May 6, 2011

Contacts: Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County, Peter Hagar, 518-561-7450; Essex County, Anita Deming, 518-962-4810; Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, Stephen Canner, 518-483-7403 and 315-379-9192; Jefferson County, Mike Hunter, 315-788-8450; Lewis County, Joe Lawrence, 315-376-5270

NNY On-Farm Research Helps Reduce Cost of Corn Production

Northern New York – Farmers may be able to reduce corn planting costs by eliminating one entire application of purchased fertilizer, according to preliminary findings in on-farm research trials funded in part by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) and conducted on five Northern New York dairy farms and at WH Miner Agricultural Research Institute, Chazy, NY.

Project leader Dr. Quirine Ketterings, Directo fo the Nutrient Management Spear Program at Cornell University, says, “This research into the possibility of eliminating the use of commercially-purchased starter nitrogen on corn fields that have a history of manure applications has the potential to save New York dairy producers time and money without sacrificing crop yield or quality. Ultimately, this would make farms more sustainable long-term.”

The “Can Manure Replace the Need for Starter Fertilizer” project report is online at www.nnyagdev.org/_agbasedevironmgmt.htm#Manure.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County Field Crops Educator Joe Lawrence says, “As an extensive educator, collaborating with farmers and Cornell faculty in this type of on-farm research is a great fit that allows me to work closely with the farmers to answer relevant research questions and assure that Lewis County growing conditions are represented in statewide projects.”

WH Miner Agricultural Research Institute Agronomist Eric Young says, “The 2010 starter N trial at Miner clearly showed that manure provided sufficient N to the corn in the early season and that a starter (fertilizer) was not necessary. These finding have big economic implications for dairy producers.”

Young says the NNYADP research on reducing starter N use on corn crops has drawn interest locally and from farmers in New Brunswick, Canada, and Littleton, New Hampshire.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research and outreach program that provides practical on-farm research results to strengthen the agricultural industry in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Learn more at www.nnyagdev.org. #