innovating agriculture

9:09am

Fri May 24, 2013
Agriculture

Upstate farmers get innovative to access major food markets

Eric Andrus of Ferrisbrug, Vt. working on the "Ceres," the Vermont Sail Freight Project.
Sarah Harris/Innovation Trail

Most of the time, Eric Andrus is a beef and rice farmer. But lately, he’s learning to be a boat builder. On this day, he’s in the barn, sanding the hull of a big wooden barge.

“We’re about to apply the second layer of plywood,” Andrus says.

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8:59am

Thu May 23, 2013
Agriculture

Farmers' property taxes rise as land values increase

Farmer John Peck has a moment with a two-month-old calf in his dairy barn.
Credit Joanna Richards

Agriculture is one of the most dynamic and innovative economic sectors in New York state. All this week, the Innovation Trail team is reporting on some of the current challenges and opportunities facing upstate farmers.

One of those challenges is property taxes. Agriculture is a land-intensive industry, so rising property taxes can mean much higher costs for farmers. And taxes have been rising, thanks mostly to increases in the production value of farmland.

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8:45am

Wed May 22, 2013
Agriculture

Farmers and beekeepers respond to colony collapse

A bee hive near Ithaca, New York
Matt Richmond/Innovation Trail

Since 2006, honey bees have been abandoning seemingly healthy hives in large numbers, raising alarm among beekeepers, farmers and researchers. But, the industries that are dependent on honey bees are finding ways to manage the losses.

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8:25am

Tue May 21, 2013
Agriculture

Fighting fire blight in New York's apple industry

Apple stalls at the Rochester Public Market
Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

New York is the second biggest apple producing state in the country. But, last year production dropped dramatically due to a warmer winter, early blooms, and harsh spring frosts. The total production from the state plummeted from 1.2 million pounds in 2011, to just 710,000 pounds in 2012. But, weather isn’t the only challenge growers are contending with.

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8:07am

Mon May 20, 2013
Agriculture

New York's "local" beef, often not as local as you think

Eve Ann Shwartz herds her cattle on Maple Avenue Farms in Earlville, N.Y.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The steaks stacked in the coolers of butcher shops in New York may be marketed as local, but just what that label means varies widely.

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