“Greg Peck, a post-doctoral associate at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, points out that in Europe, IFP is effectively assimilating the entire market due to overwhelming retailer demand. That is, any growers who did not use IFP would be an anomaly and have difficulty marketing their fruit. In the U.S., however, only a few marketing firms currently sell under the IFP system. However, Peck believes that, ‘over the long term, governmental regulation of broad-spectrum pesticides will likely push more growers toward being de facto IFP.’ …
“Peck has done research with Ian Merwin, a professor in Cornell’s department of horticulture specializing in sustainable fruit production in the U.S. and abroad. They wrote in a report that both IFP and organic ‘apple production systems offer an alternative to the conventional apple production systems that have the potential to adversely affect agroecosystems and the environment at large, agricultural workers and their families, and the health of consumers.’”
Once again, Department of Horticulture volunteers led by Marcia Eames-Sheavly set up flowers at venues all around campus graduation weekend. Special mention goes to the Saturday tear-down crew who got drenched in a sudden storm just before completing their work. For information about purchasing red and white graduation geraniums, contact: BZ Marranca: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update 5/28/2009:From Jenny Rothenberg, Greenhouse Grower, Ken Post Lab Greenhouses… We will be selling geraniums Thursday 5/28 from 10-4 at the KPL Greenhouse on Tower Road. They are big showy plants with lots of flowers- red and white. $7.00 a pot. The greenhouse is located on Tower Road, diagonal from the dairy bar towards the vet school. (second driveway on the left).
Graduation volunteers from the Department of Horticulture pose with their work at Schoellkopf Field stage.
Watch out Big Apple and northern New Jersey. It looks like the viburnum leaf beetles (VLBs) are headed your way, if they’re not already in your neighborhood. Here’s what you can expect when larvae hatch in spring:
John Jordan, Natural Resources Supervisor at Prospect Park Alliance has found evidence of the beetle there, and says that there was a confirmed report on North Brother Island (between Manhattan and Queens) last year. VLBs are suspected to be in some of the larger parks in the Bronx, northern Manhattan and northern Queens. Native plant enthusiast William Wyman has recorded damage in Delaware Township Hunterdon County, N.J., 70 miles west, and they’ve also been spotted in Putnam County, N.Y., 60 miles north.
The viburnum leaf beetle, Pyrrhalta viburni (Paykull), is an invasive, non-native beetle that first appeared in New York along Lake Ontario in 1996, and has steadily spread across the state and down the Hudson Valley. It is a voracious eater that can defoliate viburnum shrubs entirely. Plants may die after two or three years of heavy infestation, particularly when larvae strip plants after hatching out in spring followed by heavy adult feeding later in summer.
Tom Whitlow‘s work studying the effects of trees on airborne particulate pollution is one of the projects profiled in CALS Fights for Urban Well-Being in the Spring 2009 issue of CALS News. (Page down to subhead Finding Out if Trees Filter Air Pollution.)
Whitlow and collaborators combined wind tunnel studies with real-world monitoring in New York City:
“One of the spikes [in particulates] we saw correlated directly with an entry in the data book that said ‘Strong smell of barbecue!’” he says. “And I think it would be even more difficult to regulate barbecue than auto emissions. It is a very complex picture. Our studies show some unexpected results that are difficult to interpret.”
One thing is clear: we can’t plant enough trees in cities to cleanse the air, even if the greens did provide the ecosystem service of filtering pollutants. But monitoring particulates where human activity occurs can certainly help us decide how to regulate for cleaner air.
If you’ve visited the Cornell University homepage this week, chances are you saw a familiar face smiling at you from the banner: Raymond Jacobs, graduating senior, plant science major and president of Hortus Forum, the undergraduate student horticulture club. Jacobs was one of the seniors featured by the Cornell Chronicle in their annual series of stellar soon-to-be grads.
Being active in Hortus Forum, the undergraduate horticulture club. It grows and sells plants on campus, raising money for educational trips to explore the many areas of plant science. Besides meeting many of my closest friends through the club, Hortus Forum has provided a hands-on approach to learning that perfectly complemented my education in plant sciences. I was elected president of the club for my senior year and have learned a great deal through the challenges of this position.
From Violet Stone, NY SARE Outreach Coordinator comes the Spring, 2009 Issue of the NY Sustainable Ag Quarterly. “You will read about the many creative approaches farms and organizations in NY are taking toward sustainable farming. Learn about the latest funding opportunities. Discover how farmers use grant money to explore research projects that advance the economic and environmental viability of their farms.”
In additioni to profiling Tom Whitlow’s Beach Plum work, the newsletter details NESARE funding opportunities and summarizes research and education projects funded in 2009.
“In a ceremony April 23, alumni and friends of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) dedicated the newly installed rooftop garden on the southern end of Mann Library as the Susan A. Henry Garden Terrace in honor of her significant contributions to Cornell. …
“John Dyson ’65, past chair of the CALS Advisory Council, and Janet McCue, former director of Mann Library, oversaw the beautification of the space, once an unsightly concrete expanse. They worked with students in Peter Trowbridge’s landscape architecture class to design the garden, which will be maintained by Nina Bassuk, professor of horticulture, and her students.
“‘Susan is a great gardener and a strong advocate for libraries,’ said Janet McCue, associate university librarian. ‘What better place to dedicate in her honor than the terrace adjacent to Mann Library, an environment that fosters intellectual exploration and nurtures community.’”
Vanden Heuvel, the project’s principal investigator, adds that a big part of the project will be to determine how much more consumers are willing to pay for the wines to offset the extra expense of the canopy management.
Unlike in the arid west, where vine growth is limited by scant moisture, grape vines in the Northeast run rampant, fueled by our better soils and more-than-adequate rainfall. But the rank growth holds moisture – encouraging disease – and shades the clusters – which need sun to develop the nuanced flavors that command higher prices when made into wine.
By thinning shoots in May and removing leaves in the fruiting zone to expose clusters to sun after the fruit has set, most growers should be able to reduce fungicide use and improve the flavor and aroma profiles of their wine, hopefully increasing the price their wine can be sold for. ”In 2008, we saw much less botrytis in vineyards where growers used canopy management,” notes Vanden Heuvel.
Vanden Heuvel’s team will be working with six growers, harvesting grapes from test plots with and without canopy management and making them in to wine at Cornell’s Vinification and Brewing Technology Laboratory in Geneva. The wines will be used in consumer preference studies, and a full economic analysis will determine the profitability of canopy management practices.
“We can tell growers that they’ll have less disease and that their grapes will have better flavors and aromas with canopy management. But if they can’t sell the wine for more, there is little incentive to adopt these practices,” observes Vanden Heuvel.
Extension staff will work with 43 growers to choose cover crops to solve their specific soil health problems and to test the effectiveness of the new practice. By identifying the cover crops best suited to specific management goals, growers will get more value from them and be able to improve both their environmental impact and their financial bottom line.