PRESS RELEASE: Use before July 25, 2006
Contact: Michael Davis, Cornell E.V. Baker Research Farm, 518-963-7492;
Anita Deming, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County,
R. David Smith, NNY Agricultural Development Program, 607-255-7286
Organic Sunflowers, Flax and Beans: New Crops for NNY?
Find Out at July 25 Field Day at Willsboro
Fifteen to 20 percent increases in the organic food market coupled with
premium prices for certified organic grains have prompted growing
interest by Northern New York farmers in organic grain production.
Responding to that interest, the farmer-driven Northern New York
Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) is funding the evaluation of
sunflowers, flax, and dry beans as new crops for farmers in Clinton,
Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Information
on those crops will be available at a July 25 �New NNY Crops� field day
at the Cornell E.V. Baker Research Farm in Willsboro.
Baker Research Farm Manager Michael Davis says the project is evaluating
ways to insert new options into organic crop rotations. The 2006 trials
at the farm are testing four sunflower varieties, five flax varieties
(including Omega, a gold colored flax), and four dry bean varieties.
Crop sequencing, planting density, fertilizer requirements, weed and
pest control strategies, harvest timing and yield are some of the
production factors under evaluation.
An analysis of production costs and returns for each of the crops under
scrutiny will help farmers assess the profit potential for their farm
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County Executive Director Anita
Deming says, �Farmers are looking for new products to diversify their
plantings. This can help with rotations, reducing pest populations and
marketing, however, first the farmers want to know if they can make
money growing a new crop and how much labor is involved. Knowing the
variable costs of production and selling prices is crucial for a farmer
deciding to make a change. The information from this project can help
farmers decide which crops are best for their situation.�
Previous NNYADP grants have focused on the production of spring and
winter wheat, soybeans, and alfalfa/grass hay. Regional buyers, such as
Champlain Valley Milling, have helped build farmer interest in the
organic production of grains for processing into flours and cake mixes.
Processors have purchased organically-grown soybeans for both human and
animal consumption. Grass-fed beef production has also been the focus of
an NNYADP project.
For more info on the �New NNY Crops� field day at the Cornell E.V. Baker
Research Farm at Willsboro on July 25, contact Michael Davis at the farm
The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a
farmer-driven research and education program specific to New York six
northernmost counties (Essex, Clinton, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis, St.
Lawrence). For more information, visit www.nnyagdev.org or contact Board
Chairs Jon Greenwood, Canton, 315-386-3231, or Joe Giroux, Plattsburgh,
518-563-7523, or call R. David Smith at Cornell University at