Increased profits for sustainably produced garlic

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2005: $65,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Dr. Gayle Volk
Gayle Volk

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: garlic


  • Crop Production: organic fertilizers, tissue analysis
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: feasibility study
  • Pest Management: mulches - killed, mulching - vegetative
  • Production Systems: general crop production
  • Soil Management: soil analysis
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, employment opportunities, sustainability measures

    Proposal abstract:

    Garlic is a profitable crop for small to medium-sized vegetable farmers in the NE. Despite the increasing market for specialty garlics it is remarkable how little is known about the diverse types of garlic available in the U.S. Farmers need to know which garlic types perform well under their growing conditions, and they need reliable descriptors to publicize these types to their customers. In this proposal, NE vegetable farmers will use sustainable practices to perform the first multi-year garlic variety trial. We will determine how 10 garlic types respond to cultural practices across 5 farms in the NE and then recommend types that excel. This is a project that garlic farmers value nationwide. In fact, we have six volunteer garlic growers from other regions in the US who will participate in this project with their expenses defrayed by the Garlic Seed Foundation

    Performance targets from proposal:

    1) Correlate the yield and qualities of 10 distinct garlic cultivars with growth environment, inputs, quality, and chemical composition data.

    2) Increase public awareness of garlic diversity.

    3) Develop name recognition and appreciation for selected varietal garlics.

    4) Attract new growers to this profitable niche commodity.

    Performance target: We will increase the yield, quality and uniformity of garlic produced by small scale farms. In the Northeast, the number of garlic growers will increase by 10% (60 growers) and profits will increase by 25% for 300 of the current garlic producers.

    In addition, 100 growers nationally will begin garlic production and 2500 current growers will have increased yields by growing garlics best suited to their regional environments.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.