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Business

BusinessIn order to be economically viable, vegetable and small fruit growers must be good business people. Growers utilize a variety of markets in New York, including retail farm stands and farmers' markets, wholesale markets and produce auctions. Sales of produce continue to increase and expand in New York as growers create new markets for their product. Recent expansions have included more sales directly into New York City and year-round farmers' markets.

Growers must also pay close attention to the costs of doing business on the farm. As costs of inputs such as fuel and fertilizers continue to increase, growers must find new ways to increase efficiency and help consumers understand the value of their products. By keeping costs under control and selling product at a fair price, growers are able to expand the industry in New York.



BUSINESS CATEGORIES




Growing for Wholesale: Grading and Packing Guidelines by Crop

Last Modified: August 29, 2019
Growing for Wholesale: Grading and Packing Guidelines by Crop

Grading and packing guidelines are now available for 18 commonly grown specialty crops in NYS: romaine lettuce, acorn squash, broccoli crowns, Brussels sprouts, sweet corn, green peppers, cucumbers, green cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, jalapenos, poblanos, Hungarian hot peppers, summer squash, and zucchini.


What's Up with Wholesaling?

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 9, 2019

This is one of two narrated PowerPoint presentations investigating farmers experience with and attitudes towards wholesaling. The project, Assessing Barriers to Wholesaling for Small-Scale Produce Growers: Case Study, ran from 2016-2018. We investigated how some produce growers have fared well with wholesaling and how they got started; while others have been stumbling and have misconceptions about what makes wholesaling successful. A farmer survey was developed and results of the 199 survey respondents are presented in this presentation.


Wholesale Barriers: Case Studies Overview

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 9, 2019

This is the second of two narrated PowerPoint presentations providing further findings from a USDA-AMA funded project, Assessing Barriers to Wholesaling for Small-Scale Produce Growers: Case Study. In this presentation, we provide more information found by diving deeper into the barriers of wholesaling for New York produce growers. The previous video provided information on a large grower survey whereas this video provides more in-depth findings from 8 individual farms selected from 3 focus groups. The farms agreed to provide more details about their marketing experiences, issues, and/or needs. These 8 farms became our 8 case studies; some of the case study farms had wholesaling experience while other farms had no wholesaling experience but were considering moving into that market.


NYS Produce Auctions Locations and Contact Information

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 9, 2018
NYS Produce Auctions Locations and Contact Information

Produce auctions in New York State have been formed so that produce growers have a way of marketing their product to quality minded buyers through open competitive bidding. A map of produce auction locations across the state is provided along with auction days, times, and contact information.


Guide on How to Purchase at the NYS Produce Auctions

Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: March 8, 2018
Guide on How to Purchase at the NYS Produce Auctions

A produce auction is a wholesale market for regionally grown produce. Currently there are eight produce auctions in New York State offering a wide variety of produce at competitive prices. This guide will provide basic information on the terminology of the auction, as well as how to purchase produce at these unique markets.

Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Last Modified: March 8, 2018
Video: New York State Produce Auctions

Currently, there are 8 produce auctions in New York State. These auctions are aggregation points that allow local farmers to sell their produce in wholesale lots to buyers from across the region. To document the economic impact of produce auctions on agriculture, local businesses, family farms, and produce buyers, the Cornell Vegetable Program worked with Harvest New York to survey top sellers and buyers.

A new Cornell Vegetable Program video shares general information about produce auctions, how buyers and sellers use the auctions to expand their businesses, and how local communities benefit from them.


Growing for Wholesale: Vegetable Grading/Sizing Templates

Robert Hadad, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: February 21, 2018
Growing for Wholesale: Vegetable Grading/Sizing Templates

To further assist farmers looking to sell into the wholesale markets, the Cornell Vegetable Program has put together some helpful tools. The tools provided here consist of a color photo guide highlighting the grades of some of the most common vegetables grown for wholesale market in WNY. To aid in the visualization of the grading sizes, the templates are available here for you to print off. These are scaled to size and can be used to create sizing templates to be used by workers on the wash and pack lines.


Cornell Small Farms Program: Aiding in Small Farm Business Development

Last Modified: October 25, 2016
Cornell Small Farms Program: Aiding in Small Farm Business Development

The Cornell Small Farms Program helps farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm development, from initial growth to optimization to maturity. Online courses are available for aspiring, new, and experienced farmers through the Northeast Beginning Farmers Project. Sign up to receive the Small Find Farms E-newsletter to find out about resources, events, career opportunities and funding opportunities.

Farmers Markets in the Finger Lakes Region

Angela Ochterski, Administrative Assistant
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: June 10, 2014
Farmers Markets in the Finger Lakes Region

There are over 70 farmers markets in the Cornell Vegetable Program counties. Find lists of markets in our region.

Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms

Last Modified: October 18, 2012
Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms

Collaborative marketing is a realistic solution for small- to mid-size farms that are seeking access to larger markets, but are unable to individually serve such accounts. In collaborative marketing, several like-minded producers join together formally to market and distribute farm products, but not necessarily under the governance or control of a cooperative.

Generally, small farms should consider temporary, limited-scale collaborative projects before developing substantial business agreements. Such arrangements can be a simple as consignment sales, or as complex as a corporation dedicated to marketing and distribution.


more crops
Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

Announcements

Agricultural Workforce Resources for COVID-19

The Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development team has dedicated a page of their website to resources, information, and news releases related to COVID-19. Produce farms should review the resources to protect their workforce, their business, and their markets.

How to Take a Photo for Crop Diagnostics

With the current push to work remotely, using pictures to quickly address production questions has a lot of appeal and utility but the images must be of high quality.

In How to Take a Photo for Crop Diagnostics, readers will learn:
  • What makes a high quality image?
  • Things you should know
  • Different problems need different images
  • Steps for taking a high quality image
  • Pro tips
...Plus there a several side-by-side comparisons of poor quality photos versus high quality images with tips on what changes the photographer made to take the better photo. 

Cornell Commercial Vegetable Guidelines Available

The 2020 Cornell Integrated Crop and Pest Management Guidelines for Commercial Vegetable Production are now available!

Written by Cornell University specialists, this publication is designed to offer producers, seed and chemical dealers, and crop consultants practical information on growing and managing vegetable crops in New York State. Topics include general culture, nutrient management, transplant production, postharvest handling, organic production, and managing common vegetable crop pest concerns. A preview of the Vegetable Guidelines can be seen online.

Highlighted changes in the 2020 Vegetable Guidelines include: 
  • Updated pesticide options for economically important vegetable crop pests.
  • Completely revised weed management chapter.
  • Updated online crop and pest management resources.
Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are available as a print copy ($41), online-only access ($41), or a package combining print and online access ($57.50). Shipping charges will be added to your order. Cornell Guidelines can be obtained through many local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, or from The Cornell Store at Cornell University or call (844) 688-7620.


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