October 15, 2007
Contact: Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Cornell
University, 607-255-3061; or
your local Cornell Cornell Cooperative Extension crops and horticulture
Soil Reports for 6 NNY Counties the First for 2002-2006
The first 2002-2006 soil fertility sample test reports to be completed
for New York feature the six Northern New York counties of Clinton,
Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence. The reports
summarize the test results of nearly 2,100 soil samples submitted by
commercial growers (90%) and homeowners (10%) from 2002 through 2006 for
analysis by the Cornell (University) Nutrient Analysis Laboratory
http://www.css.cornell.edu/soiltest/. Cornell University�s
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences
the local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices across the NNY region
prepared the reports that are now accessible via the Northern New York
Agricultural Development Program website at
Commercial growers are interested in soil sample test data as it relates
to the level of plant nutrients available in the soil for crop
production, particularly for growing alfalfa, grasses, corn, clover,
various grass mixes and soybeans in the North Country. Homeowners
generally submit soil samples with a request for fertilizer
recommendations for home garden vegetable production. Samples are
analyzed in 10 categories, including pH, organic matter, and phosphorus,
potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese and zinc content by the Cornell
Nutrient Analysis Laboratory.
Highlights from each of the NNY county reports follow.
Clinton County: 80 Percent Dairy
In the Soil Sample Survey for Clinton County introduction, Amy Ivy,
executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County,
� Eighty percent of the county�s agriculture receipts is generated by
the dairy industry.
� Apples are also an economically important crop for the county along
with about 550 acres in vegetables.
� Growing grapes along the lakeshore is also gaining ground with several
small less than 10-acre) vineyards recently planted.
� On Clinton County�s northern border is Canada, on the east is Lake
Essex County: Agriculturally Productive since 1734
In the Soil Sample Survey for Essex County introduction, Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Essex County Executive Director Anita Deming,
� Essex County has farms that have been productive since the French
built Fort St. Frederic in Crown Point in 1734.
� Farms in Essex County, which is entirely within the Adirondack Park,
tend to be small, independent operations producing a wide range of
� The climate in Essex County has an average last frost date of May 20
and a first frost date of September 30.
� Three Cornell University agricultural research stations: Uihlein Maple
Research Forest and Uihlein Potato Research Station at Lake Placid and
the Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm at Willsboro are in
Franklin County: Top One-Third of County is Commercial Agriculture
In the Soil Sample Survey for Franklin County introduction, Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Franklin County Executive Director Carl
� Nearly all of the commercial agriculture in Franklin County occurs in
the top one-third of the county that is bordered by Canada and the
� 150 dairy farms arm the backbone of Franklin Countys agricultural
economy, but viable small farm businesses, other than dairy, have
significantly increased in recent years.
� There is a trend of increasing alternative enterprises related to
livestock and crops.
� Marginal farmland once used for dairy farming, in some cases, is being
put back into production by new farm managers with alternative
Jefferson County: Diverse Soil Types, Topography, Total Ag Sales
In the Soil Sample Survey for Jefferson County introduction, Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Field Crops Educator Michael
E. Hunter writes:
� Jefferson County has 85 different soil types supporting agriculture on
40 percent of the county�s total (814,209) land acres.
� Topographically, Jefferson County includes the St. Lawrence River
Valley, the 1000 Islands, Lake Ontario lowlands, Tug Hill, the Black
River Valley and the Theresa Lakes.
� Annual agricultural sales for Jefferson County total $99.5 million
(2002 Census of Agriculture).
� Jefferson County ranks first in New York State for hay acres harvested
and total tons of hay produced, has the third highest number of dairy
cows and beef cows, and is the fourth largest milk producing county in
Lewis County: Cows Outnumber People 2:1
In the Soil Sample Survey for Lewis County introduction, Cornell
University graduate student Joe Lawrence, who will become the Cornell
Cooperative Extension Field Crops Educator for Lewis County in 2008,
� Almost all of the land that is suited to farming in Lewis County is
being used for agricultural purposes - approximately 197,000 acres or 24
percent of the total land area.
� Dairy is the dominant agricultural activity in Lewis County where cows
outnumber people 2:1. Lewis County is also well known for its production
of maple syrup.
� Lewis County has two very different soil regions separated by the
Black River with a majority of the agricultural land located in the
central Black River.
� �In a county dominated by animal agriculture soil testing plays a very
important role in balancing optimum crop production with
environmentally-sound nutrient applications.�
St. Lawrence County: 36th in Dairy Counties in the U.S., 6th in Rural
Places to Live
In the Soil Sample Survey for St. Lawrence County introduction, Cornell
Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County Field Crops Educator Peter M.
� St. Lawrence County has a land area of 1.3 million acres that is split
into two belts � a lowland section from the St. Lawrence River to the
Adirondack Mountain foothills and the mountains region.
� The 481 dairy farms in the county have 38,400 milk cows producing an
average of 631 million pounds of milk yearly, making St. Lawrence County
the 36th in the top 500 dairy counties in the U.S.
� St. Lawrence County�s climate makes the county an excellent
forage-producing county, growing 114,100 tons of hay and 421,500 tons of
� The May 2007 issue of �Progressive Farmer� rates St. Lawrence County
as the sixth preferred rural area to live in the U.S.
The soil surveys for the Northern New York counties were prepared with
the local Extension educators by Cornell University Associate Professor
of Crop and Soil Sciences Dr. Quirine M. Ketterings of the Nutrient
Management Spear Program, Cornell Nutrient Analysis Laboratory Director
Renuka Rao, and Hettie Krol and Sara Place of the Cornell Nutrient
Management Spear Program. To learn more about agriculture in Northern
New York, go online to www.nnyagdev.org or call your local Cornell
Cooperative Extension office. # # #
Dr. Quirine M. Ketterings, Cornell University, 607-255-3061
Peter Barney, CCE St. Lawrence, 315-379-9192
Anita Deming, CCE Essex, 518-962-4810
Michael E. Hunter, CCE Jefferson, 315-788-8450
Amy Ivy, CCE Clinton, 518-561-7450
Joe Lawrence, Cornell University Nutrient Management Spear Program,
607-255-3061 (starts with CCE Lewis County Jan. 2008, 315-376-5270
Carl Tillinghast, CCE Franklin, 518-483-7403
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