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

The public comment period for New York’s Draft Great Lakes Action Agenda 2030 (GLAA) has been extended until November 25th. Feedback can be provided by emailing greatlakes@dec.ny.gov.

Public webinars to review the GLAA and discuss it with NY Great Lakes basin stakeholders were held on October 25th and November 14th. The presentation slides and recording from the October webinar can be found here. A recording of the November 14th webinar is available upon request.

Shopping Black Friday for a new TV? Have some Holiday Lights that don’t work? Bring them to the District’s Electronics Recycling event in Lyons, on December 15th and 16th. Wayne County Residents ONLY. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED, visit https://waynecountynysoilandwater.org/recycle/.

Xerces Society is holding an online short course intended for NRCS staff, Soil and Water Conservation staff, Extension Educators, farmers and other agricultural professionals in the northeastern region of the US. This course is free to attend, but registration is required. Click here to register.

Presenters are Stephanie Frischie, Agronomist & Native Plant Materials Specialist; Jennifer Hopwood, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist – Midwest; and Kelly Gill, Senior Pollinator Conservation Specialist – Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, and guest presenter Kyle Wickings, Associate Professor of Entomology at Cornell University, for this online course about soil animals and their role in governing microbial processes in agricultural soils.

Participants will learn about common soil invertebrates, their ecology and roles in soil health, scouting methods, and management strategies to increase beneficial soil animal populations.

In Dr. Wicking’s talk, he will review the primary pathways by which soil animals influence crop residue decomposition and organic matter cycling, first discussing recent research on the different ways invertebrates interact with microbial processes in soil. Second, he will talk about the impact of agricultural management practices on invertebrates and the processes they drive. Next, we’ll discuss how invasive earthworms muddy the concept of soil health. Lastly, we’ll explore how even plant-feeding insect pests can impact carbon and nitrogen cycling in soil.

Bat Week is an annual, international celebration of the role of bats in nature

Bats have been on earth for more than 50 million years! With more than 1,400 species, they are the second largest order of mammals, and are widely dispersed across six continents. Globally, bats provide vital ecosystem services in the form of insect pest consumption, plant pollination, and seed dispersal, making them essential to the health of global ecosystems. Over 70% of all bat species feed on insects and as such play an important role in controlling insect numbers. No, they do not suck your blood – but they will help clear the air of bloodsucking mosquitoes!

Here are some youth activities for Bat Week.

https://www.batcon.org/about-bats/games-and-activities/

Why do bats hang upside down?

Almost all species of bats hang upside down. When bats are relaxed, their feet are automatically in a clenched position, making it easy for them to grab on to a surface. Hanging upside down allows them to let go and quickly fall to gain momentum for flight. Unlike birds that have hollow bones, bats have solid bones like all other mammals, which is why they have more need for the extra momentum gained from falling. What is really interesting is why bat’s blood doesn’t all rush to their head while hanging upside down! There are valves in their veins AND arteries to keep blood flowing in the right direction, while most mammals only need valves in their veins.

Read more FAQ’s here: https://www.batcon.org/about-bats/faq/

Montezuma Audubon Center is partnering again with NYS Canal Corporation and leading FREE birding walks every Saturday from October 15 – December 17. Join them for a 1-mile walk to experience the autumn bird migration and learn how Montezuma’s habitats are managed.

Sandhill Crane. Photo: Ed Mattis/Audubon Photography Awards

Apple Growers and Wayne County Tourism, invite the public to come out to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Wayne County Apple Tasting Tour! Throughout the month of October, take a self guided tour along Wayne County’s Apple Trail to experience the scenic country roads and amazing fall foliage.

This year, there are twelve stops along the tour where you can pick fresh apples, admire the fall colors, and enjoy time together. With activities ranging from corn mazes and tractor rides to wine and cider tastings, this is a month-long event that the whole family will love!
October 7-10 is the special Tasting Weekend with extra events and activities. Follow this event on Facebook or appletastingtour.com to get the details.

Visit these 12 stops throughout October:
Apple Town Farm Market
Doyle Farms Market Café & Creamery
Lagoner Farms & Embark Craft Ciderworks
Long Acre Farms & JD Wine Cellars
Morgan’s Farm Market
Orbaker’s Farm Market
Stonegoose Market & Cidery
Rootstock Ciders & Spirits
The Apple Farm Stand at Stone Goose Farms
The Apple Shed & Old Goat Cidery
Young Sommer Winery
Youngman Orchards Farm Market
Hours may vary, please check with each stop for current hours.

Please note that the location listed is the office location that coordinates the tour. Tour stop addresses can be found on appletastingtour.com