Willsboro Research Farm
This 352-acre farm is located along Lake Champlain at the base of Willsboro Point, in Northern New York. The farm has both clay and sandy soils, permitting a range of field experiments for optimizing management of agricultural resources. Fifty-two specially constructed field-scale drainage plots provide researchers with a unique opportunity to develop and test crop fertilizer application practices that are agriculturally, environmentally and economically sound. In support of the region's important dairy sector, several studies are designed to improve forage production systems.
Organic Agriculture at Willsboro
Since 1993, six acres have been dedicated to organic research, certified by 'Vermont Organic Farmers, LLC' in 1996.
Willsboro Research Farm utilizes these acres primarily for organic grain trails, incorporating spring and winter wheat rotations, with soybeans, flax, spelt, alfalfa and timothy hay. The farm team established a five year rotation plan, which provides ideal ways to build and enrich the soil and improve soil tilth naturally.
The farm was donated in 1982 by E. Vreeland Baker to Cornell University for agricultural research, and was formerly known as Cornell E. V. Baker Research Farm.
Research project highlights
Malting barley variety trials
These trials assess ten spring and ten winter varieties for best quality and yield. The agronomic data collected provides crucial, tangible guidance to New York growers who aim to meet the growing demand from local breweries. Researcher: Mark Sorrells
Minimizing erosion and nutrient losses
Best management practices are continually updated to optimize crop productivity while minimizing erosion and nutrient losses to neighboring waterways and groundwater. The farm's proximity to Lake Champlain underscores the importance of this research. Researcher: Harold van Es
Crop variety trials and management systems
Field trials identify crop varieties and management systems that perform well in the soils and climate that are unique to Northern New York.
Non-chemical biological control options are tested for regionally important crop pests, such as the alfalfa snout beetle. Researcher: Don Viands
Season extension with high tunnels
High tunnels can substantially extend New York's short growing season. This project assesses, which fruit and vegetables do particularly well in high tunnels, and under which conditions, for example, identifying the fertility requirements for overwintering spinach, and best growing practices for ground cherries. Researcher: Elisabeth Hodgdon
Strawberry variety trials
This strawberry research project tests different production methods and overwintering systems, such as the use of row covers instead of mulch. Researcher: Elisabeth Hodgdon
Resources for Cornell Researchers
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Willsboro Research Farm
48 Sayward Lane
Willsboro, NY 12996