Yes, it’s still a month away. But you’ll need time to pump up your energy reserves to “Come see for yourself!” — the theme for the 2017 Empire Farm Days at Seneca Falls, N.Y.
You’ll be hoisting hoods, climbing into cabs and taking tractors, trucks, applicators, UTVs or construction equipment for a test spin. You’ll be loading up on equipment and services information for later study, and of course, hitting the food tents. It’s all part of the EFD experience, Aug. 8-10 at 2973 State Route 414 on the south edge of Seneca Falls.
The 2017 edition is one of the largest outdoor ag trade shows in the Northeast, reports Show Manager Melanie Wickham. A host of new products will be displayed by more than 600 exhibitors, she adds, including a mastitis detection system, a PTO-driven firewood processor from Finland, an expanded-reach skidsteer-mower combination and a precision fertilizer application monitoring system.
All-day field demos
Empire Farm Days is partnering with Morrisville State College to offer new field demonstrations starting at 10:30 a.m. and running all day with support from 15 equipment manufacturers. And check out demonstrations of two hard-hose reel irrigation systems.
You’ll also be able to test-drive six large sprayer applicators daily between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This year’s Ride and Drive area features Ford, Honda and Ram trucks, plus Milton Cat and Yanmar tractors.
Dig into cover crops and soils
King’s AgriSeeds and Seedway will host daily 10:30 a.m. tours of cool- and warm-season cover crop species and mixes, plus discussions of best seeding methods and timing.
Soil Health Center seminars feature guest presenters and a new farmer panel each day. Jim Hoorman, from Ohio, USDA’s Northeast Regional soil health specialist, opens the Tuesday programs on fertilizer, manure and nutrient management in cover cropping and reduced-tillage systems. He leads off Wednesday’s schedule addressing prevention, reduction and mitigation strategies for compaction problems.
At 2 p.m. Wednesday, Carmen Greenwood, a conservation biologist at SUNY Cobleskill, will show how soil-dwelling invertebrates serve in vital ecosystem conservation roles and how they act as soil health indicators.
Thursday’s program focuses on soil health practices for vegetable cropping. It begins at 9:30 a.m. with Cornell University Horticulture Professor Thomas Bjorkman.
New Craft Beverage Center
To meet the needs of New York’s emerging microbeverage industry, EFD debuts a new Craft Beverage Center, featuring bottling equipment, hammer mills for grain processing, an apple grinder that converts to milling malted grains, plus high-tech filtration, separation and purification systems.
Cornell University viticulture and enology Extension specialists will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday and all day Wednesday with a wine and cider “sniff test.” On Tuesday and Thursday, learn about Jon Paul Partee’s French style of artisan beer-making that’s been part of his family’s farming legacy for three generations.
Other ‘new stuff’
If you’re 10 years old or older, you can even try a standup paddleboard or kayak in the farm pond — after you attend a water safety program. For the first time, the American Welding Society Careers in Welding trailer will be at EFDs. With four virtual reality welders and information on one of the fastest-growing career opportunities, it’s sure to be a hit.
Of course, there are many more smart-farming programs on beef, dairy and equine, livestock handling, farm safety and more. Catch all the details at empirefarmdays.com or see Empire Farm Days on Facebook.
Show hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $10 per vehicle.
Catch these Dairy Profit sessions
Here’s a brief peek at EFD’s Dairy Profit Seminars kicking off at 10:30 each day:
• Tuesday, Aug. 8. Robotics and maximizing milk per box: Grouping and feeding strategies
• Wednesday, Aug. 9. Transitioning to automatic milking systems: What we’ve learned
• Thursday, Aug. 10. Be a member of the 7-Pound Club. Leading producers share how they’re achieving 7 pounds per day of combined milkfat and true protein