Agriculture is one of New York State's largest businesses, and keeping our farms sustainable is critical to the economy of the state, particularly in rural areas. Maintaining economic viability while ensuring environmental quality is key to their sustainability. Sustainability of New York State farms can be improved through more effective use of existing knowledge in creating comprehensive nutrient management plans (CNMP's) for each farm. The ability to develop such plans is, in part, limited by computer tools that can apply existing scientific knowledge, as well as research gaps in our existing knowledge. A research program is needed to improve our understanding of soil and environmental parameters that affect the accuracy of existing nutrient recommendations and the risk for environmental pollution. Such understanding will allow for refinement of the recommendations with the ultimate goal of improving profitability while protecting the environment. A nutrient management extension program is needed to improve communication, information exchange, and knowledge transfer between Cornell University's research programs, extension field staff, agricultural consultants, the fertilizer industry and regulatory agencies.
Improve grower and agricultural industry awareness of crop nutrient needs, crop quality, management of organic amendments, environmentally sound nutrient management practices, and overall soil fertility management in the state of New York.
Improve understanding of nutrient release and risk for runoff and leaching losses from inorganic and organic amendments as affected by soil type, hydrology, time and rate of application, and the use of specific soil and fertilizer amendments.