Small Grains Field Trials

Artisan bakers, specialty cooks and brewers are increasingly looking to source local grains for their products.

Small Grains Field Trials

Small Grains Field Trials

The Farm Hub’s Small Grains project is designed to provide Hudson Valley farmers with the information they need to meet an emerging market for locally-grown grains in the food and beverage industry.

Two hundred years ago, a robust economy existed in the Hudson Valley for the growing and processing of grains. In the area around Hurley, for example, large quantities of flour were transported along the Kings Road (now Route 209) to the Hudson River and shipped to New York City markets and beyond. That economy all but disappeared by the end of the 19th century, and with it, the collective knowledge behind successful growing and handling of grains.

Today, with the explosion of interest in high quality local food, artisan bakers, culinary specialists, and brewers are increasingly looking to source local grains to use in their products. As a result, grain growing is being re-discovered by contemporary farmers and agricultural specialists. Variety selection, grains breeding, seed sourcing, resilient growing methods, post-harvest handling and quality testing are all being examined in a joint research project hosted at the Farm Hub in conjunction with Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County.

Over the course of the five-year project, spring and winter grains will be tested and best new varieties grown in larger quantities at the Farm Hub and on other host farms. These scale-up trails will provide enough grain for use in processing trials with area millers, bakers, brewers and distillers.


Growing with the Grain

This short film tells the story of the last five years of small grains research at the Farm Hub and the eleven partners that have collaborated to make the project a reality. Thank you to Oceans 8 Films for making this film possible.

Additional Resources:

To learn more about local grains and the inspiration behind the project, see LEP’s study “Reviving Grain in the Hudson Valley”.

Catching the Amber Wave, 1: Considerations for Growers Interested in Small Grains Production by Justin O’Dea, CCE Ulster

2014 Small Grains Performance Trials for New York by Mark E. Sorrells, Cornell University

2015 Hudson Valley Winter Wheat, Malting Barley and Hybrid Rye Summaries by Mark E. Sorrells, Cornell University


Visit the Small Grains Trials photo album.

2015 Videos: