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Implementing Soil Health Monitoring on Vegetable Farms in New York State 2002

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Project leaders:

Ted Blomgren, CCE, Capital District Vegetable Program

Carol MacNeil, CCE, Vegetable Program in Ontario, Wayne, Yates and Steuben Counties

Jan Vanderheide, CCE, Oswego County

Alan Erb, CCE, Lake Plains Vegetable Program

Dale Moyer, CCE, Suffolk County

Cooperators:

George Abawi, Department of Plant Pathology, NYSAES, Cornell University

Dave Wolfe, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

Bob Schindelbeck, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Cornell University

Anu Rangarajan, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University

Vegetable farmers in participating counties

Type of grant:

Cultural methods.

Project locations:

Columbia, Erie, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, Suffolk, Wayne and Yates counties.

Abstract:

The long-term viability of the vegetable industry in NYS is dependent on the health of its soils. Good soil stewardship requires knowledge about a wide range of soil health issues and the practices that affect them. To improve their soil management capabilities, farmers, agribusiness professionals and extension educators need better tools for monitoring the physical, chemical and biological health of soils. They also need training in the use of these tools, and in the interpretation of results from soil health monitoring activities. Those who manage soils also need more information about the impact of specific practices on soil health. The leadership of this project is comprised of members of the Soil Health PWT. We will develop a soil health monitoring protocol and demonstrate its use to extension educators and farmers in five pilot regions in the state. We will also assess the soil health status of several indicator farms in each of these regions.

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