close-up photo of soil after tilling

Knowing the pH and nutrient content of your soil is important to successful production.

Soils & Climate


Soil Basics.  This Soil Biology page from the USDA covers living organisms that are critical to soil health.

Soil Texture. Agronomy Fact Sheet #29 from Cornell Cooperative Extension discusses the four soil texture classifications of sands, silts, loams, and clays; how they combine to make textural classifications; how soil texture is determined; and the 5 soil management groups in New York State.

Soil Organic Matter. Agronomy Fact Sheet #41 from Cornell Cooperative Extension describes types of organic matter in soil; their physical, chemical & biological benefits; farm practices that help maintain or increase soil organic matter levels; and the importance of continued monitoring of soil organic matter content.

Soil Testing. Visit our page on "How to take a soil sample" for testing and see what Soil Testing Services are offered by or through Cooperative Extension.

The Cornell Soil Health website offers a variety of resources on soil testing and improvement.

Cornell's Garden Based Learning site also offers information on types of soil tests; suggested tests for lawns, vegetable gardens and fruit crops; and testing for contaminants.


Find freeze/frost probability tables for each state from NOAA's National Climactic Data Center.

Growing Degree Days (GDD) are a measure of heat accumulation used by horticulturalists to predict the date that a flower will bloom or a crop reach maturity. Statistics for the Northeast are provided on this Cornell Atmospheric Sciences & Turf Team website.

The Cornell Garden Based Learning website includes a section on Weather & Climate that includes information on Growing Degree Days, US plant hardiness zones, average frost dates, and microclimates.

Resources for forage management in a drought situation

Last updated February 24, 2023