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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about giving a try at raising a crop for market next year. The acreage available is not yet decided, but I may have access to about 40 +/- acres. This land is what's left of a family farm & hasn't been farmed in at least 25-30 years. It has been brush hogged every couple years so it shouldn't be too bad to get it back workable.
I'm going to check with my local cooperative extension, but thought I'd ask here too. I would like to know opinions of what is the most profitable per acre.
What's the best legal cash crop to grow in the northeast? (New York/Pennsylvania border)
 

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I'm thinking about giving a try at raising a crop for market next year. The acreage available is not yet decided, but I may have access to about 40 +/- acres. This land is what's left of a family farm & hasn't been farmed in at least 25-30 years. It has been brush hogged every couple years so it shouldn't be too bad to get it back workable.
I'm going to check with my local cooperative extension, but thought I'd ask here too. I would like to know opinions of what is the most profitable per acre.
What's the best legal cash crop to grow in the northeast? (New York/Pennsylvania border)
You just had to put that legal qualifier in there, didn't ya.
 

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Garlic? My brother has a small organic farm in Wayne county, PA and this is his dream cash crop...

Wait, you'd have to plant in the fall, so this wouldn't be a good crop for next season!

Lettuce/greens are always in demand in the summer as well...
 

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i was going to say sweet corn
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Garlic? My brother has a small organic farm in Wayne county, PA and this is his dream cash crop...

Wait, you'd have to plant in the fall, so this wouldn't be a good crop for next season!

Lettuce/greens are always in demand in the summer as well...
Wayne county is where I do most of my PA deer hunting. Where is he in Wayne county?

Fall planting isn't necessarily out of the question. Tell me more about "his dream cash crop..."
Is he already growing garlic? How does he market it?
 

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Wayne county is where I do most of my PA deer hunting. Where is he in Wayne county?

Fall planting isn't necessarily out of the question. Tell me more about "his dream cash crop..."
Is he already growing garlic? How does he market it?
He's in Lakewood. You could say his operation is pretty small trial farm, they have around 1 acre of various crops, and less than a thousand garlic plants.

Market it? He just sells at a roadside stand and through CSA shares. You might want to try this web page for some garlic growing info and alike - http://www.garlicseedfoundation.info/.

If you're serious about garlic and not too far away, I could put you in touch with him. They plan on growing next year and then maybe scaling up to another location.
 

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pumpkins may do you alright. a seed cost a nickel, a pumkin sells for $3+. 8 pumkins a plant.......... not getting rich but an option, also they are good way to get the ground ready for another crop. once they get growing they are hard to stop
 

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For me it's sweetcorn. Everything can be done from the seat of a tractor. Find out how big your market is and plant accordingly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It seems like everybody & their brother grows corn around here.

I was wondering how profitable it would be to grow potatoes for sale? They seem to be pretty easy to grow & don't really take a lot of work after they are planted, until harvest time.

Anyone else got any other ideas?
 

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How about specialty fruit trees? You won't get fruit for a few years, but once planted not much to do to take care of them until they do start producing.

I found peaches I REALLY like so I buy them to eat then harvest the seeds. I've got about 3 dozen seeds in the fridge that I'll try to germinate in the fall, grow indoors until the spring then try to move outdoors. I just hope they aren't hybrids.

I really like Harry and David Riviera Pears too. Trying to find a place to buy young trees to plant on the property.. (I've only got 4 acres so looking for something micro sized).

Another good easy care cash crop is Christmas trees.. I think it's 5 years for a good sized tree.. so divide up your land into 5 lots and each year plant that lot with trees.. Starting in 5 years you'll have a up and running "Cut your own Christmas tree farm!"

OOPS.. missed the "cash crop for next year" part

In that case, what about tobacco??
 

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How about specialty fruit trees? You won't get fruit for a few years, but once planted not much to do to take care of them until they do start producing.

I found peaches I REALLY like so I buy them to eat then harvest the seeds. I've got about 3 dozen seeds in the fridge that I'll try to germinate in the fall, grow indoors until the spring then try to move outdoors. I just hope they aren't hybrids.

I really like Harry and David Riviera Pears too. Trying to find a place to buy young trees to plant on the property.. (I've only got 4 acres so looking for something micro sized).

Another good easy care cash crop is Christmas trees.. I think it's 5 years for a good sized tree.. so divide up your land into 5 lots and each year plant that lot with trees.. Starting in 5 years you'll have a up and running "Cut your own Christmas tree farm!"

OOPS.. missed the "cash crop for next year" part

In that case, what about tobacco??
Knowing the climate of the area, I don't think peaches would like the cold - there are some varieties adapted for colder areas, but I don't think you'd consistently get good fruit. Pear trees on the other hand have some good cold tolerant varieties.

Christmas tree farm...the ones I see around here either are forgotten about and a hoard of trees come in, or guys work their butts off pruning and maintaining trees. There are a few successful Christmas tree farmers near me - the most successful sells organic trees to NYC markets - he sells around 3000 a year and has ~200 acres planted.

Ask other farmers in the area, see what markets you have nearby, you might find there's a niche to be filled with something.
 

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Anyone else got any other ideas?
Go hit up the chefs at a few mid to high end restaurants and see what they'd like to have grown locally. Maybe inquire about things that are not widely marketed. Out here in California, no one's heard of kohlrabi, salsify, rutabega and such, but they are mentioned on Food Network somewhat.

Micro greens go good in the restaurant trade.
 

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What kind of equipment do you have? How much time do you have? What is your knowledge on growing produce? What is there a market for?

Blackberries are the first thing that come to mind. Squash, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and the previously mentioned pumpkins are good for a roadside stand. The main thing is to have what other people don't have or have it when they don't.
 

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Check with your local Cornell Cooperative Extension first, but if you can't get answers then go straight to Cornell (by phone) and ask; they've been a world of help to me.

My in-laws grow a lot of peaches and cherries on the orchards out in the area south of Lake Ontario, in addition to the various orchards they have around here. The peaches are the best we've ever seen, even from when I was in Georgia (sorry, it's true!). Broome is south of me, what hardiness zone are you in? It may be do-able. Apples, as well as pears and plums to a lesser degree (less demand) are very profitable with the right plan. Grapes also, today especially wine grapes, just make sure you plant vines with a market not only in mind but also with contacts already made to see what they want and how much they want. Finger Lakes wineries can't grow all they need or want due to land limitations, so if you've got the soil, climate, and cultivation practices that produce the character that they're looking for, you'll sell-out everything you've got every year thereafter.

No guarantees in cropping... anything. Wise diversity pays the most in the long run.
 

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I'm so glad this thread came up.
I've been thinking of making a Cash crop to sell at Aggie stands in Flea market and the open farmers market.
OKRA, does well here and sells well. The Buyers want a guarantee though.
Okra, once it starts growing, is a Pick-every-job. From Aug to first Frost, you spend a few hours out there Snapping Okra. But it sells good.

Corn is sure not my first thought, and neither are Berries or Tree fruit.
Most greens will grow if you can get water to them it seems.

You never see leftover Potatoes or Onions? Carrots are a waste of time, I dont eat em'.

Around here Tomatos are iff'y.
In one Row, you can have three good plants and four 'victims' of some kinda blight.

This idea of contacting the extension services, and the Resturants is good. I think I'll hit that up later this week.

Everybody report back and lets all learn something.
 
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