Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Enrollment

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High Tunnel Tomatoes - Early Pruning Pays off

Amy Ivy, Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 2, 2018

greenhouse

May is an insane time around any NY vegetable farm and it's a challenge to prioritize the mountain of tasks each day. But a little time spent pruning and training your high tunnel tomato plants now can really pay off later. Not only will they yield better, your labor will be more efficient during harvest since workers won't be plowing through a dense tangle of leafy stems to get to the tomatoes.

Here's a quick review:

Remove lower leaves up to the first fruit cluster. Bend the leaf up, then down and it should snap off cleanly, making quick work of this simple but important task. Why? It increases airflow around the plant to discourage disease and makes the plant easier to work around.

Strong Y - whether you are training determinate or double leader indeterminate (see below) start both with the Strong Y. See the photo to locate the weaker suckers to remove and the co-dominate sucker to keep just below the first flower cluster. Allow only the main leader and co-dominate leader to develop, removing all the other suckers and leaves up to this ‘Y' junction on the plant. Why? The lower suckers are less productive. Removing them sends the plant's food energy to the remaining stems, shoots and fruit.

Determinate tomatoes - train them to the ‘stake and weave' aka ‘Florida weave' system. Set a post between every 2-3 plants and start the horizontal twining early so the plants can grow up through the support. Why? This level of support will keep the aisles open for efficient worker movement and will keep the fruit up off the ground for easy harvest.

Indeterminate tomatoes - For large slicing tomatoes some growers prefer single leaders, some prefer double. When in doubt, the double leader system works well in most situations.

In our cherry tomato trial we found the double leader system was the best option in terms of labor efficiency and yield, compared to a single or multi leader system.




Check out these helpful factsheets for more photos and details:

 

tomato2


 

 

 

 This article is from the May 3, 2018 edition of ENYCHP Vegetable News.  To read the full newsletter,CLICK HERE.



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Brussels Sprouts

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Cabbage

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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

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Tomatoes

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Upcoming Events

Champlain Valley Tree Fruit Grower Input Meeting

November 30, 2022
Plattsburgh, NY

We need your input!  Mike will be holding a Champlain Valley tree fruit grower input session on November 30 in Plattsburgh at the Clinton County CCE office. Mike will review his 2022 research and extension activities. We would then like to hear from you to set priorities for future tree fruit research and education needs, and to get your input for speakers for our 2023 winter meetings. 

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How Profitable Will My New Orchard Investment Be? Zoom Series

December 5, 2022 : Looking at the Big Financial Picture for Your Farm

Your farm's big-3 financial records (balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow) and how to use them to assess your overall financial situation. This information will help you assess what types of investments are likely to be viable for your farm business and whether or not you are likely to be able to use credit to finance that investment.  We will specifically cover Farm Profitability, Cash Flow, and Key Financial Ratios.

December 6, 2022 : Business Strategy and the Farm Value Chain

How do you create value?  How do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?  In other words - what is your farm's business strategy?  Your investments should be in line with your strategy.  Different business strategies will result in investments in different parts of the Farm Business Value Chain.  Farm Business Value Chain - full range of activities needed to create a product or service.

December 7, 2022 : Using Your Farm's Financial Data to Make Management Decisions

Identifying the Enterprises in Your Value Chain.  Your Profit Centers and Cost Centers.  We will cover: Direct vs Indirect Costs and Cost Allocation and Variable vs Fixed Costs and Relevant Range (when does a fixed cost become a variable cost?)

December 8, 2022 : Operating Budgets and Strategic Planning

Operating budgets are the overall financial plan for the business.  You can use a budget based on your current situation as the base to model new scenarios.

December 12, 2022 : Enterprise Budgets

It is more time-consuming to develop detailed budgets for your enterprises, but it is worthwhile to do this for area where you are considering making major investments.  We will demonstrate how to move from an operating budget to an enterprise budget to model specific scenarios within that enterprise. 

December 13, 2022 : 5 Step Decision-making Process for Capital Projects and Long-term Investments

Introduces a structured process for a manager to go through to decide among options for long-term investments, projects or changes to the farm business.

December 14, 2022 : Cost Volume Profit Analysis and Sensitivity Analysis

As you change your prices, volume of sales or costs of production how does your profit change?  What is your break-even point and what output level do you need to achieve a target income? We will also cover sensitivity analysis that will help you see how your results will vary over a range of likely scenarios from best case to worst case.  This will help you assess the riskiness of your plan.

December 15, 2022 : Capital Budgeting Tools - Net Present Value, Internal Rate of Return, and Payback Period

Capital budgeting is defined as the process used to determine whether capital assets are worth investing in. it's the process of asking: is an asset worth the resources it requires?  Capital assets are usually long-term investments like new equipment, facilities, and other infrastructure upgrades. By incorporating strategically planned capital budgeting into their financial processes, companies can more effectively determine and prioritize which projects, programs and other investment assets could be most financially beneficial in the long-term.

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SAVE THE DATES

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

Save the Dates for the following Winter Meetings:

  • The New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference, DoubleTree Hotel and Conference Center, Manchester, New Hampshire, December 13-15  https://newenglandvfc.org/registration/
  • NOFA NY Virtual Winter Conference, February 2-5, 2023 https://nofany.org/2023conference/
  • Empire State Expo, Oncenter Syracuse, February 6-7 2023 https://nysvga.org/expo/information/
  • Becker Forum, Oncenter Syracuse, February 8, 2023  https://nysvga.org/expo/information/
  • Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program Regional Winter Meeting, The Desmond Hotel, Albany, February 21-23, 2023  

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Announcements

NEW ENYCHP BLOG

Visit the new CCE ENYCHP Blog at https://blogs.cornell.edu/enychp/.  New information is continuously being added and you can search for information using key words.  The blog is still in its infancy, but we are working hard to make it a useful resource for our growers!

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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