The agricultural assessment program allows eligible farmland owners to receive real property assessments based on the value of their land for agricultural production rather than on its development value.  Any assessed value which exceeds the equalized agricultural assessment on the land may qualify for a reduced tax assessment.

Landowners must apply through the local town assessor for an agricultural assessment. Further Information on Agricultural Districts can be found here, contact information for local assessors can be found here.

Do you qualify? Find out by visiting the Soil Group page, there you can find more information about the program and will be able to download a brochure. You may also call our office at 315-946-7200

storm_drainsNow is the time of year to be conscious of the yard and garden clean-up. Make sure you keep leaves and grass out of storm drains.  Fallen leaves and grass clippings can plug storm drains and can cause flooding to our roadways.  If yard waste such as leaves, grass clippings, and small twigs are disposed of in a storm drain, they will make their way to a natural body of water where they threaten aquatic life and degrade water quality.

Don’t feel obligated to rake up every last leaf in your yard this fall. Let some leaves stay on the ground — they have many benefits to wildlife and the garden. A composting-leavesleaf layer sometimes called duff, several inches deep is natural on forest floors. This leaf layer is its own mini-ecosystem! Many wildlife species live in or rely on the leaf layer to find food like earthworms and other beneficial microbes.

From a gardening perspective, fallen leaves offer a double benefit. Leaves will form a natural mulch that helps suppress weeds and at the same time fertilize the soil as they break down. Why spend money on mulch and fertilizer when you can make your own? Here is a great video on how to create leaf mold, it takes a few years, but it is considered garden gold. Farmer’s Almanac  page.

If leaves must be racked, don’t throw them in the trash. Compost them or drop them off at a municipal recycling center so they can be turned into compost that you and other members of your community can use in the spring. Some communities even offer curb-side pick up of leaves specifically for municipal composting operations.

  1. Leaves make good insulation for overwintering tender perennials. The best time to mulch perennials is after the ground has frozen, so put aside shredded leaves in bags to use later in the fall.
  2. Mow leaves and clippings into the lawn, lawns actually benefit from thin layers of leaves. Leaf litter improves the soil, lessening the need for fertilizer in the spring.
  3. Leaf humus can lighten heavy clay soils, so leave a layer in the garden.
  4. Leaves increase the moisture retention of dry, sandy soils.

The Wayne County Master Gardeners can offer more information, visit http://ccewayne.org/gardening-home-grounds

Happy Raking!

 

Port Bay, Wayne County NY

In response to the extended pattern of flooding along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, the Resiliency & Economic Development Initiative (REDI) was created to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region. Wayne County in partnership with the New York State REDI program has committed to working together on addressing resiliency shoreline issues and has been in the process of choosing priority projects across the County since June 2019. The Wayne County Project Profiles provides a full overview of the projects chosen for Wayne County.

Wayne County Soil & Water Conservation District (WCSWCD) is working in collaboration with Wayne County as a general contractor to address shoreline resiliency needs for the Port Bay Barrier Bar System and the Blind Sodus Bay Bluff and Barrier Bar System.

The District is pleased to announce project information and updates are now available.  Updates include project history, story maps, engineering design reports, project profiles, SEQR reports, and more.

Follow these links to the project reports:

REDI Project Updates

      • Project Overview
      • BLIND SODUS BAY, Bluff and Barrier Bar System – WCSWCD collaborating with Wayne County as a general contractor
      • PORT BAY, Barrier Bar System – WCSWCD collaborating with Wayne County as a general contractor

At the bottom of the two project pages, there is a way for the public to make comments. The District hopes a 90% project report will be released by the end of the year.

Climate Change & Soil Health,  Northeast Region

Xerces

On Oct 13, 2021 9:00 AM, the Xerces Society is offering a free online short course intended for farmers, NRCS staff, Soil and Water Conservation staff, Extension Educators, and other agricultural professionals in the northeastern region of the US, but anyone is welcome to register and attend. This course is lead by Stephanie Frischie and Jennifer Hopwood of the Xerces Society, who will discuss common soil invertebrates, their ecology and roles in soil health, scouting methods, and management strategies to increase beneficial soil animal populations.

Dr. Sara Via, Professor and Climate Extension Specialist at the University of Maryland College Park, will discuss how boosting soil health increases climate resilience in agriculture and slows climate change. Dr. Via’s presentation will cover practices that increase soil health work by feeding and protecting soil organisms, how healthy soil increases climate resilience, and how soil organisms in healthy soil play a central role in soil carbon sequestration.

This course is free to attend, but registration is required.

For more information such as the course agenda and learning objectives, please click here. (PDF)

With Population Spreading in New York City Area, Department Asks Public to Destroy or Use Control Measures to Treat Spotted Lanternfly
Encourages Residents to Report New Sightings The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (AGM) is asking for the public’s help in combatting the Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), an invasive pest from Asia.  First found in New York State on Staten Island in August 2020, the population has now been observed in all NYC boroughs.  SLF (see photo below) is a destructive pest that feeds on more than 70 plant species, including tree-of-heaven, and plants and crops that are critical to New York’s agricultural economy, such as grapevine, apple trees, and hops.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Department has been working diligently to mitigate the impacts of this destructive pest, which can weaken plants and have a devastating impact on agriculture.  Despite intensive surveys and the implementation of targeted management plans, AGM has continued to find SLF around the New York City area.  We are once again asking for residents’ help, this time with spotted lanternfly control measures, particularly in this area.  Outside of NYC, we’re asking for the public to continue to be vigilant and report any sightings to help slow the spread of this invasive.”

New York City Region

NYS AGM has been receiving increased reports of SLF in the five boroughs of New York City since early this month.  While inspectors continue to survey and respond to these reports, AGM is asking residents to destroy SLF adults. Later in the fall the public can help further by scraping off and destroying SLF egg masses. The public can also reach out to Cornell University’s Integrated Pest Management Program (IPM) to learn about control measures or a certified pesticide applicator for treatment options to help combat SLF. Because NYSAGM is aware of the population spread, it is asking NYC residents to forgo reporting sightings of SLF at this time.  In addition to reaching out to Cornell, AGM encourages the public to thoroughly inspect vehicles, luggage and gear, and all outdoor items for egg masses and adult SLF before leaving the New York City region.

While these insects can jump and fly short distances, they spread primarily through human activity. SLF can lay their eggs on any number of surfaces, such as vehicles, stone, rusty metal, outdoor furniture, and firewood. Adult SLF can hitch rides in vehicles, on any outdoor item, or cling to clothing or hats, and be easily transported into and throughout New York.

Residents can also help by allowing surveyors access to properties where SLF may be present.  Surveyors will be uniformed and will always provide identification.

Upstate New York

SLF has also been detected in several isolated areas upstate, including Ithaca, New York; however, that population is relatively small and scheduled for treatment.

For residents living outside of New York City, AGM urges New Yorkers to report sightings of the SLF, using the web reporting tool found here: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/a08d60f6522043f5bd04229e00acdd63

Reporting in Upstate New York is critical, helping inspectors identify any newly impacted areas.

Brian Eshenaur, Sr. Extension Associate at Cornell University’s NYS Integrated Pest Management Program, said, “In New York, we’re particularly concerned about the impact Spotted Lanternfly could have on our grape and wine industries. Our NYS Integrated Pest Management Program has been working with our colleagues in Pennsylvania over the past few years to learn from their experience and prepare our growers for this insect advance.  We are currently scouting vineyards and have NYS appropriate management options available for producers and tips for residents as well.”

In February of this year, the State also launched an innovative effort to combat the spread of SLF in New York State. A new online interface allows volunteer members of the public to assist in surveying for SLF in a specific area, or grid of land, and tracking associated data. The program encourages broader surveying for SLF and increased public awareness of this invasive pest.

The State is holding a series of training webinars to educate volunteers on how to identify SLF and tree-of-heaven, a plant that SLF commonly feeds on. Each training webinar will focus on a different life stage of SLF based on the time of year that stage would be most likely found during survey.  Currently, the training focuses on identifying adult SLF. The training will also cover how to use iMapInvasives, how to sign up for a grid and track data, and details about land access. The next webinar will be held on October 27, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. More information about the program, including upcoming webinars, can be found at https://www.nyimapinvasives.org/slf.

Spotted Lanternfly Devastating to New York Agriculture

SLF feeding can stress plants, making them vulnerable to disease and attacks from other insects. SLF also excretes large amounts of sticky “honeydew,” which attracts sooty molds that interfere with plant photosynthesis, negatively affecting the growth and fruit yield of plants, devastating agriculture and impacting forest health.

The estimated total economic impact of invasive insects in the US exceeds $70 billion per year, and if not contained, the SLF could have an impact to NYS of at least $300 million annually, mainly to the grape and wine industry.

SLF also has the potential to significantly hinder quality of life and recreational activities due to the honeydew and the swarms of insects it attracts.

First discovered in Pennsylvania in 2014, SLF has since been found in New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and Virginia. Given the proximity to the Pennsylvania and New Jersey infestations, New York State is at high risk for infestation.

Since 2017, AGM, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, New York State Department of Transportation, and New York State Thruway Authority have taken an aggressive approach to keeping SLF from establishing in New York State, conducting surveys of high-risk areas across the State; inspecting nursery stock, stone shipments, and commercial transports from quarantine areas; and launching a comprehensive education and outreach campaign to enlist the public’s help in reporting SLF.

Identifying SLF

Adult SLF are active from July to December. They are approximately one inch long and half an inch wide at rest, with eye-catching wings. Adults begin laying eggs in September. Signs of an SLF infestation may include:

  • Sap oozing or weeping from open wounds on tree trunks, which appear wet and give off fermented odors.
  • One-inch-long egg masses that are brownish-gray, waxy and mud-like when new. Old egg masses are brown and scaly.
  • Massive honeydew build-up under plants, sometimes with black sooty mold developing.

For more information on Spotted Lanternfly, visit https://agriculture.ny.gov/spottedlanternfly.

 

A representation of the Spotted Lanternfly during its lifecycle. A winged adult SLF is center. The insect as it appears with black and white markings after hatching during May and June is to the right. As the insect matures, it changes from black to mainly red, usually during July through September, as shown to the left. It assumes it adult, winged form in late summer, and lays its eggs in the fall, starting the cycle again. (Artwork by Juliet Linzmeier, Student Conservation Association member, Invasive Species Unit, NYS Parks)

The Finger Lakes PRISM is hosting a webinar to address titled Emergency response to Spotted Lantern Fly. Right now, Spotted lanternfly is wreaking havoc downstate and is expected to take a foothold in our region as soon as this season. Learn what SLF is, what this means to our communities, and how we can build a response plan for its imminent arrival. This program is for municipal leaders, planners, educators, and community advocates.

This program is approved for 1.5 Category 1 CFEs through SAF.

Agenda:

10am-10:30   An overview of SLF. What it is, what is does, and why we are worried

Brian Eshenaur, Sr. Extension Associate, Cornell University and NYS IPM

10:30-11:00    NYS response to SLF- where it is currently, what is being done, and how we can mitigate the impacts

Thom Allgaier, Invasive Species Coordinator, NYS Dept. of Ag and Markets

11:00-11:30    A response plan to SLF. How to mobilize your community, develop and disseminate a communication plan, and engaging your stakeholders in the region

Linda Svoboda, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County; Judy Wright, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County; and Hilary R. Mosher, Coordinator for the Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management

11:30-12pm    Detailed Q/A session with expert panel including Linda Rohleder, PhD, Director of Land Stewardship for the NY-NJ Trails Conference and Lower Hudson PRISM Coordinator, Mitchell O’Neill,  iMapInvasives and NY Natural Heritage Program, and Hans Walter-Peterson, Viticulture Specialist for Cornell University in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Click here to register

Unfortunately with stronger storm events from the northeast and then rotational North West winds are causing much of the breakoff in all of the waterways in Wayne County. This includes the bays, the canal system, tributaries, and their outlets.  In this week’s water quality review, you can definitely see a change in the water quality including observations like striation of the water columns, increased breakoff, and collection around infrastructure and in cove areas.  While the sediment is being pushed around by the wind, the deeper area is still seeing some algae growth. The potential for blooms is lower due to the cooler temperatures and the increased movement of waves.

It was also noted as more shoreline starts to show, stormwater runoff and collection is being affected because the balance of the below-ground aquifers have changed. This allows a variation in pressure in the watershed. This is what is referred to as a change in Hydrology.  Due to hydrology variances, there is a potential to see water where it hasn’t been seen before.  Along with seeing wildlife, fish, and birds in other places in the waterways where they haven’t been before.

Lake Ontario water levels have been fairly stable for the last week about 245.3- 245.4 depending on seiche events due to weather. ( see weekly summary)

NYS REDI Initiative dredging was finishing up in Pultneyville Harbor and Bear Creek Harbor this week.