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NEON:  The Northeast Organic Network Myer Farm Gallery

Ovid, New York

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One of a large number of organic grain farmers in upstate New York, John Myer manages 880 acres of organic grain crops and mixed alfalfa hay in the Finger Lakes region. His farm parcels traverse a range of soil types between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.

Soft white winter wheat stands in front of the Myer Farm buildings overlooking Cayuga Lake

John Myer inspects winter wheat at heading. Winter grains are an important part of the grain rotation that help in smothering summer weed populations.

Planting food-grade organic corn in a field where a red clover stand was recently plowed down. The clover will provide all the nitrogen fertility needed for the corn.

Vinton soybeans for organic tofu are another major crop on New York's organic grain farms. John Myer grows about 220 acres of soybeans in a typical year.

Timothy-alfalfa hay before first cutting in late June.

John Myer shows a lady beetle, one of the beneficial insects that can help to control pests across the rotation.

Whiteflies and disease, first noted by farmers in the NEON study, seem to be especially effective in keeping the weed velvetleaf under control in organic grain systems. Velvetleaf is a major grain weed in the Northeast, and NEON is following up on this question as a research topic.

Medium Red Clover, interseeded in early spring into a winter grain crop, grows well under the maturing grain crop (left), and continues growing after the wheat is harvested (right), and cover the soil over the winter (below left) and provide nitrogen that can be plowed down for a corn crop the next spring (below right).