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News stories tagged with "cafo"

Cows grazing at Bob Zufall's farm in Lisbon, NY. Photo: David Pynchon
Cows grazing at Bob Zufall's farm in Lisbon, NY. Photo: David Pynchon

Environmental groups challenge new NY dairy waste rules

A coalition of New York State environmental groups filed a lawsuit against New York late last month objecting to a rule change for dairy farms.

The groups claim that the Department of Environmental Conservation violated environmental law when it loosened a key standard in the pollution rules the farms must follow.

It could prove a major roadblock to the state's often-stated support for the growing yogurt industry.  Go to full article
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein
Dairy farmer Mike Kiechle of Philadelphia, NY, spreads manure from his tractor. He's the kind of small farmer the new rules are trying to target, but he says he doubts he'll grow his herd bigger. Photo: David Sommerstein

Will easing dairy manure rules do much at all?

Last month, Governor Cuomo carried through on a promise he made to dairy farmers, loosening environmental regulations for small farms.

Right now, a farm with 200 cows or more has to prepare detailed and costly manure management plans. Starting this week, that threshold will be bumped up to 300 cows.

Speaking at last summer's Yogurt Summit, Agriculture Commissioner Darrel Aubertine said the change would help boost milk production to meet demand fueled by Greek yogurt's popularity. "Simply put," said Aubertine, "this will make it much easier for small farms to grow."

North Country lawmakers and the state Farm Bureau praised the rule change. But environmental groups say more unregulated manure means more farm runoff in rivers and streams. It remains a big question whether the change will do much of anything at all - to the environment or for the economy.  Go to full article
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.

Farmers Under 40: Big and Small, We Need 'Em All

There's no doubt farming's a volatile industry. With grain and gas prices constantly fluctuating, and more and more consumers searching for low prices, it's no wonder the number of farms has dropped. Last summer, NCPR traveled the North Country looking for the next generation of farmers. This week, we're listening back to some of the stories we found.

The key to farming since the 1970s has been to go big with a few cash crops, search out efficiency, utilize technology and produce more from each acre.

Some young farmers want to do it their own way. They want to stay small, avoid mainstream distribution and maybe grow organic. These new farmers face different challenges from their traditional predecessors, but they can't avoid the economics. Steve Knight tackled the knotty subject of farm economics.  Go to full article
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.
Todd and Michelle Asselin raise free range livestock and work day jobs.

Farmers Under 40: Big and Small, We Need 'Em All

There's no doubt farming's a volatile industry. With grain and gas prices constantly fluctuating, and more and more consumers searching for low prices, it's no wonder the number of farms has dropped.

The key to farming since the 1970s has been to go big with a few cash crops, search out efficiency, utilize technology, and produce more from each acre.

Some young farmers want to do it their own way. They want to stay small, avoid mainstream distribution, and maybe grow organic. These new farmers face different challenges from their traditional predecessors, but they can't avoid the economics.  Go to full article

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