With $300,000 in funding now secure in the 2011-2012 New York State Budget, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) is moving ahead with 2011 on-farm research and outreach projects in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties.
A 2010 NNYADP Impact Statement provides a snapshot of the NNY region’s agricultural industry: approximately 4,200 farms, 1.11 million acres, a farm employee payroll of $52.9 million, Northern New York farm products’ market value more than $595 million.
The 2010 Impact Statement shows the potential for NNY bioenergy crops, maple, wheat, food-grade soybeans, cold hardy grapes and winery, and season extension high tunnel production sectors to prosper. For example, Northern New York maple industry revenues have the potential to grow to nearly $10 million per year, while industry representatives project that Northern New York farmers could grow heritage wheat production and processing into a $7.5 million regional industry.
Dairying is the mainstay among diverse NNY agricultural enterprises. NNYADP project results provided new insights and protocols for treating Klebsiella mastitis, which can be fatal to dairy cows. Cornell researchers estimate as many as 5,000 more cows per year can now be successfully treated or protected from the disease.
The Northern New York region currently has 17 vineyard wineries with another five expected to open this year with the potential to reach an average $22.7 million year-seven income.
Cornell Cooperative Extension educators estimate that at least 10 farms have added high tunnels to get an early start on and a longer harvest of berry and vegetable crops. On average, a well-managed high tunnel can generate $75,000 to $100,000 in annual gross income per tunnel.
Environmental stewardship and crop production enhancement projects undertaken by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program have shown how farmers can reduce costly use of fertilizers and excess runoff without sacrificing crop quality or yield. For example, NNY corn growers could realize more than $1 million in nitrogen fertilizer cost savings with an equal environmental benefit from 44,159 acres of first-year corn production.
Photo: Northern New York Agricultural Development Program research has helped restore NNY alfalfa crops.