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.






Relevant Event

Peru Weed Management and Soil Health Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 20, 2022
Peru, NY

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. 


Farming and Agricultural Supplies List

Last Modified: April 29, 2016

Check out our list of the following Agricultural Resources!
Agricultural Organizations
Custom Spraying
Drainage
Equipment
Farm & Food Sanitation
Fertilizers & Feed
Fencing
Food Processing
Irrigation
Land Management
Land Preservation
Farmers Market Associations
Bee Keeping
Auctions
Consulting
Loans
Construction
Excavation
Insurance
High Tunnels
Maple Supplies
Grain Buyers
Grapes
Organic Certification
Soil Testing




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

Agricultural Supervisory Leadership Certificate Program

June 17, 2022
June 23, 2022
June 30, 2022
July 7, 2022
July 14, 2022
July 21, 2022
July 28, 2022

Supervisors are critical to the success of farm businesses. They have a major impact both on employees' daily work experiences and on the production performance of the business. The  agricultural Supervisory Leadership certificate helps farm supervisors and managers learn and apply human resource management practices and leadership skills that foster rewarding workplaces and drive business results. Confident managers who thoughtfully apply leadership and management skills improve employee performance, develop teams, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee engagement. The courses within the certificate program will offer extensive practice and engagement activities to build confidence and skill sets.

Getting the Most Out of Every Pass - Calibrating Airblast Sprayers for Best Results

June 29 - June 30, 2022

University of New Hampshire Extension Field Specialist Emeritus, George Hamilton will demonstrate the importance of and best techniques to calibrate air blast sprayers. Proper calibration will ensure effective, efficient, economical and legal spraying.  Inadequate spray coverage is usually the cause of poor spray efficacy and additional spray applications. Overuse of some sprays results in unhealthy residues and can lead to fines.

Calibration should be done several times each season, or when you incorporate any new equipment or repairs - from the tractor to the nozzle.  Join us for a refresher or send new employees for training.  This workshop is open for any grower that relies on an airblast sprayer to deliver plant protectants to fruit or vegetable crops. 

Peru Weed Management and Soil Health Field Day

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 20, 2022
Peru, NY

Join us in Peru on July 20th as we discuss orchard weed and soil management! Speakers will be joining us from across Cornell's research and extension teams.  Topics will include the results of our herbicide timing trials, new vision-guided technologies for orchard weed spraying, organic weed management options, soil health demonstrations, and a discussion on our statewide orchard soil health survey. DEC credits are pending for this event.  

Announcements

ENYCHP Public Events Calendar



2021 SWD Insecticide Quick Guide

Prepare your sprayer and make sure you have the insecticides of choice on hand. Click on the following link for the revised 2021 SWD Insecticide Quick Guide: https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_981.pdf

Current recommendations are to use the most effective material you can early in the spray program - even though the population seems small. The strategy is to keep the population small for as long as possible as it's very hard to gain control after the numbers have ballooned.  

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 Research Review

March 23, 2022
Winter Greens Research Review
March 17, 2022

Episode description:
In this episode, vegetable specialists Ethan Grundberg, Elisabeth Hodgdon, Jud Reid, and grower Leon Vehaba discuss winter greens production in Eastern New York. They highlight research results from the past five years that aimed to develop nitrogen fertility and heating recommendations for winter high tunnel greens production. Leon discusses his lessons learned from his experience at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project and how he made changes to his greens production as a result.

Funding and support for the research trials discussed were provided by:
Organic nitrogen fertility management in winter spinach (Willsboro Farm and Pleasant Valley Farm trials): New York Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, Northern NY Agricultural Development Program, Toward Sustainability Foundation, Paul and Sandy Arnold of Pleasant Valley Farm, Mike Davis of the Cornell Willsboro Research Farm, and Amy Ivy and Andy Galimberti of the CCE ENYCHP.

Nitrogen dynamics and yield response to minimal supplemental heating in high tunnel winter production: Northeast SARE Partnership grant and the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.

Resources:
Ethan and Leon’s report from their trials at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project:
‘Nitrogen dynamics and yield response to minimal supplemental heating in high tunnel winter production’ SARE grant final report: https://projects.sare.org/project-reports/one17-298/

Elisabeth and Jud’s results from their trials at the Willsboro Research Farm and Pleasant Valley Farm:
Willsboro Research Farm: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m94bE5DV5SI&t=10s
Pleasant Valley Farm (research results and overview of winter greens production on the farm): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLK6jnc0YzA&t=12s

listen now

read transcript