Nearly 50 growers, educators and others attended the Berry Open House hosted at Cornell Orchards and the East Ithaca Research Facility last Friday. Topics covered by faculty and graduate students from several departments,  NYSIPM Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators included day-neutral low tunnel strawberry systems, cranberries, bird deterrents, spotted-wing drosophila management, biopesticides, soil health, trellising systems, berry varieties, pollinators and more.

Attendees view day-neutral low tunnel production system research.

Attendees view day-neutral low tunnel production system research.

Click on thumbnails for larger view.

Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Allegany County in conjunction with Cornell University Regional Grape Program staff is hosting an Introduction to IPM and Managing Vineyard Pests Workshop for existing and potential commercial grape growers. This half day program will be held Nov. 6th (Thursday) from 8:30-12:30. Luke Haggerty, Cornell Viticulture Extension Specialist and Tim Weigle, Cornell Statewide Grape IPM Specialist, will be presenting at the workshop. This is a regional workshop and interested parties from surrounding areas are encouraged to attend.

Topics will cover:

* how to select the best site for growing grapes,

* environmentally and economically sensible ways to protect crops from insects,

* selecting the grape varieties that will grow in your climate and,

* how to plant your grapes and establish the structure for their optimal growth.

Growers are encouraged to ask questions and actively participate in the course. NYSDEC pesticide credits have been applied for in categories 1a, 10, and 22.

Cost of the program is $15.00 per person or $25.00 for two people from the same farm/household. Pre-registration is required. If you are interested in signing up for this program, please contact Colleen Cavagna at 585-268-7644 ext. 12 or

What: Introduction to IPM and Managing Vineyard Pests Workshop When: Nov. 6th (Thursday), 2014 Where: Cornell Cooperative Extension Belmont Office (5435A County Road 48, Belmont NY) Time: 8:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Cost: $15.00 per person or $25.00 for 2 people from the same farm/household. Pre-registration is required. Contact: Colleen Cavagna at or 585-268-7644 ext. 12.

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

Highlights include:

  • Berry Bytes
  • A Comment on Strawberry Varieties 
  • Humid Weather Increases Botrytis Gray Mold Pressure in Fall Raspberries
  • New York Strawberry Production Up, Blueberry Production Down, for 2013
  • How Healthy is Your “Underground Livestock”?!
  • New e-book: Cold Climate Strawberry Farming
  • SWD Media Buzz: Tips for Grower Interviews
  • North American Strawberry Symposium and NASGA Berry Conference
  • NARBA in Savannah
  • New Regulations Seek to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species in New York State
  • How Long Do I Keep All This Food Safety Paperwork?
  • FDA Announces Cooperative Agreement to Implement National Produce Safety Rule
  • Whacking Weeds Organically – Jan Suszkiw
  • NOP: New Cost Share Resources
  • Consider a Food Bank as a Market Opportunity
  • The Pesticide Safety Education Program Reaches a 50-Year Milestone
  • Stockton’s Timorex Gold® Biofungicide Receives EPA Registration Articles
  • USDA Researchers Identify Stink Bug Attractant
  • Protecting Irrigation Equipment from Winter Damage
  • National Farm Safety and Health Week” Highlights Important Help that is Available
  • Stay Prepared: Hurricane Season Doesn’t End with Summer
  • How EDEN Can Help YOU Prepare for Disasters

pawpawsHave you ever thought of growing pawpaws? Pawpaw is a native fruit with a tropical fruit-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 easily damaged when ripe.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County is offering a Pawpaw Production Workshop on Wednesday evening, November 6, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The workshop will be held at Vince’s Park at the intersection of Rt 314 and Rts 5+20 in Seneca Falls, NY.

Steven Gabriel, from the Cornell Small Farms Program and owner of Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg NY will be the presenter. Steve has recently co-authored a book called Farming the Woods with Cornell professor Ken Mudge. The workshop will cover various topics related to growing pawpaws including pawpaw management, site selection and sourcing pawpaw trees.

Cost is $15 per Farm or Family

More information and online registration.

low tunnel strawberries

Low tunnel strawberries ready for harvest. Photo courtesy J. Ochterski.

Cornell University’s School of Integrated Plant Science (SIPS) Horticulture Section is sponsoring a small fruit open house from 12:45 to 4:30 pm on Friday, October 3, 2014.

The two-part program, hosted by Dr. Marvin Pritts, professor and berry crop specialist, will include researchers, extension specialists and graduate students from SIPS Horticulture and Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology Sections, Cornell Departments of Entomology and Natural Resources, and the Cornell Cooperative Extension Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Team.

The program will begin at 1:00 PM. Participants should meet at Cornell Orchard, 709 Dryden Road (Route 366), Ithaca, NY 14850 between 12:30 PM to 12:45 PM for parking, check-in, and announcements.

Part one of the program will be held at Cornell Orchard, located on route 366 in Ithaca across from the Vet School parking lot. Topics for part one of the 2014 open house will include a chance to examine and discuss a new strawberry low tunnel production system being introduced to the Northeast region, a look at a new cranberry demonstration planting, techniques for minimizing bird damage in berry crops, an inside look at biopesticides as a newly emerging disease management tool, and an update on applied berry research efforts in eastern New York.

Part two of the program will be held at the East Ithaca Farm located just around the corner from Cornell Orchard on Maple Ave. Topics for this portion of the program will include techniques for monitoring and managing Spotted Wing Drosophila, a new invasive fruit fly, using wild flower plantings to enhance strawberry pollination, a berry variety question and answer session with Dr. Courtney Weber, Cornell small fruits breeder, introduction of a new research project on soil amendments and their effects on strawberry soil health and finally, a discussion of trellising systems for high tunnel blackberries.

A refreshment break will be provided between program sessions. The open house will be held rain or shine; umbrellas and/or lawn chairs may be desirable.

The open house is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required to ensure adequate transportation, handouts, and refreshments. Signs will be posted on the day of the event. Please register by phone or e-mail by contacting Cathy Heidenreich,, 315-787-2367 no later than Friday, September 26, 2014.

More information…

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014
3:00 – 5:00 pm

The Berry Patch of Stone Wall Hill Farm
15589 NY Route 22, Stephentown, NY 12168

Spotted Wing Drosophila research continues in our ongoing effort to better understand and control this new pest. This meeting will focus on a SARE Farmer grant funded project looking at different grades of exclusion netting and its efficacy on eliminating SWD from blueberries.

We will also look at a high tunnel raspberry planting that has a NYFVI funded grant project examining the efficacy and labor saving attributes of a fixed spray system in the tunnel.

Owner Dale Ila Riggs has been a leader in the campaign to secure research funding for SWD. The NYS Senate Agriculture Committee has contributed funding for these projects and other SWD research. The Berry Patch of Stone Wall Hill Farm produces all kinds of berries and vegetables for local retail markets.

More information…

The Mexican Consulate will be visiting Geneva on July 31, August 1 & 2 to provide consular services to the Mexican citizens residing in upstate New York who are in need of a Passport or Consular ID Card for identification matters, travel purposes, or to prove their Mexican nationality. They will also be assisting people in documenting dual citizenship.

The “Consulate on Wheels” will be hosted by the Cornell Farmworker Program and the Finger Lakes Coalition of Farmworker Agencies at the Geneva Community Center, 160 Carter Road, Geneva, NY. The consulate is providing this service in upstate New York to ease the burden of traveling to New York City to renew and obtain important documents.

Identification documents also ease the process of opening a bank account, getting a tax payer ID number, and establishing dual citizenship if needed.

Appointments will be available on Thursday (July 31) between 2- 7 PM and on Friday and Saturday (August 1-2) from 9AM to 2PM. Please schedule appointment (free) via Mexitel.

The Mexican Consulate will also be in the Upstate area on the following dates:

  • August 14-16, 2014- Episcopal Church, 58 E. Main Street, Sodus, NY (tentative)
  • September 17-20, 2014- Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe, 3799 Union Street, Marion, NY
  • September 30-October 4, 2014- Syracuse, NY (location to be determined)

More information:


Contents for Vol. 13 No. 6, July 22, 2014

  • Front Page
    • Strawberry Renovation – A Reprise – Marvin Pritts and Cathy Heidenreich
  • Berry News Briefs
    • New School Positions Plant and Soil Science for the Future – Stacy Shackford
    • Wild Parsnip: A Plant Not to Ignore on Your Farm – Sharon Bachman
    • Blueberry Collapse May be Due to Winter Injury – Laura McDermott
  • Ag News
    • US Senator Gillibrand’s Office Releases Food Hub Funding Guide
    • Local Food Marketing Panels at 2014 Empire Farm Days include 14-Year-Old Farmer, Chefs, Seasoned Growers, Food Buyers
    • USDA Invites Suggestions for the 2017 Census of Agriculture
    • New Publication: Pest Management for Sustainable Season Extension
    • Cornell’s RAPP Program Demonstrates Agricultural Plastics Recycling, at Aug. 5-7 Empire Farm Days
    • USDA Unveils New Centralized Online Resource to Support Next Generation of Farmers
    • Disaster Assistance for 2012 Frost or Freeze Fruit Crop Losses Announced
  • Berry Organization News
    • NASGA Summer Tour Is Filling Fast
    • Preview: 2015 North American Raspberry & Blackberry Conference
  • Focus on Food Safety
    • Focus on Food Safety Series: Part 3 – Craig Kahlke & Betsy Bihn
  • On the Organic Side…
    • USDA Organic Cost-Share Programs Funded
    • OSU calculator Helps Organic Farmers use Fertilizer More Efficiently
    • Is eOrganic for You?
    • National Soil Project
  • Money Talk
    • New Pilot Program Offers Coverage for Fruits and Vegetables, Organic and Diversified Farms
  • Focus on Pest Management
    • Spotted Wing Drosophila Update – Juliet Carroll
    • Know the Imposters in Spotted Wing Drosophila Monitoring Traps – Faruque Zaman
    • Controlling Raspberry Cane Borers – Mark Longstroth
  • Articles
    •  Leaf Analysis – Now is the Time – Marvin Pritts and Cathy Heidenreich

(Re-posted from: US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration, May 22, 2014)

WATER. REST. SHADE. The work can't get done without them.

“Water. Rest. Shade.” and acclimatization are critical in preventing heat illness and fatalities

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced the launch of its annual Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers. For the fourth consecutive year, OSHA’s campaign aims to raise awareness and educate workers and employers about the dangers of working in hot weather and provide resources and guidance to address these hazards. Workers at particular risk are those in outdoor industries, such as agriculture, construction, landscaping and transportation.

“Heat-related illnesses can be fatal, and employers are responsible for keeping workers safe,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Employers can take a few easy steps to save lives, including scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shade and allowing ample time to rest.”

Thousands of employees become sick each year and many die from working in the heat. In 2012, there were 31 heat-related worker deaths and 4,120 heat-related worker illnesses. Labor-intensive activities in hot weather can raise body temperatures beyond the level that normally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness initially may manifest as heat rash or heat cramps, but can quickly escalate to heat exhaustion and then heat stroke if simple preventative measures are not followed. Heat illness disproportionately affects those who have not built up a tolerance to heat (acclimatization), and it is especially dangerous for new and temporary workers.

“Acclimatization is a physical change that the body undergoes to build tolerance to heat, and it is a critical part of preventing heat illnesses and fatalities,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Over the past three years, lack of acclimatization was the cause in 74 percent of heat-related citations issued. Employers have a responsibility to provide workplaces that are safe from recognized hazards, including outdoor heat.”

Last year, OSHA issued 11 heat-related citations. In some of these cases, the employer and staffing agency were cited because they involved temporary workers.

In preparation for the summer season, OSHA has developed heat illness educational materials in English and Spanish, as well as a curriculum to be used for workplace training, also available in both English and Spanish. Additionally, a Web page provides information and resources on heat illness – including how to prevent it and what to do in case of an emergency – for workers and employers. The page is available at:

OSHA also has released a free application for mobile devices that enables workers and supervisors to monitor the heat index at their work sites. The app displays a risk level for workers based on the heat index, as well as reminders about protective measures that should be taken at that risk level. Since its 2011 launch, more than 130,000 users have downloaded the app. Available for Android-based platforms and the iPhone, the app can be downloaded in English and Spanish by visiting:

In developing its inaugural national campaign in 2011, federal OSHA worked closely with the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and adapted materials from that state’s successful campaign. Additionally, OSHA is partnering with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to incorporate worker safety precautions when heat alerts are issued across the nation. NOAA also will include pertinent worker safety information on its heat watch Web page at

(Re-posted from Cornell Soil Health blog, June 13, 2014)

We recently made the new 2014 Soil Health Assessment Package available.

Please visit our website where you can find:

Information on indicators measured as part of our new package, including two new biological indicators we have added this year:

2014 submission form

Sampling guidelines, and information on shipping samples

Two samples of the new soil health test report, which now includes:

  • Additional information on the Soil Health Assessment
  • A short narrative on what each indicator means
  • Suggestions for prioritizing management options, to address constraints and maintain soil health
  • Customized tables with general management suggestions by constraint (at the end)

Right now is a great time to submit samples.

Also – Save the dates if you have not already for our upcoming Train-the-Trainer Soil Health Workshop (8/12-8/15). We will be posting and announcing registration very soon.

Happy sampling, planting, scouting, advising, etc.! It’s a busy season!

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