farm. Soil health practices: cover crops and nutrient management.
Notably, the Swede farm was recently featured in a series of soil health case studies conducted by AFT and NRCS. The Swedes reported that they improved their bottom line by $55 per acre and by $82,257 on a 1,500-acre rotation by adopting strip-till, cover crops, and nutrient management.
Learn more at www.farmland.org/geneseeriverdemofarms.
American Farmland Trust is the only national organization that takes a holistic approach to agriculture, focusing on the land itself, the agricultural practices used on that land, and the farmers and ranchers who do the work. AFT launched the conservation agriculture movement and continues to raise public awareness through the No Farms, No Food message. Since its founding in 1980, AFT has helped permanently protect over 6.5 million acres of agricultural lands, advanced environmentally-sound farming practices on millions of additional acres and supported thousands of farm families.