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Blueberry Variety Review Field Day July 21, Schuylerville, NY

July 21, 2015
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Schuylerville, NY
Byron Winney has one of the largest plantings of blueberries in the state. Look at and taste more than a dozen different varieties and learn about winter hardiness, plant form, fruiting characteristics, plant longevity and pest tolerance first hand. There is no charge for this workshop, but please help us plan and register by calling Marcie at 518-272-4210. If you have questions, give Laura a call at 518-791-5038. The workshop is a rain or shine event.


Limiting Bird Damage in Fruit: State-of-the-Art Pest Management Tactics

Date:               August 19, 2015

Location:         4H Training Center, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, Ballston Spa, NY


Morning Session- Ballston Spa CCE 4-H Center – Juliet Carroll moderator

8:30 – 8:50

(20 min)

Register, collect handouts, sign up for DEC credits
8:50 – 9:00

(10 min)

Welcome, introductions, announcements

Juliet Carroll, NYS IPM Program

9:00 – 9:20

(20 min)

Bird species most responsible for damaging fruit crops

Paul Curtis, Dept of Natural Resources

9:20 – 9:35

(15 min)

Birds in fruit crops: economic and consumer aspects of deterrence

Catherine Lindell, Dept of Zoology, Michigan State Univ

9:35 – 9:50

(15 min)

Grower perspectives of bird damage in fruit crops

William Seimer, Dept of Natural Resources

9:50 – 10:00

(10 min)

10:00 – 10:30

(30 min)

Tactics for managing deer in fruit

Paul Curtis

10:30 – 10:50

(20 min)

Wildlife management: bird resources, regulations and permitting

Ken Preusser, USDA Wildlife Services

10:50 – 11:30

(40 min)

Risk factors for bird damage in fruit and mitigation strategies

Catherine Lindell, Dept of Zoology, Michigan State Univ

11:30 – 12:00

(30 min)

Scare devices investigated in fruit plantings in New York

Heidi Henrichs or Paul Curtis

12:00 End morning session


12:00 – Lunch, provided


Afternoon Session- Farm Demonstrations

12:30 – Travel to field demonstration site

1:00 – Arrive at farm

1:05 (10 min) – Welcome, introductions, meet the farmer

1:15 (60 to 90 min) – Falconry demonstration by local falconer

2:30 (30 min) – Air dancer demonstration by Paul Curtis or Heidi Henrichs

3:00 (30 min) – break & grower discussions of current tactics being used and their success

3:30 (30 min) – Tour bird damage practices in use on the farm

4:00 – Adjourn; safe travels home


Spring 2015 issue of New York Berry News

The Spring 2015 issue of New York Berry News is now available online.

Highlights include:

  • Foodborne illness most likely to come from fruit and vegetables. Who Knew?
  • Non-crop Host Plants for Spotted Wing Drosophila
  • Berry Crops and the Winter of 2014-2015
  • What is the Difference Between a Frost and a Freeze?
  • Yellow Leaves on High Tunnel Raspberries
  • Americans Are Eating a Lot More Berries. Here’s Why.
  • Blueberry pollination season: Top 10 things to do now for optimal pollination
  • Managing Spotted Wing Drosophila in Your Garden

Winter 2015 issue of New York Berry News

The Winter 2015 issue of New York Berry News is now available online.

Highlights include:

  • Berry Soil and Nutrient Management – A Guide for Educators and Growers
  • Blueberry Pruning—Commonly Asked Questions
  • Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops — 2015 edition now available
  • 2015 Spring Berry Workshops
  • Diagnosing Dry Calyx Problems on Strawberry Fruit
  • Moving the Needle – Accomplishments of the National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative 2013-2014
  • Weed Identification Guide
  • XIth International Rubus and Ribes Symposium

Bird damage factsheets

Fact sheets on the economic impact of bird damage to fruit crops are available on the Limiting bird damage in fruit crops website,  and we have linked to them within the Cornell Fruit Resources webpages for each commodity. Please share these fact sheets at winter fruit schools, grower conferences, Producer Expo sessions, etc.

The study crops included wine grapes, tart cherries, sweet cherries, blueberries, and ‘Honeycrisp’ apples. The results were based on grower surveys in NY done with assistance from the NYS Horticultural Society, NY Apple Association, NY Wine & Grape Foundation, NY Berry Growers Association, and Cornell Cooperative Extension Regional Programs and County Associations. Our colleague, Cathy Heidenreich, was instrumental in reaching NY berry growers with the survey. Thank you to all who helped with the survey effort a few years back.

The economic impact results are part of a larger, SCRI funded project, Limiting bird damage in fruit crops: integrating economic, biological, and consumer information to develop sustainable, long-term solutions, conducted in Michigan, Washington, California and New York.  Stephanie Schwiff, Research Economist, USDA-APHIS, National Wildlife Research Center conducted the economic impact analyses.

Economic impact highlights:

  • The average annual economic impact to New York from bird damage to the study crops is $16 million with the loss of almost 500 jobs.
  • The average annual economic impact of bird damage to blueberries in MI, NY, OR, WA, and CA was $51 million with a loss of 924 jobs.
  • The average annual economic impact of bird damage to tart cherries in MI, NY, OR, WA, and CA was $6.1 million with a loss of 152 jobs.
  • The average annual economic impact of bird damage to sweet cherries in MI, NY, OR, WA, and CA was $85 million with a loss of almost 1,300 jobs.
  • The average annual economic impact of bird damage to wine grapes in MI, NY, OR, WA, and CA was $126 million with a loss of 1,648 jobs.
  • The average annual economic impact of bird damage to Honeycrisp apples in MI, NY, OR, WA, and CA was $48 million with a loss of 788 jobs.

B.E.V. NY [Business.Enology.Viticulture.] offers an Ivy-League Refresher Course to Grape & Wine Industry

Geneva, NY- The Northeast’s leading researchers in viticulture, enology, and the business of grapes and wine will teach at B.E.V. NY 2015, held February 26-28 at the R.I.T. Conference Center in Henrietta. In its 2014 inaugural, the symposium drew more than 500 attendees from New York and surrounding wine regions.

The 2015 program features speakers from regional institutions (Cornell, Penn State, Finger Lakes Community College, and Tompkins County Community College, among others) covering topics from barrel sanitation and spray programs to business planning and tasting room sales. 

True to its cooperative extension roots, B.E.V. NY differs from other grape and wine events in its focus on continuing education. Presentations are designed to give an introduction or review of familiar material, then move on to recent research and practical applications- providing attendees and speakers an opportunity for interactive dialogue rather than narrowly-focused research results. By all accounts, the new structure is a success.

“I thought the format for B.E.V. NY was excellent,” said Bruce Murray, co-owner of Boundary Breaks Vineyard in Lodi. “The separation of the tracks into Business, Enology and Viticulture makes so much sense. I got to hear most of the program content, and there were many, many very good sessions.”

“The great thing about B.E.V. NY is that our format suits people in all sectors of the industry and at all experience levels,” says Chris Gerling, enology extension associate. “Regardless of what part of the business you’re in or how long you’ve been doing it, everyone should find something new and relevant.”

In response to industry evaluations, the Business program will be broken into two parallel tracks, one aimed at winery owners and managers, and the second at tasting room and marketing personnel.  The focus on tasting room tactics is relatively new to the extension program, and draws on a variety of faculty expertise in Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and the School of Hotel Management.

For Associate Professor of Services Marketing Kathy LaTour, B.E.V. NY represents a way to focus her work to better serve the NY grape and wine industry.

“I found speaking at B.E.V. NY was a great opportunity to think about my academic research on wine expertise and consumer learning, and frame it toward the industry,” she said. “I enjoyed hearing about actions the industry is embarking on to make their tasting rooms more consumer experience-oriented and educational.”

B.E.V. NY was born when the Finger Lakes Grape Program, the Cornell Enology Extension Lab, and members of Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management and School of Hotel Management joined forces to provide a workshop covering all aspects of the grape and wine industry in New York.

Jim Trezise, President of the NYWGF and 2014 speaker, encourages everyone in the industry to attend.

“Cornell’s B.E.V. NY conference is an absolute must for any grower or winery in New York or the northeast who wants to get the latest and most valuable information about business, enology, and viticulture,” he said. “The Cornell researchers are world-renowned, and Cornell Cooperative Extension does a fabulous job disseminating the information to the people who need it to enhance their businesses.”

For more information, visit


October 2014 issue of New York Berry News

The October 2014 issue of New York Berry News is now available online.

Highlights include:

  • NYS BGA to Host SWD Regional Workshops
  •  “Going Bigger” is the Focus of the 2015 Empire Producers EXPO Berry Session
  • Educational Opportunities- Pawpaws and Grapes
  • PSU and Cornell Co-host Vegetable and Small Fruit Production Webinar Series
  • Vole Management in Berry Plantings
  • Joint Report on the North American Cranberry Industry
  • Getting Started with Berry Production and Marketing Course Offered
  • NYS BGA Welcomes New Communications Specialist
  • NARBA News: Awald Farms at 100 – Debby Wechsler
  • New Farmers Grant Fund
  • New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Program -Due Dec. 15
  • USDA Unveils Key New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk
  • USDA Invests Nearly $118 Million to Support America’s Specialty Crop Producers
  • USDA Expands Access to Credit to Help More Beginning and Family Farmers
  • FSMA Updates
  • Biodegradable Bio-based Mulch Now Allowed for Organic Production
  • ANSI Peer Review Report
  • New Wildlife Damage Control Handbook
  • New Organic Farming Research Webinars
  • FarmNet – Help You Need, When You Need It
  • Pest’s Taste for Fine Wine May Prove Its Undoing
  • Update on Applied Berry Research in Eastern NY
  • Limiting Bird Damage in Fruit Crops

“Going Bigger” is the focus of the 2015 Empire Producers EXPO Berry Session

Making that move can be very profitable, but challenging – hear how!

Join commercial berry growers from across the state on Thursday January 22nd 2015 for a day-long commercial berry education session at the Empire State Producers EXPO held at the OnCenter in Syracuse, NY.Empire State Producers EXPO logo

Morning Berry Session, Thursday, January 22, 2014, 9 to 11 AM

This session is designed to whet your appetite for what promises to be a full day of commercial berry educational programming you won’t want to miss!

Consider expanding your berry operation by adding a new crop. One of the newer small fruit crops gaining acreage in NY as well as popularity is Juneberries. Dr. Erwin “Duke” Elsner, small fruit educator from Michigan State University will detail the basics of getting into Juneberry production and marketing, sharing insider how-to’s for this exciting new crop (via webinar).

Is organic blueberry growing on a large scale right for you? Dr. Bill Sciarappa, County Extension Dept. Head, and Agricultural Agent with Cooperative Extension of Monmouth County, Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, brings it all into focus in his talk on “Organic Blueberry Production and Promise”.

“Introducing Ms. Penny Heritage, new communications person for the New York Berry Growers Association”, is one of the happenings in this session during the NYSBGA annual meeting. Learn more about the association’s very successful efforts in mobilizing state funding for critical Spotted Wing Drosophila research and how you, too, can benefit from membership in this highly motivated organization.

And now here’s…the rest of the story! If you had to give an opinion of the return on investment berry crops provide to your operation what would you say? Would your answer be a factual one based on your most recent berry farm business summary and enterprise budget data? Mr. Dan Welch, FarmNet Business and Succession Planning Coordinator from the Cornell University Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and management will provide final insights from a 2-year berry farm business summary research and extension project, funded by the NY Farm Viability Institute, and explain how you, too, can get set up to evaluate berry crop return on investment for your operation.

Afternoon Berry Session, Thursday, January 22, 2015, 1 to 4 PM

Looking for a new berry market but not sure which way to go? Try heading south! Berries are becoming more and more popular in the “Big Apple”. Bob Weybright from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program shares his insights on small fruit marketing opportunities in NYC.

Have other commercial berry growers really “Gone Bigger” successfully?! And just how big, is BIG? Be on hand for the “Going Bigger” grower panel to hear 3 growers share their insights. Panelists include Mr. Steve Polter, Polter’s Berry Farm, Fremont, OH, Mrs. Shirley Kline from Happy Valley Berry Farm, Bridgeton, NJ and Mr. Nate Nourse, Nourse Farms, Whately, MA. Each will briefly share how they “went bigger’ with their operation. A 15 minute audience Q&A is included in this panel discussion.

Do you feel like your efforts in commercial blueberry production are for the birds?! Hear Cornell graduate student Ms. Heidi Henrichs discuss her latest findings in bird management in fruit crops and tip the scales back in your favor (and perhaps sell a used car, or two, in the process…)

Those rotten root weevils! Is it possible to minimize damage from these unseen and often undetected pests in your strawberry plantings before it’s too late? Dr. Elson Shields from the Cornell Department of Entomology will share exciting results from his trials using microscopic entomophagus nematodes (aka bug-eating soil inhabiting round worms…) which you CAN grow and try at home!

“Where have all the…honeybees gone?!” seems to be one of the new songs of the day. How can you offset loss of these pollinators in your small fruit crops, particularly strawberries? Ms. Heather Connelly, graduate student in the Cornell Department of Entomology, shares results from her research work on improving strawberry pollination using wild flower plantings.

The final berry session of the day continues to provide updated insights on, you got it, Spotted Wing Drosophila and its management. Dr. Greg Loeb, Cornell Department of Entomology, and Ms. Dale Ila Riggs, President, NYS BGA, will share research findings on several fronts from work being done here in NYS to combat this invasive species.

So plan to join us for information packed 2015 EXPO berry educational program, you’ll be glad you came!

Vegetable and Small Fruit Production Webinars Return


The Winter Wednesday Lunch Series of vegetable and small fruit production webinars returns for its fourth year starting December 10, 2014, and running through March 25, 2015. Penn State and Cornell University have teamed up to present this series of webinars to keep you informed about critical production issues.

This series provides convenient access to timely updates in commercial vegetable and small fruit production for extension educators, producers, and industry representatives in Pennsylvania, New York, and surrounding states.

The sessions, available live and recorded, feature both Penn State and Cornell speakers on a range of specific topics. All webinars are held from 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoons, as follows:

  • December 10, 2014. Hydroponic Vegetable Production. Tom Ford, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension.
  • January 14, 2015. Current Issues in Strawberry Pest Management. Kathy Demchak, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State; and Cathy Heidendreich, Extension Support Specialist, Cornell.
  • February 11, 2015. Soil Health Through Reduced Tillage and Cover Crops. Carol MacNeil, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Cornell; and Dr. Thomas Bjorkman, Associate Professor, Cornell.
  • March 4, 2015. Using Sanitizers in Wash Water. Dr. Luke LaBorde, Associate Professor, Penn State.
  • March 25, 2015. Tomato Nutrition in High Tunnels. Steve Bogash, Extension Educator, Penn State; and Judson Reid, Extension Vegetable Specialist, Cornell.

The cost for the webinars are $10 per session or $35 for the entire series. All you need to participate is access to a computer with internet access (DSL or faster) and speakers or headphones. Register online or by phone (724-627-3745).

Pawpaw Production Workshop

November 6, 2014

6:30-8:30 pm

Vince’s Park, Seneca Falls NY, Intersection of Route 318 and Routes 5+20


Have you ever thought of growing pawpaws? Pawpaw is a native fruit with a tropical-like flavor that has been described as a cross between a banana, mango and pineapple. They are rarely found in markets because the fruit is damaged easily when ripe. Steve Gabriel from the Cornell Small Farms Program and owner of Wellspring Forest Farm will be presenting a pawpaw production workshop, covering such topics as pawpaw management, site selection, and sourcing pawpaw trees.

You can register online at or contact Derek Simmonds at 315-539-9251 or Cost is $15 per family.