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Regional Small Fruit School, October 27, Bath, N.Y.

Regional Small Fruit School
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at 9:00am to 3:00pm
Bath Civil Defense Building, 7220 State Rte 54, Bath NY 14810

The full day program will include topics on: differentiating disease in berry crops, insect pests of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberries, soil health as a tool for berry nutrition, strawberry and raspberry varieties, blueberry pruning, and managing diseases and insects in small fruit plantings.

We have a top notch lineup of Cornell University faculty: Dr. Marvin Pritts, Chair of Horticulture, Dr. Kerik Cox, Plant Pathology/Microbe-Biology, Dr. Greg Loeb, Entomology, and Dr. Courtney Weber, Professor of Horticulture. Sign up soon to be a part of this great program.

DEC credits have been applied for in categories 1a, 10, and 22.

The program will give you an opportunity to ask questions about your operation and to learn the newest research being done in the field. The fee of $25.00 will include your lunch and all materials. Please contact Colleen Cavagna to sign-up: or 585-268-7644 ext 12. Pre-registration is required by Oct. 19th, 2015. No refunds for cancellations: although substitutions are allowed.

Hosted by Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Allegany and Steuben County in conjunction with Cornell University faculty.


  • Differentiating Disease in Berry Crops – Kerik Cox –Differentiating disease from other issues and highlighting reoccurring disease challenges that small fruit growers face yearly.
  • Top Three Insect Pests for Strawberry, Raspberry and Blueberry – Greg Loeb
  • Soil Health as a Tool for Berry Nutrition – Marvin Pritts – Why are we talking about soil health instead of just regular soil tests? Physical and biological factors in the soil contribute significantly to healthy plants and good productivity.
  • Strawberry and Raspberry Varieties – Courtney Weber – Research based recommendations based on suitability in our New York State climate.
  • Blueberry Pruning – Marvin Pritts – Principles of pruning: when, what, how, and why. Learn how to prune blueberries of any age for the most optimal production.
  • Managing Diseases in Small Fruit Plantings – Kerik Cox – Standard management practices for common and uncommon small fruit diseases and selecting chemical management tools.
  • Managing Insects – Greg Loeb – Practices to reduce pest pressure in small fruit plantings.

Tour USDA apple and grape collections in Geneva Sept. 23 and 26

apples, USDA-ARS photo

USDA-ARS photo

From Thomas Chao and Gan-Yuan Zhong, USDA-ARS  Plant Genetic Resources Unit, Geneva, N.Y.

The Plant Genetic Resources Unit of USDA-ARS at Geneva, NY is excited to announce two public germplasm tours of the USDA-ARS clonal Apple and Grape collections on Wednesday, September 23, 2015, and Saturday, September 26, 2015.

Tours will be conducted at the McCarthy Farm, located on 2865 County Road 6 (Pre-emption road) in the town of Geneva (across from the St. Mary Cemetery). Both tours will start at 9:00 am. Please park your car on the gravel parking area near the equipment barn once you enter the McCarthy Farm.

The Wednesday tour (September 23rd, 2015) will feature the world renowned apple (Malus spp.) collection. The total tour is expected to take up to 2.5 hours and will be conducted as a walking tour through the orchard grounds. This year will be the last chance to see the wild Malus sieversii seedling block from Kazakhstan, also known as the “Botany of Desire Wild Apple” block. While these trees are important to the USDA’s mission to preserve important apple germplasm, this block of seedlings must be removed by the end of 2015 to make room for future evaluation and selection of wild collected material from North America and elsewhere.

The Saturday tour (September 26th, 2015) will be a combined tour to see and taste the apple collection and also to tour the USDA-ARS cold hardy grapevine germplasm (Vitis spp.) The cold hardy grapevine germplasm is an important resource of wild North American grapevine species. These species play an integral role in the development of many of the hybrid grapevine varieties grown in the Finger Lakes wine region and also across the Midwest and Northeast. As this tour includes both the apple and grape germplasms, it is expected to take about 4 hours to complete (9 am to 11:30 am for apple and 11:30 am to 12:30 pm for grape).

Because the orchard and vineyard are planted on gently rolling ground, please note that uneven footing is possible and appropriate footwear is recommended. We request that all minors must be accompanied by an adult and all visitors should be responsible for their own safety. It is recommended that all visitors bring along appropriate sunscreen, bug spray, hats, and water bottles in order to enjoy the germplasm fully. Rustic restroom facilities (porta-potties) will be available. We will provide the tours rain or shine, except in the case of severe weather.

If you have any questions regarding the tours, please don’t hesitate to contact me through email:

Extending Local Strawberry Production Using Low Tunnel Technology programs in August and September

Tuesday, August 25th, 2:00-4:00pm
Green Acre & West Wind Fruit Farm
930 Manitou Rd.
Hilton, NY 14612
Monroe County

Friday, September 11th, 2:00-4:00pm
Terry’s Berry Farm
284 Church St
Barton NY 13734
Tioga County

Thursday, September 16th, 3:00-5:00pm
Feura Farm
210 Onesquethaw Creek Road
Feura Bush NY 12067
Albany County

More information.

Limiting Bird Damage in Fruit program August 19

Cornell Cooperative Extension
Saratoga County, 50 W. High St.,
Ballston Spa, NY 12020

8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Lunch included

Gain comprehensive knowledge about successful bird management strategies in susceptible fruit crops, including sweet and tart cherry, blueberry, ‘Honeycrisp’ apples and wine grapes.

In the morning learn which bird species damage fruit, economic losses from birds to fruit, consumer preference for management tactics (e.g. kestrel nesting boxes), NY grower survey, tactics for deer management, regulations & permitting for wildlife control, landscape factors that place fruit at risk, and bird mitigation strategies. Morning session available via WebEx webinar.

In the afternoon enjoy on-farm field demonstrations of scare tactics such as falconry, air dancers and exchange insights through discussions of tactics being used on your farms.

DEC credits available:
Category 10 — 2.5
Category 1A — 2.5
Category 22 — 2.5

Advanced registration required!
Register by Wednesday, August 12
Workshop limited to 30 attendees
Registration fee $10

More info.

State Agriculture Commissioner Highlights New York State’s Blueberry Season

NYSDAM press release:

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today announced it is peak blueberry season in New York State and encouraged New Yorkers to support the state’s increasing number of growers.  The New York State Berry Growers Association estimates that there are more blueberry plantings in New York than ever before as a result of several factors. From the demonstrated health benefits of eating blueberries and increased consumer demand for locally grown berries to New York’s climate, excellent soils, and ample water supplies, the Growers Association is seeing more people making the long-term investment necessary to bring a planting of blueberries into production.

“Blueberry season may be a short season but it is a very productive season and I couldn’t be happier for our growers who continue to rank well in production year after year,” said Commissioner Ball. “I encourage all New Yorkers to support their growers this season which is as easy as stopping by your local farmers’ market or pick-your-own farm.”

New York growers plant over 40 different varieties of blueberries across the state to provide the delicious fruit for New York consumers for as long a period as possible.  From “Duke” and “Patriot” varieties that can be harvested in early July to “Bonus” and “Elliott” that can be harvested into the middle of September, New York consumers can find local blueberries for about ten weeks.  Peak season is late-July into early August.

Blueberry bushes take about eight years to become fully productive.  In 2014, 700 acres of blueberries were harvested across the state.  While approximately the same acreage is expected to be harvested in 2015, more of that acreage should be approaching full production, resulting in more supply to New York consumers.

Dale-Ila Riggs, President of the New York State Berry Growers Association said, “Many New York State blueberry growers have a bountiful crop this year.  The summer weather and frequent rains have made the berries plump and sweet.  The season is always short so make sure you don’t miss out on the season and visit a local berry grower soon!”

New York State was the 11th largest blueberry producer in the nation in 2014.  Growers harvested 1.6 million pounds of blueberries last year and produced a crop worth $2.8 million.

New York State grown blueberries are now available at select grocery stores, farm stands, farmers’ markets and pick-your own farms across the state.  A map of farmers’ markets across New York State, many of which offer fresh, local blueberries, can be found here or by county here.

Blueberries are one of the easiest fruits to prepare and serve for consumers. When preparing blueberries there is no peeling, pitting, coring or cutting involved.  Blueberries can be eaten fresh out of hand and go well with other New York produced fruits in a fruit salad or with New York yogurt.  They are also making an appearance in New York’s beverage industry—now used in products such as Blueberry Wine made at Blue Sky Farm and Winery in Delaware Countyand Nine Pin Ciderworks’ Blueberry cider made with blueberries harvested at Indian Ladder Farms in Albany County.

Blueberries are not only delicious but they provide a variety of health benefits. The fruit is reported to have one of the highest antioxidant contents among all fruits and vegetables. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and manganese, and have been found to maintain healthy bones, lower blood pressure and manage diabetes.

Many blueberry growers proudly use the Pride of NY label on their products.  To join the Pride of NY program, please

The Pride of NY website also lists harvest times and availability of fresh New York produce, depending on the

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.