News release provided by Cornell Small Farms Program

Lettuce in beds for tarping trial

Lettuce planted in a long-term permanent bed trial at Thompson Research Farm in Freeville, NY. Ryan Maher / Cornell Small Farms Program


The Cornell Small Farms Program is expanding our work on tarping practices for small-scale farms. Tarping has emerged as a tool to prepare soils for planting, suppress weeds, and reduce tillage. If you are considering tarping or already tarping on your farm, we want to hear from you! Complete our short tarping survey to share your ideas and experiences and help guide future research. You’ll also be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift card!

Take Survey


We are also excited to offer a series of workshops on tarping for reduced tillage in Maine and New York this fall. Join a full-day intensive, farmer-to-farmer workshop to talk about how to use tarps for reduced and no-till vegetable production. We’ll discuss tillage, weeds, and how to combine tarps with soil building practices — like compost, mulches, and cover crops. You will learn from farmers as they share their successes and failures and hear research results from five years of tarping trials testing no-till practices side-by-side with conventional management. Join us to share your own methods and walk away with a plan to use tarps with less tillage on your farm.

We are offering this workshop at four different locations this November. Choose the site that works for you and register now, as space is limited. Cost to participate is $35 per person with lunch and refreshments provided.

This work is accomplished in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension and the University of Maine with support from Northeast SARE. Scholarships are available for active duty U.S. armed forces or military veterans in NY, covering up to $100 for travel costs and registration with support from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. To apply, contact Dean Koyanagi at or (607) 255-9911.

For questions on workshops and the RT project, contact Ryan Maher at

Saturday, November 2, in Northport, ME

This event is a pre-conference workshop hosted at the MOFGA Farmer to Farmer Conference, and will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center. Register now on the F2F Conference website.

Monday, November 4, in Springvale, ME

This workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in York County. Register now.

Monday, November 18, in Canandaigua, NY

This workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Ontario County. Register now.

Tuesday, November 19, in Voorheesville, NY

This workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension in Albany County. Register now.

Workshop Leaders

Anu Rangarajan is Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, and serves as New York’s Statewide Specialist in Fresh Market Vegetable Production.

Crystal Stewart is an Extension Vegetable Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension on the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Team.

Mark Hutton is Associate Professor of Vegetable Crops for University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Associate Dean in the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry and Agriculture.

Nick Rowley is a Research Associate for the University of Maine at Highmoor Farm.

Ryan Maher is the Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program’s Reduced Tillage project, and serves as a Research and Extension Specialist.

The Reduced Tillage (RT) project of the Cornell Small Farms Program supports vegetable farmers in adopting scale-appropriate RT practices that can lead to healthy, productive soils and greater profitability. This project uses system-based field research and on-farm trials to evaluate novel tools and methods and help farmers learn about the approaches that can work for their farm.


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