News Detail

Town of Geneva Agricultural Enhancement Committee Forum August 16, 2018

Town of Geneva Agricultural Enhancement Committee Forum August 16, 2018 

                On August 16 the Town of Geneva’s Agricultural Enhancement Committee hosted a presentation on issues pertaining to storm water runoff from farming operations, resources available to mitigate such runoff, and the presentation of a Lake Friendly Farm award to Pedersen Farms. Supervisor Mark Venuti welcomed growers, land owners, Town officials, committee members, and other interested individuals who had come to hear Dr. Ali Nafchi, Cornell University Precision Agriculture Specialist, Tucker Kautz from Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District, and Bob McCarthy, Certified Crop Advisor, discuss mitigating the amount and characteristics of such flows. As McCarthy put it in his opening remarks, “As the recent storm that devastated parts of Seneca County reminds us, there’s no way to reduce runoff to zero. But we can take steps to minimize the effects of many storms both in the amount of flowing water and its contents.” Forty attendees spent two hours at Town Hall seeing examples of successful water control projects in Ontario County, learning about soil properties that can reduce erosion, and hearing of both simple and complex approaches to the appropriate application of crop inputs.

Dr. Nafchi addresses the group.
Dr. Nafchi addresses the group.

                Mr. Kautz, a Water Resource Technician and a Certified Crop Advisor, provided an overview of the programs available to assist landowners with water management. His presentation contained excellent photographs of local “before and after” situations that benefited from diverse techniques to manage runoff. Kautz also included a discussion of the contributions cover crops and inter-seeded crops can make to prevent the costly loss of topsoil.
                Dr. Nafchi discussed the evolution of many farming practices to employ variable rates of application instead of one blanket rate across a field. Given the variations that occur in most fields, some sections may need more of a particular nutrient, for example, and some sections may need less. Advances in sensor and application equipment have made it possible to apply the right rate at the right location and thereby avoid the excess use of inputs such as nitrogen.
                The meeting closed with the presentation of a Lake Friendly Farm award to Pedersen Farms. Rick and Laura Pedersen operate a 1,400 acre vegetable and grain farm with a significant segment of their production certified organic. They farm a block of land on the east side of County Road 6 owned by Ralph and Dee DeFelice. In collaboration with the DeFelices, they are undertaking the engineering of a retention pond that will dramatically reduce any runoff from that site to Wilson Creek and eventually to Seneca Lake. This is the second year of the recognition program and McCarthy stated that the Town’s goal is for all farms to be recognized as “lake friendly” and that Town Hall is eager to facilitate additional participation by interested growers and land owners.

Rick Pedersen & Laura Pedersen, Pedersen Farms with Bob McCarthy, Geneva Town Board

For additional information please contact:          

3750 County Road 6, 
Geneva, New York 14456