Hemp Update #4

What is Crop Scouting?

Crop scouting is the process of  assessing pest pressure and crop performance to evaluate economic risk from pest infestations as well as to determine the potential effectiveness of pest and disease control interventions. 

This year, for hemp,  scouting will focus more on identifying and assessing actual threats to the crop.  Since there are no pesticides available for use, controls are limited but our data may help “make a case” for pesticide labeling.. 

It is an opportunity to have contact with Cornell Faculty and staff on current production issues and solutions as we develop this new industry. 

The scout will visit weekly or bi-weekly, your choice (mostly), from early June through early August.  Please see attached enrollment from.  So I can gather more information on who, where, and how much in each area.  This is so I can develop a schedule for the scout that is efficient.

If you are interested in scouting, and in the lower Hudson Valley, please be sure to contact Maire and or fill out the attached form and return.  Scouting will begin in early June.  She has responses on the interest and now needs this information.

What is Farm Bureau, Should I belong?

Farm Bureau is a lobbying organization that works, collectively on the issues of farmers.  They have been active in the area of hemp, supporting the economic opportunity for farmers all along.  Belonging is a statement (and they have a good monthly newsletter) but it also has tangible benefits such as reduced insurances(including workers comp).  For more info:  https://www.nyfb.org/

Resources Available from Cornell:

If you have not had the opportunity to see this resource on successful production in NYS, please review it as it is fill of links and other info. on hemp: https://s3.amazonaws.com/assets.cce.cornell.edu/attachments/36391/beginning_hemp.pdf?1551806063

The Cornell Hemp Website: http://hemp.cals.cornell.edu/about/extension/

Upcoming Educational Event:

Consumer Educational Event on CBD

Building Codes: 

Several of you plan on building buildings to accommodate drying or processing.  Not all activities are considered agricultural and qualify for exemptions.  Please read codes and consult with your building inspector/code enforcement officer.

Building Code Exemptions

by Lisa A. Ovitt, Paralegal


The Division of Building Standards and Codes (BSC) administers the mandatory statewide Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) and State Energy Conservation Construction Code (Energy Code).  The Division provides a variety of services related to the Uniform Code and Energy Code.  It provides technical assistance, administers variances, delivers educational programming, oversees the enforcement practices of local governments and serves as secretariat to the State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council.  The Albany Central Office and eleven regional offices throughout the state provide regional service to elected officials and local code enforcement personnel regarding general requirements for code enforcement.  The Division program was created by Chapter 707 of the Laws of 1981. 

The New York Legislature enacted Article 18 of the Executive Law, directing the formulation of a Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code), which became effective January 1, 1984.  The Uniform Code is designed to cover new construction, building rehabilitation, fire safety, and housing maintenance.  In addition, there are several exemptions scattered throughout the Uniform Code that exempt certain types of buildings and structures. Below is a partial list of structures that are exempt, either in whole or in part, from the Uniform Code. Please note that every structure must be carefully evaluated based on its actual use to determine if it meets the requirements for any exemptions.

Section 372 of Article 18 of the Executive Law defines a building as “a combination of any materials, whether portable or fixed, having a roof, to form a structure affording shelter for persons, animals or property.”

The following types of structures common to agriculture are specifically mentioned in either Executive Law or the Uniform Code as being exempt, either whole or in part:

Temporary Greenhouses – Exempt from the Uniform Code per the definition of a “building” provided above.  “Temporary greenhouse” means specialized agricultural equipment having a framework covered with demountable polyurethane materials or materials of polyurethane nature and lacking a permanent and continuous foundation which is specifically designed, constructed and used for the culture and propagation of horticultural commodities.  A “temporary greenhouse” may include, but is not limited to, the use of heating devices, water and electrical utilities, and supporting poles embedded in non-continuous concrete.  A temporary greenhouse cannot be used for the retail sale of any farm or non-farm products. In general, the Uniform Code prescribes “standards for the construction of all buildings or classes of buildings including factory manufactured homes, consonant with accepted standards of engineering and fire prevention practices.” Therefore, as a “temporary greenhouse” does not meet the definition of a “building,” the Uniform Code does not regulate the construction of structures that meet the definition of a “temporary greenhouse.”   A “temporary greenhouse” does not have to be located on a farm, nor in an agricultural district defined by the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. A “temporary greenhouse” may be for personal use or for commercial use; however, it cannot be “used for the retail sale of any farm or non-farm products.” Agriculture Buildings – “Nothing in the rules shall require or be construed to require regular, periodic inspections of (A) owner-occupied one and two-family dwellings, or (B) agricultural buildings used directly and solely for agricultural purposes, provided, however that this shall not be a limitation on inspections conducted at the invitation of the owner or where conditions on the premises threaten or present a hazard to public health, safety, or welfare.”  An agriculture building is defined as a structure designed and constructed to house farm implements, hay, grain, poultry, livestock, or other horticultural products, excluding any structure designed, constructed or used, in whole or in part, for human habitation, or a place of employment, where agricultural products are processed, treated, or packaged, or as a place used by the public.  This means that barns where there are workers, for example, milking cows, are not exempt from the building code.  
Generally, inspections of agricultural buildings would only be triggered by either a change in use or occupancy (e.g. if an agricultural building once used solely to house poultry became a place used by the public), at the invitation of the owner, or by the presence of a hazardous condition. The following types of structures are not specifically mentioned in either Executive Law or the Uniform Code as being exempt or partially exempt; however, based on the language provided in Executive Law and the Uniform Code, these structures can be characterized as being exempt as described below:Solar Farms – Solar farms that are not associated with a building or other structure regulated by the Uniform Code do not meet the definition of a “building” provided above. Only when the solar farm can be considered equipment and/or a system that is an appurtenance to a building are they subject to the Uniform Code requirements (see other sections such as 605.11 of the 2015 International Fire Code). Ponds – The Uniform Code does not contain a definition for “Ponds” and subsequently does not contain construction provisions for them. The 2017 Uniform Code Supplement contains the definition of a swimming pool, which does not include “structures, basins, or chambers” which are not intended for “swimming, diving or recreational bathing” (i.e. koi ponds or drainage and irrigation ponds).Note: Agricultural Buildings are not exempt from the “administrative, operational, and maintenance provisions” of the 2015 International Fire Code or the 2015 International Property Maintenance Code.  The 2015 International Fire Code as adopted by New York State may be found at https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IFC2015/toc.  The Code is designed to address conditions hazardous to life and property from fire, explosion, handling or use of hazardous materials and the use and occupancy of buildings and premises.  The 2015 International Property Maintenance Code as adopted by New York State may be found at https://codes.iccsafe.org/content/IPMC2015NY-1/toc. This Code applies to all existing residential and non-residential structures and premises and constitutes minimum requirements and standards for such things as light, ventilation, heating, sanitation, etc. Look for Technical Bulletins to be posted soon at https://www.dos.ny.gov/DCEA/tech_bull2016.html regarding NYS agencies with permitting authority. Note: The above referenced information/exemptions are not intended to apply to any other ordinance, law, or regulation. Being exempt from the Uniform Code does not exempt these structures from other potential provisions outside of the Uniform Code, including local zoning and building requirements. Therefore, code users should review all relevant ordinances, laws, or other regulations that may be applicable. 

For more information:

NYS Department of State, Division of Building Standards and Codes (BSC) https://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/.

Building Standards and Codes Fire Prevention and Control


The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only.  It is not intended to be, nor should it be considered, a substitute for legal advice rendered by a competent attorney.  If you have any questions about the application of the issues raised in this article to your particular situation, seek the advice of a competent attorney.

Source: Grassroots, Compliance Corner, May 2019