The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program recently welcomed a group of Russian farmers representing Ekoniva, the largest dairy producing company in Europe.
The group which farms 500,000 acres across six regions in Russia came to Northern New York on a tour organized by global seed provider Pioneer to meet Dr. Elson Shields and learn about his 28 years of research conducted on Northern NY farms that led to a solution for alfalfa snout beetle, a highly destructive crop pest.
The Russians farmers are experiencing a problem with the pest that is native to their country. The insect exists in two of their six regions; they lost approx. 14,000 acres to snout beetle in 2014.
In the photo are, third from left, Yuliya Kretinina, head of International Projects for Ekoniva, a large Russian agriholding company, presents Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Coordinator Michele Ledoux and NNYADP alfalfa snout beetle expert Dr. Elson Shields, far left, of Cornell University with a gift on behalf of Ramon Schenk, Ekoniva Deputy General Director of Livestock Production; Kirill Adkin, Ekoniva Chief Agronomist: Kursk Region; Roman Ratnikov, Ekoniva Deputy General Director of Crop Production; and Valerii Palamarchuk, EkonivaAgro Chief Agronomist.
Thanks go to Pioneer Russia and Pioneer USA for organizing the trip and to NNY farmers John Peck, Ron Robbins, Dave and Lisa Magos, and Doug Shelmidine for hosting the Russian visitors.
Thanks also to New York State Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie who shared these words with the group: “The effects of the alfalfa snout beetle (ASB) can be devastating, destroying entire fields and costing farmers thousands of dollars. Cornell University and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program have been at the forefront of researching this issue and making sure farmers are armed with the tools and information necessary to fight the ASB. I welcome our international friends to our region, and hope that they’re able to take some of the knowledge shared during their visit back to Russia to help them combat ASB on their own turf.”
The Russian farmers acknowledged that the information they gained from Dr. Shields, considered a leading expert on alfalfa snout beetle, and from the farmers they met will be used to develop a crop protection strategy for their growers in Russia.
Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.