May 22, 2013 — 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.
In this story: New York's 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. But weather isn't the only challenge growers are contending with Go to full article
Ithaca, NY, Apr 24, 2012 — New York's fruit growers are suffering through an uncertain time. The freak snow storm Monday only added to that uncertainty. The Innovation Trail's Matt Richmond reports.
(Support for the Innovation Trail comes from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The Innovation Trail is a collaboration between five upstate public media outlets, reporting on New York's innovation economy. Go to full article
Oct 07, 2008 — We've been reporting this week on the Federal farm-worker visa program known as H2A. The system has caught on in the North Country, gaining wide acceptance in the Champlain Valley's apple orchards. Dairy farmers say they hope H2A can be adapted to help fill their labor shortage. But nationwide, the vast majority of farms still prefer to use undocumented or illegal workers. As Brian Mann reports, they say the Federal visa program is just too bureaucratic and too expensive. Go to full article
Oct 06, 2008 — Last week, we reported on efforts to expand the agricultural visa program known as H2A. The federal system offers migrant workers from outside the U.S. a chance to earn decent wages on farms, without the complications and dangers of working illegally. Dairy farmers in the North Country hope H2A can be modified to better serve their industry, which faces chronic labor shortages. The program has already put a new face on the region's apple industry. Brian Mann has our story from Peru, in the Champlain valley. Go to full article