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Farm Services

Managing compost piles at the Cornell compost facilityIthaca, NY
Farm Services operates the university's compost facility, which handles about 4,000 tons of waste annually, making it one of the largest recycling operation in Tompkins County. By collecting organic waste such as food scraps and animal bedding, and turning it into a nutrient-rich soil amendment, Farm Services diverts about half of the university's total solid waste stream.

Farm Services also offers a wide array of agricultural services to units at Cornell, and supports research on improving grasses and legume varieties to create superior forage for livestock.

In addition, the Farm Services team is equipped and highly skilled in demolishing old buildings that are no longer needed, recycling any suitable building materials in the process. Reducing the college’s footprint of buildings in various states of disrepair reduces the cost of maintenance and utilities, and shrinks the carbon footprint.

Contact Information and Directions

The Farm Services team demolishes an obsolete building

Services Offered

Farm Services provides efficient agricultural services and well-maintained equipment to departments, programs and researchers across the university.

  • Provides on-demand tilling, drainage, trucking, mowing, excavating, brush & land clearing, machinery repair, snow removal, and much more.
  • Maintains a rental fleet of excavation equipment, commercial trucks, tractors, and farm machinery for use of all departments at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
  • Provides on-demand demolition services.
  • Operates a fuel station that serves tractors, trucks and large machinery for many research programs on and near campus.

Grasses for Fuel Grown on Marginal Soils

Marginal lands not suitable for food production, can often still be used successfully for perennial bioenergy grass crops. The Farm Services’ acreage used for this project has poor soil and is too wet for most crops. But since 2011 it has served as the perfect testing ground for researching adaptations of bioenergy crops, such as switchgrass and miscanthus varieties. This long-term project is helping researchers to understand how soil drainage conditions affect crop establishment and yield, soil health, and environmental impacts including nutrient and herbicide losses, and soil erosion.

Researcher: Brian Richards

Field trials for grasses grown for biofuel