Tree of 40 Fruit
Art meets horticulture in this artist’s grafted stone fruit trees, using varieties gleaned from orchard at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

The Tree of 40 Fruit Is Exactly as Awesome as It Sounds [epicurious.com interview]

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Sarah Pethybridge

Sarah Pethybridge

Via Station News:

It was announced earlier this week that Dr. Sarah Pethybridge will be joining the Station faculty as assistant professor of plant pathology and plant-microbe biology. Pethybridge comes to Cornell from Down Under, where she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Tasmania, Australia in 2000. Since then, she has held positions as Agricultural Research, Development and Extension Manager for Botanical Resources Australia Pty, and served as Science Group Leader (Field Crops) at The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research.

Dr. Pethybridge has made substantial contributions in the epidemiology and management of virus diseases in the hop plant, an essential ingredient in beer production. She has received numerous awards, including the American Phytopathological Society’s Syngenta Award, the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology’s Agri-Industry Award, and the University of Tasmania’s Foundation Award for Outstanding Graduates.

Her research and extension program at the Station will focus on understanding and managing diseases of vegetable crops.

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From Christopher Dunn, Ph.D., the E. N. Wilds Director of Cornell Plantations:

Our big-leafed magnolia, sadly, has many serious structural and disease issues, which combined pose a significant risk of failure. And so it is with great regret that our treasured big-leafed magnolia will come downby the end of season.

Read the whole article. [Cornell Plantations news 2014-07-18]

Lee Dean, Lead Arborist, discusses his careful and thoughtful decision to remove this much beloved specimen from the collection at the end of the 2014 growing season:

Saying Goodbye to an Old Friend… from Cornell Plantations on Vimeo.

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Research at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility is in full flower …

Technician Pat MacRae tends more than 600 varieties of David Austen roses in a newly planted five-year trial.

Technician Pat MacRae tends more than 600 David Austin roses (representing 80 varieties) in a newly planted multi-year trial.

Flower Bulb Research Program's lily variety trial.

Flower Bulb Research Program’s lily variety trial.

Pallet planters

This year’s annual flower trials also features edibles, some in planters made from recycled pallets.

Perennial flower plots

Perennial flower plots.

The Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility is not open to the public. But you can register for the annual Cornell Floriculture Field Day August 5, which also features the 11th annual Kathy Pufahl Container Design Competition.

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factsheet coverFrom the USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program:

Having trouble with pests in your greenhouses and high tunnels? Interested in learning more about using biological control to manage them? Read SARE’s new fact sheet, Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels, to learn how beneficial insects can protect crops in season-extending structures and enhance the sustainability of your operation.

SARE-funded researchers at Cornell University found that with a combination of controls, greenhouse and high tunnel pests could be managed effectively and, in some cases, eradicated.

Highlights of 23 New York case studies include the development of an effective combination of parasitic wasps (Aphidius colemani and Aphidius ervi) to eradicate an aphid infestation on winter greens and peppers. And predatory mites (Amblyeius cucumeris) used in conjunction with minute pirate bugs (Orius insidiosus) helped eradicate thrips on cucumbers. Researchers also found that the two-spotted spider mite was effectively managed by applying a parasitic mite (Phytoseiulus persimilis) on eggplant and strawberries. The Nile Delta wasp (Encarsia formosa) helped manage, and in some instances, even eradicate whiteflies on tomatoes.

The fact sheet includes an introduction to biological control, along with colorful photos that can be used to identify pests and their associated crop damage. It also provides specific how-to information on scouting for pests along with detailed release information, including optimal temperature, quantity of natural enemies and timing of release relative to pest populations. Management strategies for control agents, such as predatory mites and parasitic wasps, and a supply list for obtaining biological control agents are also found in the fact sheet.

Download the fact sheet now.

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We’re we’re looking for a talented individual Assistant/Associate Professor of Sustainable Fruit Production (60% research, 40% teaching).

The candidate is expected to develop and direct an externally-funded, nationally-recognized research program on deciduous fruit production systems with emphasis on understanding interactions between the fruiting plant, management practices, and ecosystems, and applying this knowledge to improve the sustainability of fruit crop production systems.

While the candidate can conduct research within any relevant fruit production system, sufficient expertise in tree fruit systems is expected to enable the candidate to teach both Ecological Orchard Management and Fruit Crop Physiology, and to develop an additional course to be offered to support the plant science curriculum. Participation in curriculum development, student recruitment, and undergraduate and graduate student advising will be a component of the teaching responsibility.

Application review begins August 1, 2014 and continue until the position is filled.

Full position description and application instructions.

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From Marvin Pritts, Horticulture Section chair:

Last Monday, 15 interns from Cornell Plantations and Cornell Orchards visited the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., to learn more about the research conducted there, including the berry, grape and apple breeding programs and the USDA germplasm repository. Interns also toured the food science processing plant, walked the station grounds to learn about the landscaping, and were joined for lunch by about 20 summer interns from the experiment station.

Cornell Orchards and Cornell Plantations interns sample  berries growing in high tunnels at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., June 30.

Cornell Orchards and Cornell Plantations interns sample berries growing in high tunnels at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y., June 30.

 

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Reposted from Station News [2014-06-30]:

nysaes greenhouse exteriorDemolition began this week on the Old Range Greenhouses, as contractors continue with the $4.7 million greenhouse renovation at the Station. Once completed, the multi-year project funded by the state will result in the reconstruction of 21,000 square feet of greenhouses that were originally built from the mid-1950s to the early 1970s. The new, state-of-the-art facilities feature new glass, increased eave heights, improved lighting, retractable shade curtains, and upgraded cooling and climate controls, all of which not only improve research capacity, but also optimize energy efficiency.

nysaes greenhouse interiorIn addition to enhancing the capacity for path-breaking research in plant breeding, plant pathology and entomology at the Station, the new greenhouses also improve educational opportunities for more than 50 graduate and undergraduate students who use the facilities, as well as outreach programs designed to engage elementary and high school students.

The project joins several other recent, high-profile investments in the future excellence of the Station, including a new $3.4 million award to the Northeast Center for Food Entrepreneurship, new funding from the state for hops and malting barley research, and new faculty lines from CALS to be awarded at the successful conclusion of the Station’s strategic planning process.

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From Marvin Pritts, Horticulture Section chair:

I’d like to invite you to a lunchtime presentation July 9 at noon in PS 114 where I will share experiences about my recent trip to Peru.

I am calling it a “Journey to Machu Picchu” because it involved four days of spiritual preparation (ceremony, meditation, reflection) with an old Inca guide at several sacred archeological sites before arriving at Machu Picchu at sunrise on the winter solstice. On the winter solstice the sun rises through a notch in the mountains and strikes the temple, causing it to glow in the morning sun.

Other highlights include terraces made with rocks weighing more than 100 tons that fit together perfectly, intricate Incan irrigation systems, stunning scenery, beautiful fabrics and interesting foods.

The winter solstice is also cause for a week of celebrations, dancing and parades in Cusco – the ancient Incan capital city. I will also share some videos of extreme ziplining between mountains, hundreds of feet above the ground.

I hope to see you there.

machu picchu

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cuvee participants in working vines

CUVEE participants working vines.

Cornell experts lead hands-on summer program in grape-growing and winemaking [CALS Notes 2014-06-22] - Wine enthusiasts can explore the science of growing grapes and making wine this summer at the Cornell University Viticulture and Enology Experience (CUVEE) in Ithaca, New York, from July 27 to August 1, 2014. Cornell fruit-crop physiologist Alan Lakso and wine microbiology researcher Kathleen Arnink will mentor participants in the field and classroom.

Inside Job: A New Chip Tells Farmers When to Water [Modern Farmer 2014-06-23] – Alan Lakso, professor emeritus in horticulture, Abraham Stroock, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Vinay Pagay, a Ph.D student at the time, created an electronic microchip water sensor that can be inserted right into grapevines. Pagay says the chips will soon start their testing rounds with Ernest & Julio Gallo Winery of Modesto, California. But the technology has a much broader use than just the wine industry. As the U.S. and other parts of the world labor under a record-breaking drought, the team hopes that their invention can help farmers who are coping with serious water shortages, or work in dry climate areas.

New York looking at outstanding back-to-back apple seasons [The Produce Grower 2014-06-20] – “Last year, we had an excellent crop, a full crop, one of the largest crops in history,” said Jim Allen, president of the New York Apple Association in Fishers, N.Y.  ”This year’s crop is on the tree. Knock on wood, we had no frost damage.”  Two new varieties, SnapDragon and RubyFrost, will be actively promoted this season. “They just really hit the marketplace last winter,” Allen commented. Cornell University, in partnership with New York Apple Growers, announced these varieties last August.

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