Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Enrollment

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Plant Growth Regulator Field Day Review

Mike Basedow, Tree Fruit Specialist
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture

August 10, 2018

Near the end of the June, I attended the summer PGR meeting and orchard tour that was held in Geneva, where Dr. Poliana Francescatto reviewed some of her recent work with PGR's. After a detailed discussion of floral bud induction and initiation indoors, we headed out to the research orchard to view a handful of her current field trials.  In this article, we will review some of the key takeaways from that tour.

Take away #1: Adjust Honeycrisp crop load early to maximize return bloom.

Poliana has found Honeycrisp initiates flowers earlier than other popular varieties. This initiation is the first visible sign that a bud is going to be a fruit bud, rather than a vegetative bud the following growing season. In Gala, initiation of the following season's flowers begins about 70 days following full bloom, with its peak around 85 days. In Honeycrisp, 95% of initiation is completed within 45-60 days after full bloom. Poliana explained how Honeycrisp's early initiation may play a considerable role in the cultivar's tendency for biennial bearing. While return bloom sprays have been used inconsistently to reduce biennial bearing in Honeycrisp, Poliana recommended regular and early thinning of Honeycrisp with NAA, followed by low weekly doses of NAA up to 40 days after full bloom to insure adequate return bloom the following season.

Take away #2: Using the Carbohydrate Model as One Tool in the Toolbox

The apple carbohydrate thinning model was developed by Dr. Alan Lakso and Dr. Terrence Robinson to model carbohydrate supply and demand using NEWA weather data and user entered field variables. Dr. Lakso was present at the meeting, and reminded growers that the model cannot always account for unique field circumstances, and that the grower ultimately knows their block history best.  A few growers shared how they like to use the model. One grower explained how he will apply a thinning treatment and then use the model to look back three days to better predict how effective the spray might have been. This helps him determine if he needs to go back in with another treatment when the next thinning window approaches.  The carbohydrate model can be used to determine daily carbohydrate stress during your thinning windows, but carbohydrate stress provides only part of the picture. Consider all of the additional chemical, physiological, and environmental variables that can impact your thinning each year when you develop your thinning program next May.

Take away #3: New Thinning Products

Poliana showed the group a few of her experiments with new thinning products. While not currently registered for thinning in the United States, Metamitron is a sugar beet herbicide that is already being used as a thinner in Europe.  She finds the greatest thinning effect from Metamitron occurs when fruit is between 8-12mm, and when there is a large carbohydrate deficit.  However, tree status prior to the application plays a significant role on the thinning responses. For instance, the carry-over effects of severe drought stress in 2016 explained a lot of the thinning responses seen in 2017. 

Two trees of Crimson Gala on M.9 treated with differing rates and spray timings of Metamitron, a sugar beet herbicide currently approved for fruit thinning in Europe.  

Poliana also discussed thinning with ACC, an ethylene precursor.  She finds ACC works best at the 18-20mm stage, but also works at the 8-12mm stage. The level of thinning from ACC is very dependent on temperatures at and following the application, and the thinning response is also heavily variety dependent.  Leaf drop can also occur using ACC, but it may be reduced if applied with or following an application of 6-BA.   

Take away #4: Strategies for Thinning without Carbaryl

Poliana is also investigating thinning programs that do not include carbaryl, as some retailers do not accept fruit treated with it. We visited a block of NY1 and NY2 where she showed very promising results using different combinations of 6-BA, NAA and NAD. So far, these combinations have had comparable thinning results to trees thinned with Carbaryl. We have seen similar thinning responses with these combinations in Honeycrisp at an on-farm trial in the Champlain Valley. In that trial, trees also received combinations of 6-BA, NAA, and NAD. Applications were made at bloom, petal fall, and 10-12mm. Poliana has developed carbaryl free thinning recommendations for major varieties, and discussed these recommendations at our petal fall meetings this past May.

For more information on Poliana's trials, review her recent article in the spring 2018 NYFQ. 



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Ethnic Vegetables

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Garlic

Garlic

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Horseradish

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Kohlrabi

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Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Lettuce / Leafy Greens

Melons

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Raspberries / Blackberries

Raspberries / Blackberries

Rhubarb

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Rutabaga

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Squash - Summer

Squash - Summer

Squash- Winter

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Upcoming Events

Farm Financial Management Tuesdays - Planning for a Change or Exiting Your Farm Business

November 30, 2021 : Assessing the Financial Ramifications of and Options for Significant Change to Your Farm Business

The inflationary economy is upon us! The huge influx of money into the US economy following the COVID-19 pandemic has manufactured high prices and in turn increased operating costs for farm business thus forcing many businesses into net operating loss situations. Other farms are facing high labor costs or chronic labor shortages.  Some farms have taken on debt loads that make these increased costs unaffordable.  Depending on the stage in the business lifecycle, it may make sense to change enterprises or exit the farming business entirely. 

Join CCE ENYCH Ag Business Educator, Elizabeth Higgins, and CAAHP Ag Business Educator, Dayton Maxwell, for a one-hour program to learn about the financial aspects of changing or exiting a farm business. 

December 7, 2021 : The Family and Emotional Component; Shifting Business Direction and Life After Farming

As farm business enterprises are changed or disbanded, the emotional stress can be tremendous, especially when individuals and family members maintain diminished assurance relative to future security. 

Join Gabriel Gurley and Brenda O'Brien of New York FarmNet for a one-hour program focused on successfully navigating the emotional turmoil of a family farm business transition.

December 14, 2021 : New Venture Creation; Shifting Business Direction and Life After Farming

Change creates opportunity and new opportunities are certain when farm businesses change or end. 

Join Gabriel Gurley of New York FarmNet for a one-hour overview of identifying ways and means to capitalize on new opportunities resulting from farm business transitions.

 

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Remote Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course - Dec 2021

December 8 - December 9, 2021

A grower training course developed by the Produce Safety Alliance (PSA) that meets the regulatory requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for farms subject to the Produce Safety Rule. All farms are welcome to attend to learn about recommended food safety practices for growing, handling, and storing fresh produce. Course registration fee includes a course manual and certificate of course completion by the Association of Food and Drug Officials (AFDO).

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Tax Management for Beginning and Small Farm Businesses

January 18, 2022

Tax Management for Beginning and Small Farm Businesses.

A one-night virtual meeting for beginning and part-time farmers that provides useful tax information enabling participants to be make better tax decisions for their business.   Federal and state income taxes will be covered. Tax regulations specific to NYS will be covered as well. 


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Announcements

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.  

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers

USDA Offers Disaster Assistance for Producers Facing Inclement Weather

Severe weather events create significant challenges and often result in catastrophic loss for agricultural producers. Despite every attempt to mitigate risk, your operation may suffer losses. USDA offers several programs to help with recovery.

Risk Management
For producers who have risk protection through Federal Crop Insurance or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), we want to remind you to report crop damage to your crop insurance agent or the local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office.

If you have crop insurance, contact your agency within 72 hours of discovering damage and be sure to follow up in writing within 15 days. If you have NAP coverage, file a Notice of Loss (also called Form CCC-576) within 15 days of loss becoming apparent, except for hand-harvested crops, which should be reported within 72 hours.

Disaster Assistance
USDA also offers disaster assistance programs, which is especially important to livestock, fruit and vegetable, specialty and perennial crop producers who have fewer risk management options.
First, the Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP) and Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybee and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) reimburses producers for a portion of the value of livestock, poultry and other animals that died as a result of a qualifying natural disaster event or for loss of grazing acres, feed and forage. And, the Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) provides assistance to producers of grazed forage crop acres that have suffered crop loss due to a qualifying drought. Livestock producers suffering the impacts of drought can also request Emergency Haying and Grazing on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres.

For LIP and ELAP, you will need to file a Notice of Loss for livestock and grazing or feed losses within 30 days and honeybee losses within 15 days. For TAP, you will need to file a program application within 90 days.

Documentation
It's critical to keep accurate records to document all losses following this devastating cold weather event. Livestock producers are advised to document beginning livestock numbers by taking time and date-stamped video or pictures prior to after the loss.

Other common documentation options include:
- Purchase records
- Production records
- Vaccination records
- Bank or other loan documents
- Third-party certification

Additional Resources
On farmers.gov, the Disaster Assistance Discovery Tool, Disaster-at-a-Glance fact sheet, and Farm Loan Discovery Tool can help you determine program or loan options.

While we never want to have to implement disaster programs, we are here to help. To file a Notice of Loss or to ask questions about available programs, contact the Rensselaer County USDA Service Center @ 518 271 1889 ext. 2. The office is open for business, however due to pandemic restrictions all in-person visits require an appointment.


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

FSMA Updates with Gretchen Wall

August 10, 2021
In this episode, Elisabeth Hodgdon discusses news and updates related to FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule with food safety specialist Gretchen Wall. They discuss inspection schedules for the 2021 season, On Farm Readiness Reviews, water testing, new resources available for growers, and more.

Resources:
Records Required by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule, by K. Woods, D. Stoeckel, B. Fick, G. Wall, and E.A. Bihn. This fact sheet includes an explanation of required records as well as printable record templates:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/sites/producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/files/shared/documents/Records-Required-by-the-FSMA-PSR.pdf

Upcoming Remote, Online, and In-Person Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Courses:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/training/grower-training-courses/upcoming-grower-trainings/

Interactive Google map of water testing labs, created by the Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety:
https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?amp%3Busp=sharing&mid=1C8KHM6jJszj9auYQttUbVtPKtb4eEBSJ&ll=41.22288057139939%2C-78.58548244999999&z=5\

Interested in joining the Produce Safety Alliance listserv? Sign up here to receive FSMA updates, notifications of educational opportunities and new resources, and more:
https://producesafetyalliance.cornell.edu/

Contact Information:
To schedule an On Farm Readiness Review or discuss your farm’s FSMA PSR coverage status, contact Steve Schirmer (315-487–0852 or steve.schirmer@agriculture.ny.gov), or Aaron Finley (518-474-5235 or aaron.finley@agriculture.ny.gov).

Episode speakers:
Elisabeth Hodgdon, ENYCHP vegetable specialist: 518-650-5323 or eh528@cornell.edu
Gretchen Wall, Produce Safety Alliance coordinator and Northeast Regional Extension Associate: 607-882-3087 or glw53@cornell.edu

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