The Cornell Small Farms Program announces a new two-year project funded through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to support the development of a new niche crop in New York state; log-grown shiitake mushrooms.
Interested farmers and service providers can learn more and sign up for updates here.
Research and development at Cornell over the past decade, along with several partnerships and research projects, has enabled greater understanding of the technical and business aspects of a log-grown shiitake enterprise. Shiitake grown on logs are a niche crop that requires a low-input investment and offers high returns that can also help offset land taxes in New York State.
Data from past research indicates that, over three seasons, a 1,000 log operation would cost $4,740 to establish and would yield 1,040 pounds of mushrooms annually and could generate $12,480 of income for the farmer each year. This rate can be perpetually sustained from year four onward and would qualify a producer for agricultural exemption in New York.
The crop is positioned for adoption by farmers who are interested in developing diversified niche crops on their farm. Over the next two years, the grant will focus on developing the following opportunities for farmers in New York:
– A printable planning tool and several online self-directed training modules will include enterprise budget worksheets, and cover important topics such as proper mushroom identification, forest management, production safety & sanitation measures, and strategic marketing. Available Spring 2017.
– A series of one-day workshops titled, “Log-Grown Shiitake: Viability for Small Farms” in five counties around New York State. Anyone who is growing commercially, starting up, or considering commercial production is welcome to attend. The workshop content will cover all the aspects of production from harvest to market.
Participants should be versed in the basics of how to produce log-grown mushrooms prior to attending the workshop. Take a class, or view our free online resources.
On the day following the workshop, current and prospective farmers can schedule FREE one-on-one consultations with extension educators to review their farm goals, resources, and discuss challenges and opportunities for their own production.
Sunday, January 29 – Franklin County CCE (Consultations on Jan 30)
Sunday, February 5 – Wyoming County CCE (Consultations on Feb 6)
Sunday, February 26 – Schuyler County CCE (Consultations on Feb 27)
Friday, March 3 – Greene County CCE (Consultations on March 4)
Friday, March 10 – Putnam County CCE (Consultations on March 11)