Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Food Safety
  • Variety Evaluation
  • Market Development
  • Pest Management
  • Cultural Practices

Enrollment Benefits

  • Telephone / Email Consultations
  • Newsletter
  • Direct Mailings
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • In-Field Educational Opportunities
  • On-Farm Research Trials

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Soil Health

Excess rains and droughts of the past decade pointed out the poor health and productivity of soils on many local vegetable farms. Coupled with high fuel prices and high fertilizer prices, growers have been eager to improve their soil management efforts. Reduced tillage leads to less fuel use and legume cover crops allow the farmer to grow nitrogen fertilizer, reducing their need for conventional fertilizer and the fuel and labor to apply it.

The Cornell Soil Health Test can be used to determine your field's soil management for percentage of water-stable aggregates. A soil with low % water-stable aggregates has  poor crop emergence, more crusting, more runoff, reduced root growth, increased root diseases, and fewer beneficial microbes to cycle soil nutrients.

Vegetable farms using conventional tillage and few cover crops had an average of just 18% water-stable aggregates, while farms using reduced tillage or extensive cover cropping averaged 36-39%. Innovative growers are now beginning to adopt both strategies to improve soils even more.

In addition, the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture program is working with a number of conventional and organic vegetable growers on increasing the use of a wide range of cover crops to fill open niches in rotations to improve soil health and grow nitrogen.






Use of Lime in Orchards

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

Last Modified: March 30, 2022

Thorough incorporation of adequate amounts of lime prior to planting a new orchard is essential. The topsoil (0-8 inch depth) should be adjusted to pH 7 and subsoil (8-16 inch depth) to pH 6.5. An adequate liming program based on soil tests should be the first consideration in developing orchard fertilization   plans. Lime is the most economical source of calcium and magnesium. Regulation of soil pH through liming is also necessary to achieve optimal response to other nutrient elements. Fruit from Honeycrisp plantings can suffer from a physiological disorder called bitter pit (BP).  The mitigation of BP requires the implementation of multiple tactics, of which the maintenance of soil pH around 7.0 helps.

 


Sample Orchard Soil Health Test Results

Mike Basedow, Tree Fruit Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: March 25, 2022

An example output from a soil health assessment from the Cornell Soil Health Laboratory.


22 Ways to Optimize High Tunnel Production in 2022

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

Last Modified: January 27, 2022

High tunnel systems vary a lot - from super simple to all the bells and whistles - depending on grower goals, crops, finances, etc. so it's hard to make one list of improvements that fits everyone's situation. Maybe you've done all these things, or maybe you don't need to. Hopefully there's something in the list below that's helpful to your high tunnel management in the coming year!    


Herbicide Shortage: How to Plan for the 2022 Growing Season

Ethan Grundberg, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 19, 2021

There is a lot of speculation about a herbicide shortage for the 2022 growing season, which will impact weed management decisions starting with fall applications.  The two main active ingredients that we're hearing about right now are glyphosate (Roundup, others) and glufosinate (Liberty, others), both associated with an increase in cost.  There will likely be limited supplies of other pesticide active ingredients as well, but in the short term, a shortage of these two active ingredients poses some major challenges for corn and soybean production.  The purpose of this article is to discuss ways to minimize the impact of herbicide shortage on corn and soybean production in the Midwest.  As you search for alternatives to these two herbicides you may have already determined that weed control guides produced by University Extension and Industry will become your most important tool for planning your herbicide purchases for many years to come. 


How to Take a Soil Sample

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: January 14, 2019
How to Take a Soil Sample

Soil sampling is an important part of managing your crops, but it's important to do it correctly. In this video, ENYCHP vegetable specialist Amy Ivy demonstrates how to take a soil sample.


Recording of Fitting Cover Crops in Vegetable Systems Webinar Nov 8, 2018

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 8, 2018
Recording of Fitting  Cover Crops in Vegetable Systems Webinar Nov 8, 2018

This is a recording of an hour long webinar held by Amy Ivy and Chuck Bornt of the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program and Mike Davis of the Cornell University Willsboro Research Farm on Nov 8, 2018.

A copy of the PowerPoint is included in the 'read details' section below. With funding from the Northern NY Agricultural Development Program.



It's Time to Test Your Soils

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: September 14, 2018

Fall is the best time to test your soils so that any amendments you add, especially if you need to change your pH, have time to take effect before the next growing season. Both lime (which raises pH) and sulfur (which lowers pH) need months to work. If you put this off until spring your soil may be too wet and the soil labs get backed up with all the other last minute samples, so try to get this important task done this fall.


Reduced Tillage in Organic Systems Field Day Program Handbook

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: August 20, 2018

Resources from the July 2018 Reduced Tillage in Organic Systems Field Day


Why you should pay attention to pH and alkalinity

Teresa Rusinek, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: May 9, 2018
Why you should pay attention to pH and alkalinity

Adjusting Water pH and alkalinity improves the performance of pesticides and other products you use during crop production.  In high tunnels and greenhouses, injecting sulfuric or citric acid avoids nutrient tie up in soil and media. 


ENYCHP Field Cultivation Day

Anne Mills, Field Technician
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: April 27, 2016

On Saturday July 25th, farmers from across the Hudson Valley gathered at the Farm Hub for an afternoon dedicated to demonstrating innovative cultivation equipment in action on the farm's expansive vegetable fields.

Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers Website

Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: August 17, 2015
Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers Website

This website enables growers to use a broader range of cover crops to improve soil health in many ways. Cover crop descriptions, seeding, seed sources, cost and management challenges are included.




Phytophthora Webinar 3: Management practices to reduce P-Cap on the farm

Last Modified: May 13, 2013
Phytophthora Webinar 3: Management practices to reduce P-Cap on the farm

This recorded webinar features Dr. Meg McGrath for a discussion of fungicides for P-Cap, crop rotation strategies, and the use of biofumigants to control P-Cap in infected fields.

Making the Most of Cover Crop Mixtures

Last Modified: April 22, 2013
Making the Most of Cover Crop Mixtures

Cover crops are an important tool that farmers can use to generate benefits and services on the farm and for society, including improved soil health, nutrient supply to cash crops, weed suppression, insect pest management, forage production, pollinator resources, and clean water and air. There are many different cover crop species to choose from, and each cover crop species has different abilities to provide the services described above. Planting a mixture of cover crop species is one strategy that can be used to enhance and diversify the benefits that a cover crop provides. This article will describe some of the basic concepts to consider when planning a cover crop mixture, such as meeting different farm management objectives, selecting complementary species, and methods for establishing cover crop mixtures.

Preventing Muck Soil Erosion by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production

Christy Hoepting, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Cornell Vegetable Program

Last Modified: January 7, 2013
Preventing Muck Soil Erosion by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production

The problem with using conventional tillage practices for onion production on muck soils is that it results in the subsidence of muck via wind and water erosion and oxidation of organic matter at a rate of one foot every 10 years, which is not sustainable for preserving these non-renewable natural  resources for long-term productivity. Onions are one of the most valuable vegetable crops produced in New York State with the majority of the 13,000 acres being grown on muck soil. Producing onions using conventional tillage practices results in degradation of soil health and increased subsidence.

Webinar: How do I know if I have P-Cap in my Fields?

Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 27, 2012

The first in a 3-part series, this pre-recorded webinaris presented by Dr. Chris Smart, Cornell University. 

Flooding in 2011 spread Phytophthora capsici into fields with no history of the disease. Growers who have not managed P. capsici previously could inadvertently and permanently spread the disease to additional fields and could experience high rates of crop loss due to improper management of the disease.  Understanding of P. cap will reduce the probability of these negative outcomes on eastern NY farms.


Webinar: How do I know if I have P-Cap in my Fields?

Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 27, 2012

The first in a 3-part series, this pre-recorded webinaris presented by Dr. Chris Smart, Cornell University. 

Flooding in 2011 spread Phytophthora capsici into fields with no history of the disease. Growers who have not managed P. capsici previously could inadvertently and permanently spread the disease to additional fields and could experience high rates of crop loss due to improper management of the disease.  Understanding of P. cap will reduce the probability of these negative outcomes on eastern NY farms.


Webinar: Farming with P-Cap: Managing Your Crops and Minimizing Spread

Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

Last Modified: November 8, 2012
Webinar: Farming with P-Cap: Managing Your Crops and Minimizing Spread

In this pre-recorded webinar, Dr. Michael Mazourek, plant breeder at Cornell University, and Dr. Chris Smart, plant pathologist at Cornell University Geneva Experiment Station lead a discussion about how to minimize the impact of Phytophthora capsici on your farm.


more crops
Apples

Apples

Apricots

Apricots

Asparagus

Asparagus

Beets

Beets

Blueberries

Blueberries

Broccoli

Broccoli

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts

Cabbage

Cabbage

Carrots

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cherries

Cherries

Cucumbers

Cucumbers

Dry Beans

Dry Beans

Eggplant

Eggplant

Ethnic Vegetables

Ethnic Vegetables

Garlic

Garlic

Grapes

Grapes

Horseradish

Horseradish

Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Leeks

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

Melons

Nectarines

Nectarines

Onions

Onions

Parsnips

Parsnips

Peaches

Peaches

Pears

Pears

Peas

Peas

Peppers

Peppers

Plums

Plums

Potatoes

Potatoes

Pumpkins / Gourds

Pumpkins / Gourds

Radishes

Radishes

Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Rutabaga

Snap Beans

Snap Beans

Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

Squash- Winter

Strawberries

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Sweet Corn

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Turnips

Turnips

more crops

Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATES

December 13 - December 15, 2022February 2 - February 8, 2023February 21 - February 23, 2023

Save the Dates for the following Winter Meetings:

  • NOFA NY Virtual Winter Conference, February 2-5, 2023
  • Empire State Expo, Oncenter Syracuse, February 6-7 2023
  • Becker Forum, Oncenter Syracuse, February 8, 2023
  • Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program Regional Winter Meeting, The Desmond Hotel, Albany, February 21-23, 2023 

How Profitable Will My New Orchard Investment Be? 1-day, hands-on skills class in the Hudson Valley

February 7, 2023
Highland, NY

The Eastern NY Commercial Hort Team and the Lake Ontario Fruit Team are offering a 1-day, hands-on course for tree fruit farms on using farm financial information and other resources to make decisions about long-term investments or changes to their business.  We will apply the techniques covered in the 8-part webinar series in December to scenarios using sample financial data from fruit farms in NYS.  You will work with others in a group through a series of problems and leave with a better sense of how you can organize and interpret your own financial information to make better long-term investment decisions about your farm business.  THIS SESSION IS AT THE CORNELL HUDSON VALLEY LAB 

How Profitable Will My New Orchard Investment Be? 1-day, hands-on skills class in Northern NY

February 9, 2023
Plattsburgh, NY

The Eastern NY Commercial Hort Team and the Lake Ontario Fruit Team are offering a 1-day, hands-on course for tree fruit farms on using farm financial information and other resources to make decisions about long-term investments or changes to their business.  We will apply the techniques covered in the 8-part webinar series in December to scenarios using sample financial data from fruit farms in NYS.  You will work with others in a group through a series of problems and leave with a better sense of how you can organize and interpret your own financial information to make better long-term investment decisions about your farm business.  THIS SESSION IS AT THE CCE CLINTON COUNTY OFFICE

Announcements

2023 CCE ENYCHP Fruit & Vegetable Conference

We are back in-person after three years with two full days of informative sessions, many of which will offer DEC credits. (Scroll down to the bottom and click the link to see the full program!)

Program Overview:
Wednesday, February 22, 2023:

Tree Fruit Sessions, King Street Ballroom 9:00 am - 3:50 pm
Small Fruit Sessions, Shaker Room 9:20 am - 3:30 pm
Vegetable Sessions, Town Hall 9:15 am - 3:50 pm
Join us after the sessions for our Trade Show Social held in the Fort Orange Courtyard.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Tree Fruit Session, King Street Ballroom Rooms 2 & 4 8:30 am - 12:00 pm
Vegetable Sessions, King Street Ballroom Rooms 6 & 8 9:15 am - 3:00 pm
Grape Session, Shaker Room 9:00 am - 11:45 am

Tuesday, February 21, 2023 - Pre-Conference Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course, Town Hall 8:15 am - 5:00 pm.  Participants will only be eligible for the PSA/AFDO Certificate of Course Completion if they are present for all modules of the course.

NYS DEC Pesticide Recertification Credits have been applied for! As soon as we hear back from DEC we will post the credits for each session that was eligible!




ENYCHP Public Events Calendar



2022 Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring/Management

All berry farmers are watching for monitoring reports that indicate Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) adults are in their region. Mid-season berry crops should be sprayed as soon as berries begin to ripen unless you've elected to use insect exclusion netting.

- For general information about SWD, and to enroll for free monitoring reports, visit the Cornell SWD blog https://blogs.cornell.edu/swd1/.
- Click here for the 2022 Quick Guide for Pesticide Management.
- For some great instructional videos and fact sheets on insect exclusion netting, visit the University of Vermont's Ag Engineering blog.


Resources from CCE ENYCHP!

We are developing new ways to connect with the CCE ENYCHP team this year! We have a Youtube page located at this link. Check out videos on Table Grape Production, Pest Updates and the 20 Minute Ag Manager - in 4 Minutes series

We have a Facebook Page here as well as an Instagram page. We keep these places updated with current projects, events, and other interesting articles and deadlines.

There are also text alerts available. Fruit and vegetable farmers in 17 Eastern NY counties can now receive real time alerts on high risk disease and pest outbreaks texted directly to their cell phone. The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program, which is supported by local Cornell Cooperative Extension associations, will now offer text alerts to those that enroll in our program in 2019. 

The text alerts will be reserved for important crop alerts that could impact management decisions immediately. For instance, if there were an outbreak of Late Blight in the area, this would be transmitted to vegetable growers.

Farmers can choose the crop for which they wish to receive updates. Additionally they can request that Ag Business Alerts be sent to them. These alerts might include due dates for crop insurance deadlines, market opportunities etc.

If you have questions, please contact enychp@cornell.edu


Podcasts

Winter Greens Grower Interviews in Northern New York

October 22, 2022
In this episode, vegetable specialist Elisabeth Hodgdon interviews Lindsey Pashow, ag business development and marketing specialist with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest New York team. They discuss findings from a series of interviews with winter greens producers in northern New York. Lindsey shares production and marketing challenges associated with growing winter greens in this cold and rural part of the state, success stories and advice from growers, and tips for those interested in adding new crop enterprises to their operation.

Funding for this project was provided by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The episode was edited by Miles Todaro of the ENYCHP team.

Resources:
• Crop enterprise budget resources available from Penn State Extension (field and tunnel vegetables: https://extension.psu.edu/small-scale-field-grown-and-season-extension-budgets), UMass Extension (winter spinach budgets: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/outreach-project/improving-production-yield-of-winter-greens-in-northeast and field vegetables: https://ag.umass.edu/vegetable/fact-sheets/crop-production-budgets), and Cornell Cooperative Extension (high tunnel vegetables: https://blogs.cornell.edu/hightunnels/economics/sample-budgets-spreadsheets/). Use these budgets as templates when developing your own crop enterprise budget.
• The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, by Richard Wiswall
• The Winter Harvest Handbook, by Eliot Coleman

For questions about the winter greens project discussed in this podcast, reach out to Lindsey Pashow (lep67@cornell.edu) or Elisabeth Hodgdon(eh528@cornell.edu).

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