The Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm conducts research that:
• enhances the economic viability of Northern New York’s agricultural community,
• fosters environmentally sound resource management, and
• promotes the continued development of healthy regional food systems.
Several sectors of the farm are designed to improve production practices for crops grown to feed dairy cows. Other sectors are devoted to better understanding the organic production of field and food crops. Variety trials identify crop varieties that perform well in the soil types and growing climate unique to Northern New York.
The farm’s proximity to Lake Champlain serves to underscore the importance of nutrient management research with a goal of reducing nitrogen and phosphorus runoff into waterways while maintaining strong crop nutrition. Fifty-two specially-designed and constructed field scale drainage plots here provide Cornell University scientists with the unique opportunity to develop and test crop fertilizer application practices that are agriculturally, environmentally and economically sound.
Cooperative projects involve research scientists, extension professionals, farmers, town officials and area business persons. Projects support traditional agriculture and new and alternative specialty crops for the North Country. Recent work has focused on opportunities to:
• establish cold hardy grape vineyards and wineries
• develop techniques to evaluate and improve the health of agricultural soils
• grow and pellet grass as a renewable biomass heating fuel for NNY
• develop best management practices to optimize crop productivity while minimizing the potential for soil and nutrient losses
• test non-chemical biological controls for crop pests such as alfalfa snout beetle
• evaluate wheat, barley, oats, triticale, soybeans and flax crops
• design organic cropping systems for wheat, flax, food-grade soybeans and alfalfa-timothy hay, and
• evaluate modified greenhouse structures for extended-season production of fruit, vegetables and cut flowers.