Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC)


The 68-acre facility is dedicated to serve the research and extension needs of the horticulture industries of Long Island. The facility features agricultural fields and research plots, state-of-the-art greenhouses, a nursery and container production area, and a plant tissue culture facility in support of research projects ranging from grape and vegetable production, to ornamentals and floriculture.

LIHREC is located close to the tip of Long Island, in the heart of Suffolk County. Unique growing conditions on Long Island provide exceptional opportunities for this region. The climate is ideal for farming — it is the only area in New York State with USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7. Strong underground aquifers provide plenty of fresh water.

But the reputation of Suffolk County's agriculture is literally rooted in its characteristic white, sandy soils. 

Sandy, white soils

Suffolk County's exceptional soils are the result of thousands of years of glacial deposition. They have excellent drainage, moderate water-holding capacity, and modest fertility. These glacial soils are among the finest in the world and provide unique opportunities for farmers and growers.

Yellow squash blossoms grow amongst a field of squash plants.

Events at LIHREC

Saturday, July 13th, 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Everyone is welcome and admission is FREE.
Contact Mark Bridgen, mpb27 [at] cornell.edu (mpb27[at]cornell[dot]edu) or 631-727-3595

Tuesday, July 16th, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Educational day for summer interns in horticulture and agriculture. Registration required. 
Contact Mark Bridgen, mpb27 [at] cornell.edu (mpb27[at]cornell[dot]edu) or 631-727-3595

Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC) Plant Science Day

Thursday, July 18, 2024, Sign in starts at 3:30 PM, program starts at 4:00 PM

The Cornell Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center (LIHREC) will hold its annual Plant Science Day for agriculture and horticulture professionals on Thursday, July 18th.  Professionals will be able to take tours in one of four commodity areas: (1) vegetables, (2) nursery and ornamentals, (3) greenhouse and floriculture, and (4) grapes. Speakers will include Mark Bridgen, Nora Catlin, Margery Daughtrey, Jared Dyer, Dan Gilrein, Daniel Heck, Emily Lindback, Sandra Menasha, Mina Vescera, and Alice Wise.  DEC recertification credits will be available.

Following the tours, at 6:00 p.m., a barbecue will be held on-site at the LIHREC. Thanks to Farm Credit East for a sponsorship towards the dinner and to Burpee Seeds for a sponsorship towards drinks, the cost for the barbecue is only $25 per person.  Participants are encouraged to attend both the tours and the barbeque dinner during Plant Science Day, but if you prefer, you can attend just one or the other.  However, pre-registration is required to attend the BBQ.

There is no fee to attend the tours; those who wish to stay for dinner the fee is $25/person and must be received by Wednesday, July 10.  Checks should be made payable to Cornell University; sorry, no credit cards are accepted.  Send reservations and payments to: Cornell University LIHREC, 3059 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, NY  11901.  

More info and registration form

Contact Karen Levasseur at LIHREC: kml67 [at] cornell.edu (kml67[at]cornell[dot]edu), 631-727-3595

Three research and extension professionals received SOAR Awards while working at LIHREC.

The SOAR Award honors those, who provide outstanding support and contributions to the mission of the national IR-4 Project, a program that helps specialty crop growers to address pest management concerns. 

The awardees, pictured above from left to right:

Dr. Margaret McGrath, Emeritus Associate Professor, School of Integrative Plant Science at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Meg received her award in 2014. Meg retired from Cornell University in May 2023, but still maintains a keen interest in all things concerned with plant pathology.

Daniel Gilrein, Senior Entomologist, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Suffolk Co. Dan received the award in 2023.

Dr. Andrew Senesac, Senior Weed Scientist, Cornell CCE of Suffolk Co. Andy received his award in 2016. Although Andy retired from full time employment in 2022, he continues to work part-time to help fill the weed science needs of Long Island until a replacement is hired.

Awardees are selected based on: the service provided towards the mission by participating on IR-4 committees, advisory panels, or similar activities; the excellent outreach performed to help educate others about IR-4’s importance to growers; their altruism by donating time and effort toward IR-4’s mission; and the outstanding research contributed that aides in expanding product labels and increasing understanding of product use.

Serving the community for over 100 years