February 14, 2007

Contact: Peter Barney, CCE St. Lawrence, 315-379-9192

Mike Hunter, CCE Jefferson, 315-788-8450

Growing Corn After Sod: Saving Money, Reducing Nutrient Loss Topic at March 14-15 Crop Congresses

Farmers attending the 11th annual Crop Congresses on Wednesday, March 14 in Carthage, NY, and Thursday, March 15 in Canton, NY will hear how to save money and reduce nutrient loss with their corn crops. Cornell University Crop and Soil Sciences researcher Dr. Quirine M. Ketterings will share the most recent data on a project on corn nitrogen needs over a rotation following sod plow-down. The project also evaluates a number of nitrogen management tools for identifying sites that will not need extra nitrogen. Knowing when extra fertilization is not needed can save farmers a minimum of $30-40 per acre.

“We are trying to predict when applying additional nitrogen from manure or fertilizer is not likely to produce any gain in corn yield,” Dr. Ketterings says. “For this, we are evaluating a series of tests for their ability to identify if a field is likely to need the extra nitrogen or not.”

The research on corn nitrogen needs in first-year and second-year corn planted in fields that were previously in sod includes five North Country farm sites and is funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, a farmer-led research, education and outreach program specifically for Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.

Other speakers at the March 14-15 programs include Cornell University crop and soil sciences researchers Dr. William J. Cox presenting the results of the Northern New York field testing of 42 varieties of corn in 2006; and Dr. Russell Hahn speaking about weed control strategies for corn growers; and Cornell Cooperative Extension field crop educators Peter M. Barney of St. Lawrence County and Michael E. Hunter of Jefferson County will share data on North Country field trials of teff, a warm season grass native to Ethiopia.

The fee for the 10am-3pm program is $15 before March 9; $20 after March 9. NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Pesticide credits and Certified Crop Advisor credits have been applied for. To qualify for credits, farmers must arrive on time and stay through the entire program. To register for the Crop Congress at the Carthage Elks Club, call 315-788-8450. To register for the Crop Congress at the Canton Best Western University Inn, call 315-379-9192. # # #