COVID-19 Resources

Resources for Farm Business Safety Plan Required

As the New York Forward plan is implemented across the state, businesses of all kinds are required to have a COVID-19 written safety plan in place. Both essential agricultural businesses that have remained open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and those non-food related agricultural businesses who will re-open must have a safety plan. A task force of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) specialists developed a new set of resources to help farms comply with this requirement and efficiently prepare plans during this busy time of the year. NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms contains:

  • Plan Templates
  • Considerations and Examples for Your Plan
  • Key References and Support Documents

Important! State COVID-19 Guidance for Farms

New York state has released official guidance specific to farms addressing COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus). You can find the document titled "Interim Guidance for Prevention and Response of COVID-19 at Farms". The document covers: cleaning and disinfection, face coverings, social distancing, high-risk locations, coordination with local health departments, employee health screening, quarantine/isolation, and farm-provided employee housing.

A companion document is a helpful checklist for farms to be sure they have covered every required item.

Also included is a tipsheet intended for farm workers. This document is presently in English but should be available in more languages soon, and I recommend that you distribute it to all employees. Please carefully read the last section of the document titled "Empower Yourself," this section informs workers about how to file complaints. Make sure that your business is in full compliance with all federal and state COVID-19-related sick leave and paid family leave requirements and that you are communicating this information to employees, see this post for more information.

COVID-19 Safety Plan Required for All Businesses

COVID-19 Safety Plans Required for All Businesses in "New York Forward"

New York Forward is the state's plan to begin re-opening in phases as regions of the state achieve certain COVID-19 management metrics. An important part of New York Forward is for all businesses to have a customized, written safety plan that details specifically how each business will prevent and manage COVID-19. Details for particular industries, including agriculture can be found here

Information on EIDL and PPP on Business pages

FYI...Find the latest information on EIDL Loan Program and Paycheck Protection Programs (PPP) on the Business page of our website.

Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP)

USDA to Host Webinar for Producers Interested in Applying for Direct Payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
Producers new to Farm Service Agency programs are encouraged to participate

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) will host a webinar on Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 1 p.m. ET, for farmers, ranchers and other producers interested in applying for direct payments through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

This webinar is an opportunity for producers to learn about the general application process and required documentation prior to the official beginning of signup. Producers interested in participating may register in advance for webinar.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. We encourage participants to submit questions through the Q&A box or by emailing While questions will not be answered live during the webinar, answers will be posted at

USDA is hosting this webinar to share what information is needed to apply for direct payments through CFAP, once the application period begins. Producers who are new to participating in FSA programs are especially encouraged to join the webinar. More details about CFAP direct payments will be announced soon.

As part of President Trump and Secretary Perdue's April 17 announcement of a $19 billion Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program, USDA will provide $16 billion in direct support based on losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted. Also, USDA will assist eligible producers facing additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

A recording of the webinar, the answers to its questions, and other CFAP information can be found at  

Please see instructions below if you have not worked with FSA in the past. This is a very IMPORTANT step in the process. Our team will share more information about the program after the USDA webinar. We are very cognizant that many folks will be unable to listen due to the time scheduled. Stay tuned for more info by way of either podcast/webinar/factsheet.

CFAP, authorized in the CARES Act will provide $16 billion in direct support to agricultural producers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Direct support for farmers and ranchers available via CFAP will include:

CFAP will provide direct support based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted.
CFAP will assist producers with additional adjustment and marketing costs resulting from lost demand and short-term oversupply for the 2020 marketing year caused by COVID-19.

USDA evaluated commodity specific losses occurring during the January to April time frame for immediate assistance. In addition, near-term adjustment costs and supply disruptions over the next few months were also evaluated to the extent possible for sectors where prices have declined significantly for additional assistance.

CFAP is available to farmers regardless of size and market outlet, if they suffered an eligible loss.

USDA will be going over the rules for the program and details about the payments on a webinar on the 14th at 1:00. You can subscribe for the webinar here 

How to Apply
The rules for CFAP are coming out soon, with details about how losses will be measured and program payments will be calculated. However you need to be in USDA's system to be eligible for CFAP - this is the case for most USDA disaster programs, so even if you don't qualify for CFAP now, you may need USDA assistance someday.

USDA will soon begin taking applications for CFAP. As part of applying for the program, you'll need to contact the Farm Service Agency county office at your local USDA Service Center to schedule an appointment.

Your local FSA staff will work with you to apply for the program, and through forms that will ask for this type of information:
• Contact
• Personal, including your Tax Identification Number
• Farming operating structure
• Adjusted Gross Income to ensure eligibility
• Direct deposit to enable payment processing

Please do not send any personal information to USDA without first initiating contact through a phone call. You can find contact information for your local USDA Service Center here

In addition to the application form, USDA staff will work with you to complete portions of the CCC-902 - Farm Operating Plan - if necessary. Additionally, the following forms will be needed for CFAP. If you are an existing customer, this information is likely on file at your local Service Center.
CCC-901 - Identifies members of a farm or ranch that is a legal entity. Member Information will be completed by legal entities and joint operations to collect the following:
o member names, addresses, and Tax Identification Numbers
o citizenship status
CCC-941 - Reports your average adjusted gross income for programs where income restrictions apply.
CCC-942 - If applicable, this certification reports income from farming, ranching and forestry for those exceeding the adjusted gross income limitation.
AD-1026 - Ensures a conservation plan is in place before lands with highly erodible soils are farmed, identified wetland areas are protected, and conservation compliance provisions are met.
AD-2047 - Provides basic customer contact information.
SF-3881 - Collects your banking information to allow USDA to make payments to you via direct deposit.

What Can You Do Now?
While the application process has not started, you can start gathering/understanding your farm's recent sales and inventory.

FSA has streamlined the signup process to not require an acreage report at the time of application and a USDA farm number may not be immediately needed.

How Will USDA Accept Applications?
USDA Service Centers are open for business by phone appointment only. Once the application period opens, please call your FSA county office to schedule an appointment.

USDA staff are working with our agricultural producers by phone and using email, fax, mail, and online tools like Box to accept applications.

EIDL Program Re-Opening for Agricultural Business

EIDL Application Re-Opening

The EIDL Advance/Loan portal will be re-opening shortly. The re-opening of the portal is for agricultural businesses that were previously ineligible for the program. New non-agricultural business applications will not be accepted.

The portal will be opened for a limited period, and it is recommended that you apply as soon as possible. The link to the portal will be:

If you have already applied under the streamlined application (March 30th to program closure), there is no need to re-apply.

Agricultural Businesses Defined:

  • Agricultural businesses includes those businesses engaged in the production of food and fiber, ranching, and raising of livestock, aquaculture, and all other farming and agricultural related industries (as defined by section 18(b) of the Small Business Act (15 U.S.C. 647(b)).
  • SBA is encouraging all eligible agricultural businesses with 500 or fewer employees wishing to apply to begin preparing their business financial information needed for their application.

USDA Farmers to Families Food Box

As part of the Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program Secretary Perdue announced on April 17 that the USDA is exercising authority under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to purchase and distribute up to $3 billion of agricultural products to those in need. USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase fresh produce, dairy, and meat.

USDA will issue a solicitation to invite proposals from offerors to supply commodity boxes to non-profit organizations, identified by the offeror, on a mutually agreeable, recurring schedule. USDA will award contracts for the purchase of the agricultural products, the assembly of commodity boxes and delivery to identified non-profit organizations that can receive, store and distribute food items. 

Agricultural Marketing Service's Commodity Procurement Program will procure an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith-based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.

For details on purchases, visit the solicitations page.

Request for Proposal and Applicable Attachments
• RFP Attachment 2 Compilation of TEFAP sites for AMS (xls)

Additional Resources

Links to Services

FDA Food Safety 

NY FarmNet: Hotline : 1-800-547-3276 (24 hr service)

Farm Partners (part of Bassett Health Care system and NYCAMH) 1-800-343-7527

County Health Departments:

** Please note, not all small businesses fall under SBA, please call the Syracuse office to determine***
** Although not all of our counties may not have been declared emergency status, SBA Syracuse confirmed they were waiting on the directive from government you can create an account and update when available*

Continue to watch for emails from our team for upcoming webinars that may be of interest. Specialists from across the state are working to provide continual service through different mediums.

Managing Stress- NY FarmNet Links

There are two articles on the NY FarmNet Farm Stress Management Page: Managing Stress in Unprecedented Times and Managing Financial Stress on the Farm in Uncertain Times.  Find this page at

Sometimes taking healthy steps on your own to lower stress is not enough, and that is ok. Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue, or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a doctor, social worker, or professional counselor.

NY FarmNet 1-800-547-3276
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 (TALK) 
Crisis Text Line Text "GOT 5" to 741-741

PRO-DAIRY Webinars & Podcasts

The following webinar and podcast information was sent out through PRO-DAIRY.   

Growing Great People: Training Skills for Dairy Farmers
Become an Effective On-The-Job Trainer

This webinar is free but registration is required.

Presented by: Jason Karszes, Dairy Farm Business Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY, and Richard Stup, PhD, Agricultural Workforce Specialist, Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development

Moderated by: Rob Lynch, DVM, Dairy Herd Health and Management Specialist, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY

On many farms, multiple people might be able to do, or train others on, many day-to-day tasks, but fewer can take care of management tasks that occur daily, weekly, or monthly. This webinar focuses on developing plans to backup people who perform key management tasks, from middle to senior management roles, if they are unable to work.

Dairy Responding to COVID-19: A Limited Podcast Series
New Episode

This episode describes how to safely reduce milk your cow's milk production without sacrificing future milk production. It also describes considerations for feeding milk to cows.

Presenter: Dr. Tom Overton, Faculty Cornell University, Director PRO-DAIRY

Companion Articles
By: Mike Van Amburgh, Tom Overton, and Julio Giordano

By: Tom Overton, Mike Van Amburgh, and Rob Lynch

About the Podcast
Hosted by Rob Lynch, DVM, Dairy Herd Health and Management Specialist, PRO-DAIRY, and
Kathy Barrett, Dairy Education, PRO-DAIRY, with interviews of key dairy industry professionals.
Check the PRO-DAIRY Podcast Webpage for the latest podcasts.

Recent Episodes
COVID-19 Overview and Milk Distribution - Mark Stevenson and Rob Lynch
Feed and Nutrition Services - Scott Lyndaker and David Horn
Dairy Farmer and Farm Consultant Perpsectives - Meghan Hauser and Corwin Holtz
Animal Health Service Provides - Rick Watters and Allen Fournier
Essential Care of Cows and Equipment - Bob Church, Steve Zehr, and Charles Biche
Milk Supply Chain Challenges - Andrew M. Novaković and Christopher Wolf

Managing During COVID-19 is a PRO-DAIRY series of new and updated resources to help you navigate through the uncertain environment created by COVID-19. Recognizing the range in circumstances faced by farmers across the state, these resources cover a full spectrum.

By: Mike Van Amburgh, Tom Overton, and Julio Giordano

By: Tom Overton, Mike Van Amburgh, and Rob Lynch

By: Jason Karszes

By: Wayne A. Knoblauch and Jason Karszes

By: Rob Lynch

By: Tom Overton, Jason Karszes, Robert Lynch, Julio Giordano, and Mike Van Amburgh

By: Joe Lawrence

By: Larry Chase and Tom Overton

April 29 | 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT

This webinar is free but registration is required. It will include two one hour sessions with a 10 minute break.

Join Katie Downes and Brenda O'Brien of NY FarmNet as they discuss managing stress and the impact it can have on mental health, building resiliency, suicide prevention, and the importance of breaking down the stigma related to these topics.

There is no precedent with the novel coronavirus. Whatever our age, a life-altering event can leave us hoping there is some magical cure that will help us feel less anxious or overwhelmed. While no such magic exists, there are ways we can focus on the good.

Stress is inevitable - it's how you respond to and manage the cause, or stressor, that can make a difference in your daily life. Whether the stressor is a medical diagnosis, low milk and commodity prices, weather that impedes crop production, or tensions within the family, there are tools we can use to help manage our emotions during challenging times.









Upcoming Events

Integrated Parasite Management for Goats & Sheep Workshop - Herkimer

September 28, 2021
Herkimer, NY

Includes FAMACHA Training/Certification and How to do Fecal Egg ID/Counting

view details

Laying Out a Grazing System: A Program for Veterans

October 1, 2021
Eaton, NY

Free for any Active-Duty Military and Veterans residing in New York State are eligible to attend; non-veterans will be allowed on a space available basis; registration will be capped at 20 attendees.

view details

Annie's Project: Risk Management for Farm Women

November 1, 2021
November 4, 2021
November 8, 2021
November 11, 2021
November 15, 2021
November 18, 2021
November 29, 2021
December 2, 2021
December 6, 2021
December 9, 2021
December 13, 2021
December 16, 2021


Are you a woman engaged in farming in NYS? Would you like to learn and network with other farm women, and learn how to strengthen your farming operation? Join Cornell Cooperative Extensions of Allegany, Broome, Oneida, Steuben, and Seneca counties, along with the Central NY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops team, for our first virtual Annie's Project this winter! 

view details


Sign Up for Our Weekly E-Newsletter

We send out a weekly e-newsletter that has announcements, upcoming programs, and opportunities for you!  Registration is quick, easy, and free.  Click here to sign up today!

Updated Meeting Guidelines

Effective June 1, 2021, the size limit for outdoor field meetings (including open-air, well ventilated barns) may be held up to 500 participants.

Effective June 11, 2021, the size limit for indoor meetings may be held up to 250 participants.  If the indoor event is held at a business, the business may implement other requirements for participants in accordance with NYS and CDC guidelines, which may include requiring proof of vaccination, separate individuals and designate part of the establishment based on vaccination status, and require masks/social distance for all patrons or just those unvaccinated.

For both types of meetings, masks are only required for unvaccinated attendees and they also need to maintain 6' social distance during the event.  Vaccination status is based on self-reporting.  Masks and hand sanitizer will be available for participants.  The NYS, CDC, and Cornell University guidelines will be monitored and we will adjust meeting guidance accordingly.

Dairy Producer Considerations When Dealing with High Grain Prices

by David R. Balbian, CCE Area Dairy Management Specialist

We have been here before. Back in mid-July of 2012, corn got up over $8.00/bu @ the Chicago Board of trade. As I write this corn is approaching $7.00/bu. Soybeans got up to the mid $17/bu. range in late August of 2012. Again, as I write this soybeans are in the mid-$15 range. Your cows do not care what these prices are. Major knee jerk cutbacks on grain feeding that shorts the cows on their nutritional requirements will only make a bad situation worse. Saving $1.00 on grain and losing $1.50 or $2.00 is bad business. The long-term impacts on reproduction will have lingering effects. Low production cannot be turned around until a new lactation begins. So, what to do? Although they will not be possible for everyone to implement, here are some tips and ideas to consider:

  • If you have your own corn grain or HMSC you are feeling good right now.
  • Harvest cover crops for feed in the very early boot stage. Wide swath mowing for quick drying and harvest between 35% to 40% dry matter will give you better results and retain nutrients. Check out Winter Forage: Windrow Compost vs. Photosynthetic Drying from Advanced Ag Systems' regarding wide swath mowing & quick drying. A link to the following article by Ralph Ward of Cumberland Valley Lab provides additional helpful details on the benefits of the proper dry matter: Avoid Fermentation Failure in Spring Silage
  • Timely harvest your first cutting & subsequent cuttings. Be on the lookout for our team's First Cutting Forage Quality data from Dr. Erik Smith every Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. We are monitoring around 60 fields in our region. You will see targeted harvest dates for dairy quality feed.
  • Applying nitrogen to grasses can up crude protein levels (and yield). It may already be a bit late for some first cutting fields, but applications right after first cutting can really boost second cut yields and crude protein levels (reducing the need to purchase grain protein).
  • BMR Corn Silage could be more attractive now. Assess your own situation and consider it this year.
  • It's a long ways off, but if high corn grain prices persist high chopping corn silage this fall is something to consider if you have plenty of inventory.
  • Moving to a high corn silage diet if you have the inventory can reduce corn grain needs and may allow you to utilize some low cost protein such as feed grade urea. Work with your nutritionist to evaluate this option.
  • Look for & reduce feed shrink. This is spilled, wasted or spoiled feed. You can no longer afford excessive shrink.
  • Strategic group cows so you are not overfeeding late lactation cows.
  • Look around at various protein sources. Soybean meal is not the only game in town.
  • Be sure you are getting all you can out of the corn grain you are feeding. Grind it finer. Coarse ground corn is more likely to pass undigested.

Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program

State Dedicates Highest Level of Funding Ever to Protect Valuable and At-Risk Farmland 

Each of New York's 10 Regions Will Be Allocated $5 Million for Conservation Easement Projects 

Eligibility Opportunities Expanded to Agroforestry, Equine, and Wine Sectors
Round 18 FPIG continues New York State's commitment to provide financial assistance to locally led farmland protection efforts. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement farmland protection activities consistent with local agricultural and farmland protection plans. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on individual farms. However, the program may also award funding to enable other implementation activities, such as amendments to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering the transaction costs of donated agricultural conservation easements.

All farmland protection project applications must be submitted electronically through the New York State Grants Gateway. More information regarding the Grants Gateway can be found here.

Municipalities, counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and land trusts are eligible to apply for grants of up to $2 million each to help offset the costs of individual conservation easement projects that protect viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use.
Eligibility criteria for the program have been adjusted to include the agroforestry, equine, and wine sectors, reflecting New York's diverse agricultural industry.  In addition, other closely aligned State goals have been integrated into the eligibility criteria to allow multiple objectives for certain projects, including food security, climate resiliency, and source water protection.  Another first for the program, an incentive payment is now available to participating landowners whose project specifically incorporates climate resiliency or source water protection. Soil health assessments are also now an eligible project cost.
There is no application deadline and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until available funds have been awarded to eligible projects. 
This funding opportunity continues the state's commitment to provide financial and technical assistance for farmland protection on a predictable two-year cycle and builds on the recent additions of the successful FPIG Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative and the FPIG Farm Operations in Transition Farmland Protection Initiative.