Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC)

Horticultural research in front of the greenhouses at LIHREC
​Riverhead, Long Island, NY

The 68-acre facility is dedicated to serve the research and extension needs of the horticulture industries of Long Island. The facility features agricultural fields and research plots, state-of-the-art greenhouses, a nursery and container production area, and a plant tissue culture facility in support of research projects ranging from grape and vegetable production, to ornamentals and floriculture.

Produce, from grapes to hops and winter squash, thrive on Long Island's sandy soils

​LIHREC is located close to the tip of Long Island, in the heart of Suffolk County. Unique growing conditions on Long Island provide exceptional opportunities for this region. The climate is ideal for farming — it is the only area in New York State with USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7. Strong underground aquifers provide plenty of fresh water. But the reputation of Suffolk County's agriculture is literally rooted in its characteristic white, sandy soils. The soils are the result of thousands of years of glacial deposition made of particles that were brought from as far away as northern Canada. The confluence of events that occurred during the glacial period — a convergence of water, ice, sun and rock — created a soil that is completely unique with excellent drainage, moderate water-holding capacity, and modest fertility. No other place can duplicate the soils of eastern Long Island; they are among the finest in the world and a precious natural resource, providing unmatched opportunities for farmers, growers and researchers.

Thriving crops on the white, sandy soils at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center Research Projects at LIHREC

Agriculture on Long Island

​2014 Annual Report