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By Craig Cramer and Anja Timm
  • Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Musgrave Research Farm
  • School of Integrative Plant Science
  • Soil and Crop Sciences Section
  • Agriculture
  • Digital Agriculture
  • Field Crops
  • Soil

More than 140 farmers, educators, consultants and researchers viewed the latest Cornell grain and forage crop research at 2023 Musgrave Research Farm Field Day in Aurora, N.Y., August 3.

“As leaders in agriculture research, it’s really important to us to be able to share the results of our work with people who can put what we learn into practice,” said Margaret Smith, director of the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (Cornell AES) and CALS associate dean. 

“Events like this enable that kind of sharing. They help us make that vital link that ensures our research efforts really make a difference in people’s lives around the state,” added Smith, who is also a corn breeder in the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) Plant Breeding and Genetics Section.

In addition to the Musgrave facility, Cornell AES manages research farms, greenhouses and growth chambers on and around the Ithaca campus as well as on Long Island and in northern New York.

Tour highlights included:

  • SIPS weed scientists Lynn Sosnoskie and Vipan Kumar discussed weed management options farmers might use as they face increasing restrictions on the popular corn herbicide atrazine.  Attendees also viewed Kumar’s research plots comparing integrated weed control strategies for soybeans.
  • SIPS digital agriculture specialist Louis Longchamps outlined Cornell’s Farm of the Future project and explored ways that farmers can gather more and more useful data to better manage their crops.
  • Kirsten Workman, a nutrient management and environmental sustainability specialist with Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY program and others presented research aimed at helping farmers use less fertilizer and get the most value out of their manure while protecting water resources from nutrient runoff.
  • SIPS agroecologist Matt Ryan and others from Cornell’s Sustainable Cropping Systems Lab led a tour of plots where they planted corn directly into a standing rye cover crop. Their research is assessing how timing of cover crop termination affects corn pests and diseases.

Other field day topics included accelerated breeding of climate-resilient crop varieties and increasing soil health and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on dairy farms.

“Field crops – corn, soybeans, small grains and forages – are the largest sector of crop agriculture in New York,” said Smith. “Having a research facility like Musgrave that represents soils and growing conditions for large portion of the state is essential to our success – and the success of our stakeholders.  We are delighted to have had the opportunity to showcase the research being done there.”

Craig Cramer is a Communications Specialist for the School of Integrative Plant Science. Anja Timm is an Administrative Assistant and Communications Coordinator for Cornell AES.

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