SARATOGA COUNTY -- The Saratoga County Sundae on the Farm event planned for Sunday at a Northumberland farm has been canceled due to the weather challenges farmers are facing this year.
The county Agricultural Promotion Committee announced Tuesday that the host farm and the committee made the decision to cancel the event "due to a very challenging wet and cold cropping season," which has many farmers behind in planting corn and other crops.
It is the second year in a row the event, which has often drawn several thousand people to spend a day in the country and learn about farming, has been canceled. In 2018, the event was canceled because the region's dairy farmers were facing a crisis from the low price of milk.
Milk prices are still low, but this year there were plans to re-establish the event, held each year on Father's Day. The weather, however, had other plans: There were fears the fields used for parking would be too wet, and the event has always placed pressure on the host farm during a prime crop production period. But normally, corn is planted by now and the first cutting of hay is completed, but both are weeks behind this year.
"The decision was made in order to alleviate pressure on the host farm and the many volunteers from the farming community so that they are able to focus on the planting and hay harvest which will likely extend into late June, the committee said in a public letter.
Sundae on the Farm began in 1995 as a way to highlight Saratoga County farming. It was held each year, rotating among a group of large farms until last year. The event features agricultural tours and demonstrations, and food including locally made pies and ice cream sundaes.
"The excessive rain we have had this spring has created non-conducive conditions on the hosting farm to support an event of this size," said Lia Palermo-Sershen, a marketer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County. "We will be developing some other agricultural events in coming weeks."