LI Pesticide Pollution Strategy

Long Island Pesticide Pollution Strategy


Long Island Farm Bureau lends its full support to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s efforts to balance environmental concerns and public health with the public’s and farmers need to protect health, structures and crops.


Long Island farmers and other pesticide users are trained professionals that are licensed to use pesticides to control pest problems such as rodents, insects, nematodes, fungus, termites and mosquitoes depending upon the target pest.  Long Island farmers follow “best management” strategies to reduce pesticide and chemical means, yet achieve the maximum pest control possible. Farmers and urban pesticide applicators work in partnership with DEC and institutions such as Cornell University and Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Department of Agriculture and Markets to develop and implement the pesticide reduction goals that society demands.


Through the years, pesticide user groups (agriculture and industry groups) have supported the nationally recognized efforts of DEC to safely register pesticide products that will be effective without harming health and the natural environment. The DEC makes decisions based upon environmental and health risk assessment along with cost/benefit analysis for use of a pesticide product. This scientific process should not be subverted by opponents of the draft strategy that call for zero tolerance or employing arbitrary targets for pesticide detection and reduction.


Zero tolerance cannot work scientifically or we would have policies to ban medicine, fuel products, hormones, cleaning agents and virtually and product that can leach in ground and surface waters of Long Island.  This is a very scientific issue whereby agencies such as NYS Health Department, DEC, Suffolk County Water Authority, Suffolk County Health Department, Cornell Cooperative and other science based organizations work together to protect the public from unnecessary health or safety risks while pesticide users handle pest outbreaks.


The Long Island Pesticide Pollution Program is a common sense approach to convene the experts and stakeholder participation to address the best management of pesticide use on Long Island.  Long Island Farm Bureau believes real science – not political science will protect Long Island’s groundwater, public health and natural environment.


ELOBBY on this position


Suffolk County Agricultural Stewardship Program

Long Island Farmers – Stewards of the Environment


Important Documentation

Suffolk County Agricultural Stewardship Task Force Report (WORD) 

Suffolk County Hearing~ December 1, 2004 (PDF)


Suffolk County Agricultural Stewardship Program ~

Approved by the Suffolk County Legislature, Resolution 520-2003 set goals to develop a strategy to lower nutrients and pesticide loading to the groundwater and surface waters of Suffolk County, while maintaining its strong agricultural industry.  Components of the 5-year plan, as outlined to fully implement the agricultural stewardship program, include research, education, implementation and monitoring.


Developing a voluntary Suffolk County Agricultural Stewardship Program is a collaborative effort including Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation District and utilizing Agricultural Environmental Management practices directed by New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets and the NYS Soil and Water Conservation Committee.  Based on a “whole farm plan” program, farmers will work with these agencies to receive crop-specific guidelines on pest, nutrient, soil, water and pesticide management; education regarding Best Management Practices; cost-sharing conservation plan implementation.


The Suffolk County Agricultural Stewardship Program offers farmers the guidance and cost-sharing tools to mitigate runoff and incorporate best management practices in order to improve and protect Long Island’s groundwater and surface waters. 


Pesticide Container Recycling Program ~

See News Release for complete information …


Agricultural Environmental Management Program ~

Educating farmers on best management practices, soil and water conservation plans and finding a means by which to implement them, the Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) program is a partnership of state, federal and local agencies, conservation representatives, private sector businesses and farmers working towards productive farms and healthy watersheds in New York State.  Local leadership is provided by County Soil & Water Conservation Districts; state level leadership is provided by New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets and the New York State Soil & Water Conservation Committee.  For more information on the AEM program, visit the Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation District web site at or the New York State site,


CleanSweep NY Program ~

A program nearly everyone would like to see repeated on a regular basis is CleanSweep NY, a pesticide turn-in/collection operation last held in November, 2002.  This pesticide collection program was free of charge for growers; non-growers including horticultural services, golf courses, parks, boatyards and the like were charged a fee of $1.25 per pound over 100 pounds.


Funded by a consent order and coordinated by the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Agriculture & Markets, Cornell Cooperative of Suffolk County, Long Island Farm Bureau, Suffolk County Soil & Water Conservation District and Long Island Cauliflower Association, over 200 participants delivered in excess of 115,000 pounds of unwanted, unusable and outdated pesticides for proper disposal.


90% of the 2002 participants recommended this collection/disposal program should be held every year or every other year.  Given the success of the November 2002 collection, it is anticipated another pesticide collection/disposal program will soon be scheduled.  The willingness to participate in an orchestrated, proper disposal program and the secure manner in which these pesticides were transported demonstrates the fact that Long Island growers and commercial pesticide applicators are working to do their part to protect the Long Island environment.


Membership Information ~Join us in preserving the rural way of life.




 Farmland Stewardship  

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Farmland Preservation Is Succeeding

Some folks have the mistaken belief that the Purchase of Development Rights program is just too costly. Some believe that achieving a goal of 80 percent preservation would never work through the PDR program, (there just isn't enough money) and that upzoning is the only tool in the box. Rumor has it the sky is falling.


Farmland Protection: A Key Element for Viable Agriculture

By Nathan L Rudgers Commissioner

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

Suffolk County and its five eastern Long Island towns have had a long history of farmland and open space protection. The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets supports their efforts to strengthen the agricultural industry and further protect their remaining farmland. While the costs associated with the region's farmland protection efforts may seem daunting, many studies from across the nation have shown that the funds invested for such purposes help to better maintain property tax levels over time, while protecting critical farmland, priceless open space, and natural resources such as drinking water supplies.


Suffolk County Leads The Way In Farmland Preservation

From Suffolk County Legislator Michael Caracciolo

Suffolk County is experiencing a rapid decline in the amount of farmland acreage in production, despite a long-standing commitment to farmland preservation. Farming requires a critical mass of activity to sustain the infrastructure of related business on which it depends. Despite all of our accomplishments, we must do more.


From The Office of Senator Kenneth P. LaValle

As I reflect on my years as representative of the First Senate District, one on the issues of greatest concern has been the preservation of open space and the East End's agricultural way of life.While the Farmland Preservation Program I sponsored has been a tremendous resource in this effort, I realize when drafting this initiative that it would be only the beginning. Keeping farmers on their land and Suffolk County the top-producing agricultural county in New York State would require continued perseverance and determination.


A Letter from Harold Watts --

President of Long Island Wine Council:

Preservation of farmland and open country in Southold is a near universal goal, and the Blue Ribbon Commission has done a major service in considering alternatives and recommending policies. But they haven't ended the controversy. I would like to inject a critical element into the discussion - namely the long run economic viability of any proposed preservation element. It must be clear that population pressure will continue to increase the demand for residential property – the more so if the rural character is successfully maintained. The expected price rises are, indeed, already capitalized into the current prices of real estate.




Women and Farming on the North Fork - Karen Rivara

By: Becky Wiseman, former Associate Director Long Island Farm Bureau

Summer 2002:  After many twists and turns in the road I arrived at Karen Rivara's farm and was greeted by an Osprey's call as it landed in the tree above us. I could have known from that moment my tour would be a most unique and amazing experience.



To preserve farms on the North Fork, local government needs to purchase development rights on land threatened by development. Once this is done, the land will remain forever agriculture - not housing. Federal, state, county and town funding now exists to do just that without increasing local taxes.


Who Is Long Island Farm Bureau?

Long Island Farm Bureau is a volunteer organization governed by a board of directors. Headquartered in Calverton, LIFB represents the agricultural and marine industries, as well as non-farming individuals and businesses throughout Long Island. At Long Island Farm Bureau we believe the rural way of life is important to farmers as well as non-farmers alike. Wide-open spaces, fresh healthy food, and the wise management of natural resources are issues which engage all of us. Long Island Farm Bureau has a proud history of working effectively for the rights of all rural property owners.


Farm Bureau, A Retrospect

“Farm Bureau” was founded in 1911 in Broome County, New York by a group of farmers who wanted representation to deal with the changing face of agriculture in their area. They wanted an organization that would fight for their rights, promote and serve agriculture, disseminate educational information and teach them about the best farming practices available to them. Nearly a century later, Farm Bureau is still working to carry out farmer's wishes dealing with the continually changing face of agriculture not only in New York, but in the United States as well. Currently, there are over 5 million Farm Bureau members throughout the United States!



There is now a working windmill gracing  the landscape in Calverton. It's quite a sight actually. It's sleek, quiet and unobtrusive as it sits among the growing corn stalks...


Taking care of our environment. - Monday, October 20, 2008

New York Farm Bureau

Long Island Farm Bureau is a county Farm Bureau in New York State, and is affiliated by agreement with New York Farm Bureau.  Long Island Farm Bureau programs and services are available only to Farm Bureau members within Long Island. The political views expressed in these pages represent the Long Island Farm Bureau's position on various issues as they relate to Long Island.
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