August 22, 2006
Contact: Anita Deming, Cornell Cooperative
Extension of Essex County, 518-962-4810 x409
Soil Health Workshop September 13 at Baker Research Farm
Soil health is the topic for farmers and gardeners on Wednesday,
September 13, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the Cornell E. V. Baker
Research Farm in Willsboro. Cornell University researchers including
Harold van Es, George Abawi, David Wolfe, Robert Schindelbeck, and John
Idowu have been working for four years with funding in part from the
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program to develop an
affordable test to measure soil health.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County Executive Director Anita
Deming, says, �The new test will be an important addition to the
conventional test that focuses only on soil chemistry.�
The research team has analyzed more than 700 soil samples from across
New York State. Samples from research farms helped established useful
indicators from long-term soil management under controlled conditions.
Samples from commercial farms and growers� on-farm experiments have
helped document soil health improvement from alternative management
practices, and have provided a perspective on soil health under �real
world� farming conditions.
Soil health experiments included testing under different tillage
systems, cover crops and rotations. For example, a rotation experiment
was conducted on loamy sand and sandy clay soils comparing corn after
eight years of orchard grass with continuous corn at the Cornell E.V.
Baker Research Farm at Willsboro. In general, soil health indicators
were better for the corn after grass, supporting the notion that
rotation of corn with sod crops results in better soil health.
At the September 13 workshop, the soil health team members will discuss
the test that allows farmers, consultants and gardeners to monitor the
benefits of new soil and crop management technology and target soil
improvement and better management practices. To pre-register for the
program, call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County at
For more information on Soil Health research in NNY, click here