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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. This leads to increased fertilizer and crop protection chemical input to maintain productivity, resulting only in increased subsidence and declining productivity at ever increasing costs. It is a scientifically proven fact that wind and water erosion, and subsidence decreases as ground cover increases and cultivation decreases. In this project, we developed and evaluated growing onions from direct seed in reduced tillage production systems using oat and wheat cover crops on muck soil on a commercial scale. This was the first attempt of its kind, and a success with the minimum tillage systems producing comparable yields to the conventional system, having reduced onion thrips, bacterial rots and Botrytis leaf blight, and significant reductions in soil compaction and reduced wind erosion compared to the conventional system.

Preventing Erosion of Muck Soils by Reducing Tillage in Onion Production (pdf; 1908KB)

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Upcoming Events

FSMA/PSA Grower Food Safety Training Course and Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop

April 23, 2019 : FSMA/PSA Grower Food Safety Training Course

April 24, 2019 : Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop

Day 1: FSMA/PSA Grower Food Safety Training Course
- A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.  This one-day training is a requirement for farms growing more than $25,000 worth of fruits and vegetables.

Day 2: Food Safety Plan Writing Workshop
- A hands-on workshop that will help growers write a Food Safety plan that will allow the farm to be certified through the Good Agricultural Practice program (GAP).  This fay of the training is optional, but you must have completed a FSMA/PSA training to attend this portion of the two-day course. 

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets is underwriting the cost of the training manuals and the course certificates for all NYS residents that attend the FSMA/PSA Training (Day 1).  If you are NOT a NYS resident, you will be charged an additional $50/manual and $35/certificate on the day of the course. 

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Last Monday Grant Webinar for Fruit and Vegetable Growers - April

April 29, 2019
12:00-1:00

To help disseminate information on grants on a more consistent basis, we will be offering a "current grants" webinar on the last Monday of every month at noon

In order to help focus the program, the webinars will be limited to grants that are relevant to fruit and vegetable farmers in Eastern New York.

There is a possibility of webinars related to grants for experimental crops (i.e. hops and hemp) if it is likely that fruit and vegetable growers would be interested.

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Last Monday Grant Webinar for Fruit and Vegetable Growers - May

May 27, 2019
12:00-1:00

To help disseminate information on grants on a more consistent basis, we will be offering a "current grants" webinar on the last Monday of every month at noon

In order to help focus the program, the webinars will be limited to grants that are relevant to fruit and vegetable farmers in Eastern New York.

There is a possibility of webinars related to grants for experimental crops (i.e. hops and hemp) if it is likely that fruit and vegetable growers would be interested.

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Announcements

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

Episode 4 - Episode 4- Biological Root Dips for Onions

April 20, 2019
Episode 4- Biological Root Dips for Onions



Ethan Grundberg discusses biostimulants, biofungicides, and plant growth regulators with Teresa Rusinek. Grundberg presents some of the preliminary findings on yield impact and disease severity from one year of trialing 12 different products as pre-plant dips on bare root onion transplants on muck soils in Orange County, NY. More details from the study can be found online at https://rvpadmin.cce.cornell.edu/uploads/doc_735.pdf

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