12, 2001 Minutes
meeting was called to order:
9:37 AM by Craig Schutt.
new attendee, Liz Moran, was present. She is a limnologist and on the
Restoration and Protection Plan Technical Committee.
Schutt mentioned that Sharon Anderson has been to all the public participation
meetings. She said she attended the ones at Poplar Ridge, Seneca Falls and
Interlaken, also. She noticed tension between Ag. and Non. Ag. interests. One
of the issues discussed were the weeds in the lake. Most people tend to think
that Ag. is responsible for nutrient loading. They fail to see the other
inputs. She feels there is a need for more education for the agricultural
community and the general public on these issues. She would like to see the
Cayuga Lake Network address these issues. She feels we need more public
relations for agricultural issues. She said the Education Committee met last
Thursday. They feel that actual projects need to start so they are
“tangible” to the public. She mentioned the availability of
funding was key to this. The next focus should be on obtaining grants for
Odell was at the Poplar Ridge meeting. He felt the main concern was the
spreading of liquid manure. He agrees with Sharon’s opinion of how the
general public perceives agriculture. He also attended a meeting for Cayuga
Marketing. He says that the farmers have an image problem that needs to be
addressed. The public is not aware of the opportunities available to farmers.
He mentioned that the CAFO requirements state that manure can not be spread
within 100 feet of a hydrologically sensitive area. He feels these are the
areas that need to be focused when educating the public. Jim Young agreed with
these remarks. Craig thinks we can get this information out to the public in a
brochure, similar to the AEM brochure. The public needs to be aware of the
accomplishments of the agricultural community. Sharon mentioned that there are
videos available about the Skaneateles Watershed. These might be purchased and
used in our efforts.
Zorn mentioned that in reference to the Restoration and Protection Plan, the
committee could do a newsletter and announce the upcoming public forums in May.
We might have one section devoted to Ag. Lyn Odell feels we could use both
public and private funding and that other organizations may want to be involved
in this process. Sharon would like a contact name of a professional public
relations person. Craig stated that the he sees the group of farmers involved
in this process as proactive and assisting other farmers. The farmers
organization will be the advisory group. Lyn Odell asked who would oversee
this group after it is formed. Jim Young thinks all the requirements among all
agencies and groups should be consistent so the farmers are following one
standard set of requirements. Sharon mentioned how following the requirements
could economically affect farmers. The Education Committee also realizes that
there may be a farmer who needs BMP funding and when implemented, the project
will help other farms from a public relations standpoint. Jim Young mentioned
how buffers help to alleviate manure runoff and how pesticides tend to runoff
more when there is soil erosion. Craig said that most of the complaints he is
aware of are about odor. It was mentioned how P-runoff is directly related to
soil erosion. Liz Moran also mentioned pathogens. Jim Young feels that if
funding is available for buffers and stream stabilization, this could be
advertised and produce some positive public relations. Sandy Huey said that
funding is available in Cayuga County to do Streambank work on 2 streams. Dave
Zorn asked, what would be the reason for farms not to participate in the
programs even if the funding is available. Odell said that the CAFO farms are
required to participate. The reluctance of some farmers may be due to the fact
that they must give up some of their right-of-ways when signing up for funding.
For the buffer program, they are required to give up 60 feet from the stream.
This amounts to a lot of land for some farms.
Moran wants to know the number of farms in the Cayuga Lake Watershed that are
subject to CAFO rules. She would like a percentage. Odell said that the
outcome of EPA hearings may reduce the number of animal units (AU) signifying a
CAFO. Liz feels it is important to the Cayuga Lake Management Plan to know the
number of farms that will be regulated by the CAFO rules. Young thinks it
would be better to state the acreage. Liz asked what governs manure spreading
on non-CAFO farms and how is it balanced. She also asked about the quantity of
soil testing done. The process of soil testing required in nutrient management
plans and pre-sidress Nitrogen testing was explained. There was a discussion
on how the nitrogen and phosphorus content of manure is calculated into the
spreading. Liz also mentioned that Cornell is working on the feed ration
balancing for livestock. Liz asked how efficiently the Cornell data is
communicated to the farmers. A discussion on this topic followed. Manure,
feed-rationing and runoff all tie-in to nutrient loading of the lake. Young
said that nutrient management is tied to how the farmer adapts it to his farm.
Odell said some farmers use a professional nutritionalist. Craig feels that
the public seems to identify the larger farms as the polluting problem, when in
reality the larger farms are the ones implementing the BMPs.
committee will decide how to get all of this information to the public. The
goal will be to educate the publics’ perception of agriculture. Liz
wants to recognize AEM in the RPP. AEM is a voluntary program. Sandy Huey
stated that all of the Tier I and II surveys are completed in Cayuga County.
Craig said all the same are completed in Tompkins County. Seneca County does
not have too many AEM sign-ups. Farmers are not eligible for funding if they
are not signed up for AEM I and II, nutrient management plans, waste
utilization plans. Cortland is almost finished with the AEM surveys in their
part of the watershed.
asked about the kinds of practices that have been implemented in the watershed.
Sandy mentioned that some were terraces for erosion control and others were
filter strips. There was a discussion on petroleum storage as a BMP. There
are rules governing new storage tanks. Young asked if we could find out where
the underground storage tanks are located.
said that in the second draft, they are trying to identify more specific sets
of recommendations targeted at the Cayuga Lake Watershed. Dave Zorn
distributed the most recent draft copy. Sharon wants to see something positive
said regarding agriculture. The public needs to know why it is important to
preserve the land. There was a short discussion on nitrogen and phosphorus and
the balancing of these nutrients. Dave mentioned the “right to
farm” laws, agricultural districts, and when they will be renewed. Lyn
Odell mentioned the word “pollutant’ in the second bullet of the
draft copy handed out. It was suggested to list the various pollutants in that
sentence. Dave Zorn suggested to include projects completed in the section on
“Accomplishments”. The projects completed during the past 2-3
years should be included. Dave will work with the planning dept. to obtain all
the necessary figures.
focus will be on getting all this information out to the public. The goal will
be to create a more positive image of agriculture within the general public.
was a lengthy discussion about nitrogen and phosphorus balancing. Craig
mentioned the Sequencing Batch Reactor Technology in Ithaca. Jim Young asked
if the committee could get someone to talk about nitrogen and phosphorus. Karl
Czymmek was suggested for this. Craig will call Karl and ask him.
final copy of the plan is due in July. The public forum meetings must be
completed by May. These dates can be found on the web at
asked if the order of the 5 most critical issues listed in the draft copy were
correct. They were reordered as: 1) Nutrient Management Plans, 2) Erosion, 3)
Manure, and 4) Pesticides. Barnyards will be dropped. There was a discussion
on herbicide applications and the requirement of record keeping by the DEC.
Lyn Odell mentioned the program that he used to track manure application data.
would like to have a copy of the draft hand-out edited with the corrections
that were discussed at today’s meeting. Lyn and Jim will then distribute
the copy to others involved in agriculture for their comments.
next meeting will be held on March 26, 2001 at 9:30 AM in Seneca Falls.
meeting adjourned at 11:40 AM
Return to index
To contact the
Cayuga Lake Watershed
CLW IO 2002