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Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes Although sweet potatoes have been grown in New York, they have received much more attention in the last couple of years due to the value of the health benefits it offers. Even though acreage is not normally recorded, we estimate that there are over 200 acres of sweet potatoes being grown throughout NYS. However, due to the long growing season that is required (100 days plus), they are generally produced on raised beds mulched with black plastic. Orange skinned, orange fleshed types are the dominant types grown here, but there are also white skinned, white fleshed and orange skinned, white fleshed varieties grown in the state. Sweet potatoes have also gained popularity with organic producers to replace winter squash production due to the fact that they have almost no disease or insect problems when grown here and can be stored longer then winter squash in many cases. The increase in winter farmer's markets or winter CSA shares has also increased sweet potato production in NY. However, deer and mice can be major vertebrate pests of sweet potatoes. Variety trials, plant density research and the use of floating rowcovers for increased production are being evaluated in the Capital District region of NY.
Most Recent Sweet Potatoes Content

Responding to Hailstorms

Crystal Stewart, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: June 26, 2013
Responding to Hailstorms

While no one wants to think about the possibility of hail hitting their beautiful crops just as they start to respond to the heat and take off, the likelihood that we will see more hail seems pretty high. So let's talk about it.

Improving the Quality and Yield of Sweet Potatoes in New York: 2010 Results

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 2, 2012
Improving the Quality and Yield of Sweet Potatoes in New York: 2010 Results

The Capital District Vegetable and Small Fruit Program is actively researching how to improve the yield and quality of sweet potatoes grown in NY.  In 2010, 6 different varieties, IRT vs. black plastic and different spacing configurations were evaluated.  See the full pdf file for the full report.

Improving the Quality and Yield of Sweet Potatoes in New York: 2011 Results

Chuck Bornt, Team Leader, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 2, 2012


More Sweet Potatoes Content

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Upcoming Events

Berry Crops Field Workshop

August 29, 2017
5pm-7pm
Stephentown, NY

These workshops are directed at the commercial berry grower.
Monitoring for pests, designing an effective pest control program, understanding cultural and chemical SWD management strategies and general troubleshooting will all be part of this workshop.
There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion.
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Best Management Practices for High Tunnel Nutrition and Soil Health

September 13, 2017
5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Poughkeepsie, NY

Soil tests, foliar tests, foliar feeds, fertigation, managing for yield...long term soil health in a high tunnel isn't a simple process. It can have a lot of components and require a fair amount of analysis. Cornell Cooperative Extension, partnering with NOFA-NY in a New York Farm Viability Institute funded project, have been working to identify long-term soil health and fertility best management practices. We will share what has been learned.
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Announcements

Welcome Jim Meyers: New Viticulture Specialist!

Jim has been working with wine grapes for 10 years, first as a Viticulture Ph.D. student at Cornell then as a Research Associate. Prior to coming to Cornell, Jim studied Chemistry and Biology (B.S. West Chester University of Pennsylvania), Computer Science (M.S. Brown University), and had a successful career as software technology entrepreneur. This background is reflected in his viticultural research which has focused on computational tools for mapping canopy and vineyard variability, quantifying relationships between variability and fruit chemistry, and optimizing efficiency of vineyard operations. As an Extension Associate, Jim will continue some of these research activities while also looking for new projects that provide targeted benefits to appellations in Eastern New York. Jim will kick off his new appointment by visiting growers at their vineyards to gather first hand knowledge of the sites and to discuss vineyard operations, goals, and challenges. Building a complete catalog of vineyards in a territory that runs 300 miles along the Route 9 corridor may take a little while, but Jim feels that the effort will lay a solid foundation for future program activities while also clearly differentiating the needs of each appellation.


New Resources for Berry Crops

Berry Crop Diagnostics Tool - Much information exists on controlling plant pests and problems, but one must first identify the cause before intervention can occur. This diagnostic tool was developed to assist the student, grower, and extension educator in identifying potential causes of plant problems in berry crops

Cornell Berries YouTube Channel - Webinars and other videos that support our commercial berry production Extension and outreach

Coming soon: New NEWA berry pest forecasting tools


White Rot Update

NOW AVAILABLE: White Rot Fact Sheet: Click Here

Earlier in June I sent a garlic sample to the diagnostic lab hoping that I was wrong. The sample was covered in small black sclerotia, the size of poppy seeds, and white fungal hyphae crept up the stem. The results, unfortunately, matched the field diagnosis: White Rot. Within a couple days additional calls came from up and down the Hudson Valley as well as one in Western NY with similar suspicions. These samples have also gone to the lab for verification, but it looks like the latest pest to move back into the state is this nasty fungus. 

White Rot, Sclerotinia cepivorum, decimated the onion industry in New York in the 1930's before being eradicated through careful management. More recently, in 2003, it infected 10,000 acres of garlic in California, leading to the abandonment of some garlic fields and adoption of strict containment rules. White rot has been confirmed in Northeastern states over the last decade as well, with New York being one of the last to discover the disease.

The primary reason that White Rot is such a concern is because the sclerotia, or reproductive structures, can remain dormant in the soil for up to 40 years, attacking any allium crop planted into the soil under favorable conditions. This spring was ideal for infection due to the period of cool, moist weather we had. Optimal temperature for infection is 60-65 degrees F, but infection can occur anywhere from 50-75 degrees F.
Once garlic has white rot, it generally declines rapidly. Leaves will yellow and the plant will wilt, not unlike a severe fusarium infection. However, unlike with fusarium, white rot infected bulbs are covered in black sclerotia and white fungus. To add to the confusion, another disease CAN look similar. Botrytis also causes black sclerotia and white fungal growth. However, Botrytis sclerotia are quite large, often larger than a pencil eraser.

So, what do we do now? We're still working on long-term management strategies, but the most important steps to take now are vigilance when culling (look at the plants you are pulling for symptoms like you see in this article, and if they are present, call us to take a sample and have the disease verified) and, if you see anything suspicious, reduction of movement of inoculum. The main ways diseases get moved around are by dumping culls (compost, field edges, etc) and my moving soil on equipment. Throw away your culls, and wash equipment that may have come in contact with suspicious garlic or the soil it is growing in. Everything from cultivation equipment to harvest bins should be cleaned. 

We will keep learning about this disease and will keep sending out information, particularly to help you make decisions about what to sell and buy. For now, remember that the west coast has learned to manage the disease, and we will too. -Crystal Stewart, ENYCHP




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