Winter Activity Report from Agricultural Consulting Services

Agricultural Consulting Services (ACS) has been having a busy winter season. Between normal CAFO planning and contract renewals, the team has also been accomplishing many projects and milestones. These projects highlight the team’s dedication to their customers and building on their knowledge.

“Much like farmers in winter, our team spends this season catching up on new opportunities,” says ACS Manager, Patty Larkin. “This year has provided us with many chances to improve our skills and expand our services to farms and other industries.”

During the last few months, ACS has done the following:

Certified a New AEM Planner

John Stoddard recently completed the certification to become a New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Planner. To receive this certification, John achieved and maintained Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) credentials and completed Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) training. He then submitted three CNMPs for review to New York State’s Department of Agriculture and Markets. All this work paid off in January when he received his AEM Planner certification. John is the eighth member of the ACS team to gain this certification.

Signed New York Racing Association for CAFO Planning

ACS is now the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) planner for all racetracks under the management of the New York Racing Association (NYRA). These tracks include Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens, Belmont Park in Elmont, and Saratoga Racecourse in Saratoga Springs. Additional racetracks supported by ACS are Empire City Racetrack in Yonkers, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs, and Monticello Raceway. ACS is also providing CAFO plans to HITS-Saugerties, a horse show series venue located in Saugerties, NY. All these operations expand on ACS’s ability to serve many different parts of agriculture that fall under New York’s CAFO rules.

Participated in the Review of Agricultural Carbon Markets Document

ACS Manager Patty Larkin was invited to review materials being distributed by the Farmland Information Center about carbon markets. She was selected to be among only a handful of individuals to provide feedback and thoughts on this publication. You can read more about agriculture carbon markets and the report at this link.

Expanded Offerings from ACS Field Services

The Field Services team at ACS has begun to accept customers in New York State and Vermont that need any of the following done:

  • Soil Sampling – Technicians can collect soil from fields or growing locations to be tested at the Dairy One Soil Laboratory. Vegetable growers, greenhouses, and commercial golf courses are just a few of the industries that benefit from this service.
  • Hay Sampling – Technicians now carry hay probes in their trucks. Core samples collected from hay bales can be submitted to Dairy One’s Forage Lab for analysis.
  • Hemp Testing – For hemp growers, ACS team members are certified to collect samples and the Dairy One Forage Lab is certified to test these samples and provide analysis reports.
  • Field Mapping – ACS not only maps field boundaries but can locate tile lines, note streams and areas of water, and mark hedgerows. Farms and other businesses use these maps for many purposes, and they’re a useful tool to have on hand.

There are many other activities happening at ACS including building CAFO plans for farms and visiting farms to discuss plans for spring. For more information about any of ACS’s services, you can visit or email [email protected].