Nearly $2 million for New York Farm Viability Institute aims to help farmers improve economic viability

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New York State is helping farmers use research and educational programs to help their bottom line. The state is giving almost $2 million to the New York Farm Viability Institute.

The Institute is a non-profit that touches all parts of agriculture, using science to boost crop resiliency and soil quality, among other things. Executive Director David Grusenmeyer said finding the most efficient use of things like fertilizer and pesticides is a win-win situation.

"Not just saving money on fertilizer, saving the environment from leaching and runoff of the fertilizer they didn't need to spread," Grusenmeyer said. "So really important things that way in the fields, so it's some basic research it’s just applied stuff that farmers need help with."

Grusenmeyer said farmers often don’t have extra cash to invest in research. State Senator John Mannion (D-Geddes) said it needs to remain a spending priority in the New York State Budget, even though many lawmakers don’t know about it.

"Honestly, and in the budget of New York State, we talked about the amount of dollars we put toward the Farm Viability Institute is not a significant number compared to what we get out of it," Mannion said. "So we've got to continue to get that message out there so it continues to be supported in the budget."

Mannion said the Institute’s program generates $7 for every $1 invested.