August 24, 2011
Contacts: see list at end
Notes: The 2010 Northern New York Agricultural Development
Program Impact Statement notes that the gross income potential for
fruit, berry and vegetable production produced in NNY’s 10 newest high
tunnels ranges from $75,000-$100,000/year in total.
Northern NY Research Helping High Tunnel Growers Extend Reach
Northern New York — While consumers are enjoying fresh
locally-grown sweet tomatoes and crispy greens from Northern New York’s
market gardeners, the growers are drawing on Northern New York
Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP)-supported high tunnel research
to extend production and sales into the fall season.
high tunnel grower has his or her own crop plan and growing conditions.
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program season extension
projects provide regional growers with first-hand and shared experiences
to help them achieve maximum efficiency and profitability,” says project
co-leader Amy Ivy, director of Cornell Cooperation Extension Clinton
County, Plattsburgh, NY.
Regional growers have been applying NNYADP project results on how to
graft tomatoes for high tunnel production, how to use seeding date to
influence the production of three different greens, and the benefit of
regular soil nutrient testing.
Tomatoes are a popular and profitable tunnel crop for fresh market
“Grafting desirable tomato varieties onto vigorous, disease-resistant
rootstock has shown significant results. All four varieties we
graft-tested in 2010 outgrew and outproduced the non-grafted plants well
into October,” says Cornell University Horticulture Professor H.C. Wien.
Trials with spinach, arugula and lettuce crops at the Cornell E.V. Baker
Research Farm at Willsboro, NY, evaluated different seeding dates:
August 21, September 5 and September 30 for spinach, arugula and
lettuce. The crops were seeded in a high tunnel, a movable high tunnel,
and outdoors with low cover.
“Planting date had a major influence on the productivity of the greens
under all three season extension systems. A two-week difference in
planting date reduced the number of harvests by half. The data
illustrates the importance of a mid-late August planting to optimize
fall-winter greens production under Northern New York growing
conditions,” says Baker Farm Manager Michael Davis.
The trials also show that the quality of the greens could be maintained
longer, without heat, by adding an additional low cover over the crop in
the high tunnel. The crop could be harvested once it thawed during the
day through December.
Fresh market grower and poultry producer Beth Spaugh-Barber of Rehoboth
Homestead in Peru, NY, participated with the evaluation of foliar
nutrient testing. The testing provides valuable information on the level
of nutrients in plant leaves during the growth period.
Spaugh says, “Whenever the local and state Cornell Cooperative Extension
staff visit the farm as part of a project, they notice things I have
ignored and share really helpful ideas that improve our production and
bottom line. The trips we made as part of this Northern New York project
to farms that have been using high tunnels longer were nuts-and-bolts
Adam Hainer of Juniper Hill Farm has created his own unique movable high
tunnel that rolls on pipes at his farm in Wadhams, NY. He says, “These
regional research trials allow growers to see results before we invest
in a system that may not have any potential for payback or profit. When
the results are positive, we can invest confidently and have a regional
resource to help us manage the new enterprise.”
Twelve growers attending one of the project’s farmer-to-farmer season
extension learning workshops indicated an interest in adding high
tunnels to their farms in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties.
High tunnel production information for NNY growers is online at
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program conducts research
in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
The NY State Legislature and Cornell University Agricultural Experiment
Station are program funders.
The Cornell Cooperative Extension associations of Northern New York,
Cornell University researchers, the Cornell E.V. Baker Research Farm at
Willsboro, W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, the
Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Extension Learning
Farm in Canton and regional farmers are project collaborators. Dairymen
Jon Greenwood of Canton and Joe Giroux of Plattsburgh serve as Northern
New York Agricultural Development Program co-chairs.
The most recent Northern New York Agricultural Development Program
Impact Statement is posted online at www.nnyagdev.org. #
Amy Ivy, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension
Clinton County, 518-561-7450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Davis, Farm Manager, Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research
Farm at Willsboro, 518-963-7492, email@example.com
Hans Christian Wien, Professor, Cornell University Department of
Horticulture, 607-255-4570, firstname.lastname@example.org
Regional Farm Cooperators:
• Beth Spaugh-Barber, Rehoboth Homestead, 66 Jabez Allen Road,
Peru, NY, email@example.com, 518-643-7822
• Adam Hainer, Juniper Hill Farm, 82 Loukes Lane, Wadhams, NY,
For additional farmer contacts, call Cornell Cooperative Extension:
• Clinton County: Amy Ivy, 518-561-7450, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Essex County: Anita Deming, 518-962-4810 x209, email@example.com
• Franklin County: Bernadette Logozar, 518-483-7403, firstname.lastname@example.org
• Jefferson County: Sue Gwise, 315-788-8450, email@example.com
• Lewis County: Dolores DeSalvo, 315-376-5270, firstname.lastname@example.org
• St. Lawrence County: Paul Hetzler, 315-379-9192, email@example.com