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Berry news

New protected culture berry production resources

Interested in extending your harvest season and protecting your berries from weather?  Here are two new resources:

  • Protected Culture for Strawberries Using Low Tunnels –  New 20-age publication by Marvin Pritts berry specialist in the Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, and and Laura McDermott, Team Leader, Small Fruit and Vegetable Specialist, Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program.
  • Low and High Tunnels for Protected Culture for Berries — Video of presentation by Marvin Pritts, during the Rutgers Cooperative Extension educational sessions at the New Jersey Agriculture Convention and Trade Show in February 2017.

Set Strawberry Alarm Clock for Post-Apple Bloom

By Krishna Ramanujan, reposted from CALS news [2017-03-30]:

Native ground nesting bees visit apple blossoms. Photo by Heather Grab/Provided.

Native ground nesting bees visit apple blossoms. Photo by Heather Grab/Provided.

Growers who time their strawberries to bloom just after apples do can reap a better harvest, according to new research.

When apple trees blossom, the sheer abundance of flowers attracts most of the pollinators, which leaves fewer bees for other nearby crops such as strawberries and lowers their yields. But if growers time their strawberries to flower directly after a neighboring apple bloom, strawberries produce higher yields than they would if there were no apple trees nearby.

The findings, published in the March 27 issue of Nature Scientific Reports, offers growers a sustainable method for boosting yields of crops that bloom around the same time as apples.

Previous research showed that strawberries can have as much as 40 percent yield increase when bees and other pollinators visit, compared with relying on wind pollination alone.

“We are trying to figure out ways that growers can use ecosystem services to promote crop yield rather than relying on external inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides,” said lead author Heather Grab, a doctoral student in the lab of co-author Bryan Danforth, professor of entomology.

Planting natural habitats around farm fields can lead to improved health of pollinators and a boost in their services, according to research. But for many growers in agriculturally dense areas, increasing natural habitats is not an option.

“Those growers need some more sustainable agriculture options,” Grab said. “If growers pay attention to timing of when crops are blooming and manipulate that by planting apple varieties and strawberry varieties that don’t overlap, you can get a boost in yield that is almost equivalent to having natural habitat nearby.”

Growers often also use mulching systems to delay strawberry blooms.

The researchers, who conducted the study in the Finger Lakes region of Upstate New York, discovered diverse pollinator communities in the area, with at least 65 species visiting either apples or strawberries, with substantial overlap in species that visited both crops. The most abundant apple pollinators – ground nesting bees – were also the most abundant strawberry pollinators.

Grab and her colleagues set up experimental plots of potted strawberry plants in commercial strawberry fields, so they could control water, soil quality, deer herbivory and the timing of strawberry blooms. These plots were located across a gradient with apple orchards nearby in some locations and with no apples present in others. They also set up bee traps in these plots. They put out the pots of strawberries at three distinct time periods; during early apple bloom, at full-peak apple bloom, and just as apple blooms were dying out.

Future work will investigate whether this strategy also holds benefits for the pollinators, as food sources are spread out over time rather than having a large glut of food that is followed by less availability.

Co-authors included Greg Loeb and Katja Poveda, both Cornell faculty members in entomology, and Eleanor Blitzer, a biologist at Carroll College.

The study was supported by Smith Lever and Hatch funds and the United States Department of Agriculture.

This article also appeared in the Cornell Chronicle.

High tunnels, low tunnels, protected culture – Workshops!

Protected Culture WORKSHOPS for Berry Growers!  Three workshops will be held—in Portland, NY on December 14th; in Syracuse, NY on January 17; and in Riverhead, NY on March 7. Yes, we’re spreading the word on protected culture – high tunnels, low tunnels, and everything in between – with these workshops in Western NY, Central NY, and Long Island.

As dramatic weather events increase, pest pressure intensifies, and local markets vitalize, New York berry growers need ways to protect their crop and lengthen their season. Growers, educators and researchers are testing techniques for growing berries under cover and the current state of knowledge on protected culture will be shared with those attending these Workshops sponsored by the New York State Berry Growers Association (NYSBGA).

Plan now to attend one of these three regional workshops to learn more about these innovations in berry growing. These day-long workshops will feature multiple short presentations, hands-on activities, and reports from researchers, educators, and growers. Many New York State growers who are experimenting with growing under cover are having great successes and want to share those with you!  Just one testimonial on the benefits of protected culture …I was able to supply my CSA members with strawberries right through the end of October.

Register soon! Registration for the Protected Culture Workshops is open! Download the NYSBGA Workshop Registration Form(www.hort.cornell.edu/grower/nybga/pdfs/workshops/Workshop Registration Form.pdf) from the NYSBGA website, fill it out and return it ASAP—don’t miss out on the Western NY workshop, which is December 14th!  Workshop registration is $25 per person for NYSBGA Members, and $50 per person for Non-Members, which includes lunch and take-home materials.

The Portland, NY Workshop Program is packed with information, as the other two workshops will be, as well:

  • strawberry cultivars for low tunnels
  • choosing and recycling tunnel plastic
  • using tools to predict weather events
  • disease and insect management
  • growing raspberries in high tunnels
  • using exclusion netting to protect against SWD
  • hands-on activities
  • a take-home resource guide and supplies

Look for DEC pesticide applicator re-certification credits in categories 1A, 22, 23 and 10.

Participants can save on workshop registration by joining the NYSBGA. 2017 Membership is $125 and applies to two individuals per farm.  Associate Membership is $75 for non-profit agricultural professionals. Business members can join for $250 and receive two advertisements in the NYSBGA newsletter, which reaches berry growers throughout the state and online.

NYSBGA Workshop dates and locations:

December 14, 2016:
CLEREL (Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Lab)
6592 West Main Road, Portland, NY, 14769
Register by December 7th — Late registrations are being accepted

January 17, 2017:
Oncenter Convention Center Syracuse, NY during the EXPO
Register for this workshop via the Empire State Producers EXPO at nysvga.org/expo/information/

March 7, 2017:
Cornell Cooperative Extension Suffolk County Extension Education Center
423 Griffing Avenue, Suite 100, Riverhead, New York 11901-3071
Register by February 28th

The workshops are sponsored by the NYS Berry Growers Association, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with funding support from the NYS Legislature.

For more Workshop details visit:www.hort.cornell.edu/grower/nybga/
Contact: Cara Fraver, NYSBGA
(646) 284-7762
nysbga@gmail.com

Register now for Cornell Fruit Field Day, July 20, Geneva, N.Y.

fruit compositePre-registration deadline is July 15 @ noon. Walk-in registrations will not be available, you must pre-register. Register now.

fruit compositeRepost from June 24. From Art Agnello, Dept. of Entomology, NYSAES:

Mark your calendars for the Cornell Fruit Field Day, to be held in Geneva on Wednesday, July 20.  The 2016 version of this triennial event will feature ongoing research in berries, hops, grapes, and tree fruit, and is being organized by Cornell University, the NYS Agricultural Experiment Station, CALS Fruit Program Work Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension.  All interested persons are invited to learn about the fruit research under way at Cornell University.  Attendees will be able to select from tours of different fruit commodities.  Details of the program presentations are still being finalized, but the event will feature a number of topics, including:

 Berries

  • Spotted wing drosophila research update in berry crops
  • Hummingbird use, monitoring network
  • Use of exclusion netting for managing spotted wing drosophila in fall raspberries
  • Monitoring spotted wing drosophila for management decisions in summer raspberry and blueberry
  • Behavioral control of spotted wing drosophila using repellents and attract & kill stations
  • Effect of habitat diversity on ecosystem services for strawberries
  • High tunnel production of black and red raspberries
  • Day-neutral strawberries/low tunnel production

 Tree Fruits

  • Apple breeding and genetic studies
  • Research updates on fire blight, apple scab, mildew
  • Bitter pit in Honeycrisp
  • 3D camera canopy imaging
  • Ambrosia beetle management trials
  • Malus selections for potential use in cider production
  • Precision spraying in orchards
  • Role of insects in spreading fire blight in apples
  • Bacterial canker of sweet cherries
  • Rootstocks & training systems for sweet cherry
  • NC-140 rootstock trials on Honeycrisp and Snap Dragon
  • Pear rootstocks & training systems

 Grapes & Hops

  • Sour rot of grapes
  • VitisGen grape breeding project
  • Precision spraying in grapes
  • Managing the spread of leafroll virus in Vinifera grape using insecticides and vine removal
  • Early leaf removal on Riesling
  • Overview of NYSAES hops planting
  • Powdery and downy mildew management in hops
  • Hops weed mgt; mite biocontrol
  • Update on malting barley research

 Also

  • FSMA Produce Safety Rule

Field Day details

The event will take place at the NYSAES Fruit and Vegetable Research Farm South, 1097 County Road No. 4, 1 mile west of Pre-emption Rd. in Geneva, NY.

Arrive at 8:00 AM to get settled in. Tours begin promptly at 8:30 AM and are scheduled in the morning from 8:30 to 11:30 and in the afternoon from 1:30 to 5:00. Lunch will be served at the exhibit tent area between 11:30-12:30.

Visit sponsors anytime from 11:30-1:30

Learn about products and services from:

  • Agro Liquid
  • Arysta Life Science
  • Dow AgroSciences
  • Dupont
  • Farm Credit East, ACA
  • Finger Lakes Trellis Supply
  • LaGasse Works, Inc.
  • Lakeview Vineyard Equipment
  • NY Apple Sales
  • OESCO, Inc
  • Red Jacket Orchards
  • Superior Wind Machine Service
  • Valent USA Corp.
  • Wafler Farms
  • Tastings from War Horse Brewing

To participate as a sponsor, see the registration website or contact Shelly Cowles (315-787-2274; mw69@cornell.edu).

Register now!

Admission fee is $50/person ($40 for additional attendees from the same farm or business), which covers tours, lunch and educational materials. Pre-registration is required. Walk-in registration may be available for a $10 surcharge on the day of the event.  Register on the Cornell Fruit Field Day Event registration page, http://events.cals.cornell.edu/ffd2016

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:  cc746@cornell.edu 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.

Program:

  • 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.

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 visit:www.prideofny.com/PONY/consumer/newEstabAccount.do.

The Pride of NY website also lists harvest times and availability of fresh New York produce, depending on the season:www.prideofny.com/PONY/consumer/viewHarvestCalendar.do.

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.

Brochure.

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

Agenda

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)

Break
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

 

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