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Responding to Hailstorms 2018

Crystal Stewart-Courtens, Extension Vegetable Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

May 16, 2018

Unfortunately, the hail season has started early and with a vengeance this year. If you find yourself facing the aftermath of a hailstorm, here are a few things to consider.

The damage left by hail varies tremendously based on the size and shape of the hailstone, the wind velocity of the storm, the duration of the hail event, and the stage of growth plants are in. Deciding how to respond is really case-by-case. Two farms right next to each other can experience very different levels of damage. However, there are some rules of thumb that generally hold true.

· Cucurbits are going to look really bad but are likely to recover. Those huge leaves tend to tatter very dramatically during hail, and can look absolutely awful. However, the leaves can also help to protect the growing points, which largely determine whether a plant will recover or not. Generally cucurbits that are old enough to have an established root system and have intact growing points will be able to generate new leaves very quickly and will begin producing fruit within a couple of weeks. To facilitate this process, give some extra nitrogen through the drip system.  Pick and remove summer squash fruit that were damaged by hail if you can.

· All plants will benefit from a protective fungicide application. After hail, plants have hundreds of small (or large) wounds which leave them extremely vulnerable to diseases. As soon as you can get on the field, apply a protectant such as copper or chlorothalonil (copper will protect from bacterial and fungal diseases so is the better option), even if you applied one before the storm. This will help prevent infection while the plant heals up those wounds.

· Incidence of bacterial rot in onions is going to increase. We tend to see many more issues with onion storage following hail. Copper may help somewhat, but results have been mixed to poor.

· Document the Damage. In case the county or state declares your area a disaster zone, you may be eligible for compensation for losses. Take the time to photograph damage to crops, buildings, and other farm infrastructure to better support your estimated economic impact.

Deciding what to do with tomatoes can be tricky. According to Dr. Reiners, determinate varieties suffering from moderate to severe damage (think of snapped branches and stripped leaves as seen in the image) are most likely to be lost causes because by the time they recover they will practically be at the end of their lives. It is best to pull plants at this threshold out.  Indeterminate tomatoes have a better chance of recovering from hail. All fruit which was hit will be relegated to seconds at the very best. Damage can vary greatly by variety because of the differences in canopy cover, so assess each separately. Last year we saw Primo Reds that were a complete loss next to Amish Paste tomatoes which were about 80% ok.

On plants with heavy foliage such as corn and sweet potatoes, a foliar feeding including nitrogen and some micronutrients may be beneficial. Remember that you have to have intact foliage to spray for this to be effective.

Once you have done everything you can to clean up and protect your plants, it is often best from a mental health standpoint to walk away for a few days up to a week. There is a small period of time where this is nothing more to do but let the plants recover. Nice time for a mini vacation. Really.

As always, if you would like help deciding what to do after hail or any other weather event, please give us a call.

 This article is from the May 17 2018 edition of the ENYCHP Vegetable News.  Click Here to view the full newsletter.

 

Hail1Exposed fruit have been severely damaged by hail. If these plants were
saved, these fruit would not be marketable. Image: CLS

Tom2 Determinate plants were snapped off about halfway
by high winds and stripped by hail. These plants are
not salvageable. Image: CLS

 

 



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Upcoming Events

Weed Management for Berries in NY

March 6, 2024 : Weed Management for Berries in NY

Join Cornell scientists, Dr. Bryan Brown, Dr. Lynn Sosnoskie, Rutgers University's Dr. Thierry Besançon, CCE Harvest NY's Anya Osatuke, and CCE ENYCHP's Laura McDermott to hear updates on the latest research concerning weed management in berries.

View Weed Management for Berries in NY Details

Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium Winter Webinar Series

March 6, 2024
March 13, 2024
March 20, 2024
: Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium Winter Webinar Series

View Northeast Extension Fruit Consortium Winter Webinar Series Details

How Profitable will My New Orchard Investment Be? Evaluating Capital Investment Decisions in a Farm Business

February 29, 2024 : Week 1 of the course (February 23-Feb 29)

In week 1 we cover:

  • How and why to use a structured process to make investment decisions.
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 In this zoom session we will go over what you learned in the on-line class.


March 7, 2024 : Week 2 (March 1 - March 7)

In week 2 you will:

  • Develop an enterprise budget and use your enterprise budgets and partial budget analysis to evaluate the risk and profitability of potential investments.
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  • View How Profitable will My New Orchard Investment Be? Evaluating Capital Investment Decisions in a Farm Business Details

    Announcements

    2023 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 2023 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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