Soybean can grow in New York, thanks to climate change

February 16, 2012 By Stacey Shackford
Soybean can grow in New York, thanks to climate change
Soybeans may have a growing season in New York thanks to climate change. Image: Anja Timm

( -- Warmer weather across northern New York could present an opportunity for farmers: soybeans.

The low-input crop is currently commanding a high price, making it increasingly attractive for local growers, according to Cornell crop and professor William Cox.

He has conducted field trials in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell Agricultural Experiment Station, the Northern New York Program and three area farms, and he recently released his results to help growers decide which varieties to plant in 2012.

"The climate in northern New York is no longer too cool to produce soybeans, so mid-season (Group I) varieties are adapted to most of northern New York, and early Group II varieties can mature if planted early near [Ontario] Lake," Cox said. "Although the 2011 growing season was challenging, the trials produced very good -- 56 bushels per acre average yield for Group I varieties and 53 bushels per acre average yields for Group II.

"If global warming continues over the next several decades, northern New York may well prove to be the ideal location rather than a marginal region for ," he added.

Soybean acreage in New York has increased to almost 300,000 acres in 2011 from about 40,000 acres in 1990, with big growth in the Finger Lakes region and western New York, as well as northern New York, where nearly 9,000 acres are dedicated to the crop.

Areas even farther north have adapted well to the crop, with 659,000 acres grown in Quebec and more than 100,000 acres of soybeans grown in the province of Ontario in 2010, Cox said.

He added that the high price of soybean meal has more looking to grow their own soybeans and process them in an on-farm or local custom roaster.

"Soybeans are a low-input crop -- you plant, spray once or twice and harvest. This makes soybeans an attractive crop from a labor management perspective, especially on smaller dairy operations," Cox concluded. "If the current price remains at $11 per bushel, I would expect acreage in New York, including northern New York, to increase in 2012."

Explore further: Study shows smaller rows contribute to more soybean yields in colder climates

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1 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2012
Soybeans have been grown in northern NY for a good part of a decade now.

As a result of Global Warming. The crop will offset the growth of corn, and wheat. Hence there will be no net increase in farming productivity.
Cluebat from Exodar
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2012
At the slow rate of our emergence from the last ice age, it is doubtful to me that I will benefit from any great agricultural shift in my lifetime.

Don't bet the farm on climate change.
1.4 / 5 (9) Feb 17, 2012
Warmer is better, i hope the scientists are wrong about solar cycle driven cooling and the post normalist curve fitting climate propogandists are right about CO2 induced warming, cold kills people very fast.
3 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2012
"Warmer is better" - StarTard

Unless you want to grow food.

The ability to grow soybeans where one grew corn and wheat before does not offset the ongoing large scale desertification of the southern grain belt of the U.S.
1 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2012

That might be true for some regions, but it is a desaster for other regions.
In addition cultural aspects may not keep pace with such a fast change!

I cannot recognize any net benefit of global warming!
1.4 / 5 (11) Feb 17, 2012
Well, I guess that's one positive to climate change. Although, I'm not sure there are many others.
1.4 / 5 (10) Feb 18, 2012
Downvoted by Flog_Mire. Haters gonna hate, I guess. He's probably jacking off over the 1 vote as we speak.
5 / 5 (1) Feb 20, 2012

Warmer isn't better for the ocean either as it can't hold much O2.

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