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CCE opens Willsboro Farm for tour

Mike Davis, in blue on right, manager of the E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm in Willsboro, leads visitors of a tour of the facility July 10.

Mike Davis, in blue on right, manager of the E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm in Willsboro, leads visitors of a tour of the facility July 10. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

For the past 33 years, Cornell Cooperative Extension has been researching the science and technology of agriculture at the Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm.

On July 10, farm manager Mike Davis gave local farmers and residents a tour of the research farm, which is currently the site for more than 20 projects on 352 acres of land.

Davis said the Willsboro farm is unique because of its location, rising from the shores of Lake Champlain.

“The great thing about this farm is that it has a whole range of soil types,” he said. “You have your sandy surfaces on the higher areas of the farm and then you go down into your heavier soils until you get to the clay near the lake. It lets us look at how some of these cropping systems work on a lot of the soil types that you find here in the North Country.”

One area Davis talked about was the high tunnels that the farm uses in growing produce, including tomatoes. He said the farm has been working with the tunnels for the last eight years because of the previous results.

“Things love to grow in the tunnel,” Davis said. “We started with fruits like raspberries and blackberries with an accompanying outdoor plot. The yield inside the tunnel was four times more than outside.”

Amy Ivy of Cornell Cooperative Extension said important information for regional farmers is discovered at the farm.

“The consistency that we can get from the research data here is very important as we look to improve agriculture and growing in the North Country,” Ivy said.

Those attending the event were taken on a wagon tour of the farm, stopping to look at research being done on crop plantings, grass and wood biomass research, grain production and grape growing, among others.

For more information on the Cornell E.V. Baker Agricultural Research Farm, visit the website ccenny.com/index.php/359-2/northern-ny-research-farms/cornell-willsboro-research-farm.

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