April 27, 2011
Contact: Jon Greenwood, 315-386-3231; Joe Giroux, 518-565-4730

NNYADP Announces 2011 Projects

Northern New York – With $300,000 in funding now secure in the 2011-2012 New York State Budget, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is moving ahead with 2011 on-farm research and outreach projects in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

“The farmers of Northern New York recognize the leadership of Senate Agriculture Committee Chair Senator Patty Ritchie, Senator Betty Little; and Senator Joe Griffo to restore funds for agriculture programs in the 2011 New York State budget negotiations. These Senators with the support of the Senate Agriculture Committee, New York State Assembly Agriculture Chairman Bill Magee, the Assembly Agriculture Committee, and North Country Assemblypersons Ken Blankenbush, Janet Duprey, Addie Russell, and Teresa Sayward successfully secured the funding that underpins vital on-farm research and outreach projects that strengthen North Country agriculture and its economic value to the regional and state economies,” said Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Co-Chair Jon Greenwood.

“We cannot thank our North Country leaders enough for recognizing the need to maintain critical-priority year-to-year projects. Any break in trials we have in the ground would severely undermine the value of the research to date and expose our crops and animals to risks from pests, disease or other profit-reducing factors in the future,” said Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) Co-Chair Joe Giroux.

The knowledge base and momentum gained by year-to-year research produces practical results, such as the significant progress made by NNYADP project leaders in helping farmers protect the alfalfa crops that are a vital resource for dairy and livestock production in the region.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program-funded alfalfa snout beetle research provided the laboratory, greenhouse, and practical fieldwork needed to develop an inexpensive, easily-implemented control technique that is being heralded as an effective means of controlling the highly-destructive alfalfa snout beetle (ASB) crop pest. Field trials evaluating Cornell-bred ASB-resistant alfalfa varieties will continue in 2011.

Nutrient management projects evaluating ways for farmers to reduce their use of purchased corn fertilizer, make better use of on-farm manure nutrient resources, and enhance agricultural stewardship will continue in collaboration with the Cornell University Nutrient Management Spear Program in 2011.

Cornell University Plant Breeding and Genetics Professor Dr. Donald Viands and Research Associate Julie Hansen and Plant Pathology Professor Gary C. Bergstrom are part of the team overseeing NNYADP 2011 field trials of alfalfa varieties bred for brown root rot resistance. Bergstrom says, “The State funding of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has helped New York agriculture inestimably by providing the means to continue research into brown root rot, a crop disease first discovered in Northern New York and now known to exist in other areas of New York as well as Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and parts of Canada.”

Cold hardy wine grape production will be a focus of 2011 NNYADP horticultural research designed to assist regional producers who have invested thousands of dollars in vineyards, winemaking equipment and showrooms.

Because of the processing time needed to activate the State Budget cash flow, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has secured one-time bridge funding from the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station. Station Associate Director Margaret E. Smith says, “It is vital that this Northern New York research to assist corn and cold hardy wine grape production, alfalfa snout beetle and brown root rot resistance breeding, and grass biofuel production continue year-to-year to provide data without a break.”

Cornell Crop and Soil Sciences Professor Dr. Jerry Cherney leads grass biomass-for-combustion trials in Northern New York in 2011. Cherney says, “The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program and the Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station are providing the funding and equipment for 2011 project work to address Northern New York’s potential to produce grass biomass for residential and light industrial heating needs and to reduce its currently heavy reliance on outside energy sources.”

A 2010 Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Impact Statement is posted online at www.nnyagdev.org. #

A 2010 Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) Impact Statement at www.nnyagdev.org provides a snapshot of the NNY region’s agricultural industry: approximately 4,200 farms, 1.11 million acres, a farm employee payroll of $52.9 million, Northern New York farm products’ market value more than $595 million.

Dairying is the mainstay among diverse NNY agricultural enterprises. NNYADP project results f provide new insights and protocols for treating Klebsiella mastitis, which can be fatal to dairy cows. Cornell researchers estimate as many as 5,000 more cows per year can now be successfully treated or protected from the disease.

The 2010 Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Impact Statement shows the potential for NNY bioenergy crops, maple, wheat, food-grade soybeans, cold hardy grapes and winery, and season extension high tunnel production sectors to prosper. For example, Northern New York maple industry revenues have the potential to grow to nearly $10 million per year, while industry representatives project that Northern New York farmers could grow heritage wheat production and processing into a $7.5 million regional industry.

Champlain Valley Milling owner Sam Sherman says, “The on-farm research carried out in Northern New York is a critical component in developing a high quality and steady supply of wheat for processing into flour for commercial and consumer bakers.”

Business Manager Michael Carr with Vermont Soy, a food-grade processor of organically-grown soybeans, says, “We are interested in Northern New York-grown beans and are looking at the (NNYADP) research trial data to identify beans that can be grown to our standards.”

The Northern New York region currently has 17 vineyard wineries with another five expected to open this year with the potential to reach an average $22.7 million year-seven income.

Cornell Cooperative Extension educators estimate that at least 10 farms have added high tunnels to get an early start on and a longer harvest of berry and vegetable crops. On average, a well-managed high tunnel can generate $75,000 to $100,000 in annual gross income per tunnel.

Environmental stewardship and crop production enhancement projects undertaken by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program have shown how farmers can reduce costly use of fertilizers and excess runoff without sacrificing crop quality or yield. For example, NNY corn growers could realize more than $1 million in nitrogen fertilizer cost savings with an equal environmental benefit from 44,159 acres of first-year corn production.

Learn more at www.nnyagdev.org.