August 1, 2007

PRESS RELEASE DRAFT Use before August 20, 2007
Contact: Ron Robbins, 315-583-5737; Michael E. Hunter, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, 315-788-8450

First-Ever New York Summer Crop Tour to Focus on Biofuel Production; North Harbor Dairy in Sackets Harbor Hosts Premiere Event

Research specific to growing crops in Northern New York, the opportunity to sell corn for ethanol production, and a clinic on the latest harvesting equipment are all part of the first-ever Annual New York Summer Crop Tour on August 20th at North Harbor Dairy in Sackets Harbor, NY. The 9:30 am to 2:30 pm tour will provide farmers a �seed to sale� education with speakers from Cornell University and Perdue Farms. Yes, the Perdue that produces chickens, but as part of the August 20th tour Stephen Norris, Vice President of Grain Marketing for Perdue Farms, Inc. will not be talking about chicken feed. Biofuel is the hot topic.

Norris will make a presentation on selling corn to Northeast Biofuels in Fulton, NY, for the production of ethanol. This spring plant officials said they are looking to buy 10 million bushels of corn from local growers.
Supporting the local interest in producing corn for something other than dairy and beef cattle feed are field trials that annually evaluate different varieties of corn grown on Northern New York farms. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program provides funds for the trials conducted by Cornell University research faculty and staff and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators in cooperation with regional farmers. Data is posted online at www.nnyagdev.org.

Ron Robbins has hosted annual corn variety trials on his North Harbor Dairy farm.

�We are privileged to host this first annual tour for New York State. Farmers are interested in growing and selling corn for ethanol production and the research plots here help us learn what we can do to enhance production to meet the demand for corn for both biofuel and livestock feed,� Robbins says.

New York Corn Growers President Steve Van Voorhis says, �This first annual New York Summer Crop Tour provides growers across the state with an exciting opportunity to learn about some of the latest research for producing corn, new opportunities to sell that crop, and the type of equipment designed to harvest all types of shelled corn, including corn for biofuel production.�

The August 20 activities at North Harbor Day include:
- a tour of corn and soybean research plots with Cornell University crop and soil sciences professor Bill Cox
- a tour of field corn hybrid trial with Cornell University plant breeding professor Margaret Smith
- a tour of a soybean rust sentinel plot with Cornell University plant pathology professor Gary Bergstrom and Mary McKellar, Education and Training Coordinator for the Northeast Plant Diagnostic Network
- a presentation on other agricultural research in the region by Field Crops Educator Michael E. Hunter of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County
- a clinic on combine equipment that will provide growers with the latest information on harvesting efficiencies and equipment attachments designed to improve harvested yield and to properly harvest the corn at the desired moisture and kernel quality for biofuel plants.
- tours of North Harbor Dairy LLC
- lunch, provided by Community Bank, DeKalb Seed, Monroe Tractor, Pioneer, Synagri Fertilizer and Widrick Implements.

At 2:30 pm, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County will have vans available to visit a corn nitrogen study at the __________ farm in Adams Center. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program and the New York Farm Viability Institute, Inc. provided funding for the nitrogen study research led by Dr. Quirine M. Ketterings of Cornell University and graduate student Joe Lawrence of the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear Program. The data from that project shows farmers can save money, increase their manure nutrient use efficiency, and produce good corn using less nitrogen to grow first-year corn that is planted after sod.

This tour will move around New York State from year to year. Robbins says, �This tour provides the opportunities for farmers to get away from where they farm and live to understand the dynamic of the various growing regions of New York State. Learning about the resources and marketing opportunities showcased here in Northern New York will help strengthen the future of agriculture statewide.�

The 1st Annual Summer Crop Tour is co-sponsored by the New York Corn Growers Association and the Cornell Field Crop and Soil Program Work Team. For more information and tour reservations, call 315-583-5737. Robbins says the RSVP response so far is a good sign that the program is well-targeted for farmer interests.

For more information on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, go online to www.nnyagdev.org.   # # #