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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

Labor Road Show II (Peru, NY)

January 28, 2019
8:30am - 4:00pm
Peru, NY

Sharing on behalf of the Ag Labor Development Council: If you have employees, then you need to be at the New York Labor Road Show II. Experts from farms, private industry and the university will focus on critical topics that affect all farm employers including: employee housing, onboarding, sexual harassment prevention, employee engagement , safety, wage and hour laws, and worker care.

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Labor Road Show II (Ballston Spa, NY)

January 29, 2019
8:30am - 4:00pm
Ballston Spa, NY

Sharing on behalf of the Ag Labor Development Council: If you have employees, then you need to be at the New York Labor Road Show II. Experts from farms, private industry and the university will focus on critical topics that affect all farm employers including: employee housing, onboarding, sexual harassment prevention, employee engagement , safety, wage and hour laws, and worker care.

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High Tunnel Farmer to Farmer Meeting

February 4, 2019
9:00am to 4:30pm
Poughkeepsie, NY

Join us for a facilitated farmer to farmer style workshop focused on high tunnel production and management. Though the final meeting agenda will be developed on the day of the meeting with input from attendees, it is expected that topics covered will include season long soil fertility management, high tunnel model selection and construction considerations, biological pest and disease management, and more. 
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Announcements

ENYCHP Fruit and Vegetable Conference Feb 19-22

Join us for the 2nd Annual Eastern NY Fruit and Vegetable Conference! This year we will be expanding our conference to include a third day and many exciting new sessions. Speakers, topic details, and registration information will be available soon. Mark your calendars, and don't miss this great line-up!

Tuesday February 19th- Thursday 21st, 2019

Desmond Conference Center
660 Albany Shaker Rd
Albany, NY 12211

Click here to register


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


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