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Dealing with flooded fields

Via Steve Reiners and Marvin Pritts:

“Record-breaking rains in eastern New York State have left many vegetable and berry growers in dire straits. What had been shaping up to be a decent season has quickly turned into a nightmare with crops under water in many locations. Growers have been asking many questions as to what they can do in the short and long term.”

In response, Steve Reiners and Marvin Pritts compiled these suggestions for coping:

One critical concern: Do not use fruits and vegetables that were at or near harvest at the time of flooding if the source of flooding was streams or surface water:

There are two types of flooding. The first is more typical and occurs after a heavy downpour when fields become saturated and water pools on the soil surface. This type of flooding can reduce yields and even kill plants but usually will not result in contamination of produce with human pathogens.

The second type of flooding is more severe and unfortunately occurred with the recent storm. This occurs due to runoff from stream/river overflows will more likely be contaminated with human pathogens, as well as chemicals.

Unless you are absolutely sure that flooding is not from streams and surface water, do not use fruits and vegetables that were at or near harvest at the time of flooding.

Update from Steve Reiners (9/28/2011):

This factsheet from the University of Vermont contains great information for growers that are dealing with produce from flooded fields. I think it has answers to a lot of the questions we are getting in eastern New York: Frequently Asked Questions About Handling Flooded Produce.

Friday Open House at Dilmun Hill & MacDaniels Nut Grove

Dilmun HillFriday, September 2, 4:30 – 7:00 PM

Tour Dilmun Hill Student Farm and MacDaniels Nut Grove forest farming research and education center, learn about sustainable vegetable production and student-led research, and get your hands dirty with activities such as mushroom inoculation.

A delicious dinner will be provided (feel free to bring a snack to share if desired).

Contact: Betsy Leonard, 607-423-8366.


‘Connecting with students’ resources

In lieu of hard-copy handouts, resources for today’s seminar with David Way, associate director, Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence are below:

Sample “Civility contract”

Active Learning—On-Line Resources



Research helping northern N.Y. high tunnel growers extend harvest, sales into fall

Northern New York grower Rob Hastings holds a handful of raspberries grown in one of his Rivermede Farms high tunnels.

Northern New York grower Rob Hastings holds a handful of raspberries grown in one of his Rivermede Farms high tunnels.

From Kara Dunn

While consumers are enjoying fresh, locally-grown sweet tomatoes and crispy greens from Northern New York’s market gardeners, the growers are drawing on Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP)-supported high tunnel research to extend production and sales into the fall season.

“Each high tunnel grower has his or her own crop plan and growing conditions. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program season extension projects provide regional growers with first-hand and shared experiences to help them achieve maximum efficiency and profitability,” says project co-leader Amy Ivy, director of Cornell Cooperation Extension Clinton County, Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Regional growers have been applying NNYADP project results on how to graft tomatoes for high tunnel production, how to use seeding date to influence the production of three different greens, and the benefit of regular soil nutrient testing.

Tomatoes are a popular and profitable tunnel crop for fresh market vegetable growers.

“Grafting desirable tomato varieties onto vigorous, disease-resistant rootstock has shown significant results. All four varieties we graft-tested in 2010 outgrew and outproduced the non-grafted plants well into October,” says Cornell University Horticulture Professor H.C. Wien.

Trials with spinach, arugula and lettuce crops at the Cornell E.V. Baker Research Farm at Willsboro, N.Y., evaluated different seeding dates: August 21, September 5 and September 30 for spinach, arugula and lettuce. The crops were seeded in a high tunnel, a movable high tunnel, and outdoors with low cover.

“Planting date had a major influence on the productivity of the greens under all three season extension systems. A two-week difference in planting date reduced the number of harvests by half. The data illustrates the importance of a mid-late August planting to optimize fall-winter greens production under Northern New York growing conditions,” says Baker Farm Manager Michael Davis.

The trials also show that the quality of the greens could be maintained longer, without heat, by adding an additional low cover over the crop in the high tunnel. The crop could be harvested once it thawed during the day through December.

Fresh market grower and poultry producer Beth Spaugh-Barber of Rehoboth Homestead in Peru, N.Y., participated with the evaluation of foliar nutrient testing. The testing provides valuable information on the level of nutrients in plant leaves during the growth period.

Spaugh says, “Whenever the local and state Cornell Cooperative Extension staff visit the farm as part of a project, they notice things I have ignored and share really helpful ideas that improve our production and bottom line. The trips we made as part of this Northern New York project to farms that have been using high tunnels longer were nuts-and-bolts learning experiences.”

Adam Hainer of Juniper Hill Farm has created his own unique movable high tunnel that rolls on pipes at his farm in Wadhams, N.Y.. He says, “These regional research trials allow growers to see results before we invest in a system that may not have any potential for payback or profit. When the results are positive, we can invest confidently and have a regional resource to help us manage the new enterprise.”

Twelve growers attending one of the project’s farmer-to-farmer season extension learning workshops indicated an interest in adding high tunnels to their farms in St. Lawrence and Jefferson counties.

High tunnel production information for northern New York growers is online at

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program conducts research in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. The New York State Legislature and Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station are program funders.

See also: Cornell High Tunnels website.

Farmers Market at Cornell opens September 1

Buy fresh, local foods on Ho Plaza Thursdays 11 to 3.

Buy fresh, local foods on Ho Plaza Thursdays 11 to 3.

There’s a new place to buy fresh, local foods on the Cornell campus: The Farmers Market at Cornell.

Season: Sept 1 – Oct 20
Hours: Thurs, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Ho Plaza

Vendors include:

  • Cornell Orchards
  • Dilmun Hill Student Organic Farm
  • Fruits and Roots Juices
  • Manndible Café
  • Snow Farm Creamery
  • Wide Awake Bakery
  • XEO Vietnamese restaurant

Dilmun Hill will continue its farmstand on the Ag Quad in front of Mann Library (inside if raining) but on Mondays 3 to 5:30 p.m.

60+ learn about reducing chemicals on golf turf at Bethpage

Jennifer Grant (black shirt), co-project leader, explains how the “environmental impact quotient” is used to help select softer products and determine success of various pest management approaches.

Jennifer Grant (black shirt), co-project leader, explains how the “environmental impact quotient” is used to help select softer products and determine success of various pest management approaches.

From Frank Rossi and Jennifer Grant:

More than 60 turf professionals attended the Reducing Chemical Use on Golf Courses – Redefining IPM field day held at the Bethpage State Park on Tuesday August 18.

The tour began with an overview of the 11-year project still underway on the Green Course, and then the attendees headed out onto the course to view the project. Jennifer Grant, NYSIPM program, and Frank Rossi, Department of Horticulture, — assisted by Andrew Wilson, Bethpage Golf Course Superintendent, and Kathe Wegman, Bethpage IPM Coordinator — provided an overview of the cultural practices and pest management programs that began on the putting greens and now are being implemented on the entire course.

Additional funding has been provided the last several years to expand the project to all 27 state park golf courses and publication of the manual “Reducing Chemical Use on Golf Courses – Redefining IPM,” now also available in Spanish.

Below: Bethpage’s Golf Course Superintendent Andy Wilson (right) describes the 11-year collaborative project to reduce the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers on Bethpage’s Green Course. They are pictured on a “Reduced-Risk Biologically-Based” green—one of that creates relatively little environmental impact.
reduced-risk, biologically-based green

Cornell Orchards is open for the season

Buy apples, fruit and more at Cornell Orchards.

Buy apples, fruit and more at Cornell Orchards.

Looking for apples, fruit, and more? The Cornell Orchards farm store (Rt. 366 across from the Vet School) is open for the season!


See website for latest info.

Through Labor Day: Tuesday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed Labor Day weekend.)
After Labor Day: Tuesday to Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Hours change seasonally, so check the Cornell Orchards website for changes, holiday schedules, etc.

Available now:

  • Sansa, Sunrise and Ginger Gold apples.
  • Peaches, plums, pears, and blackberries.
  • Honey and maple syrup.

View Google map.
Visit the Cornell Orchards website.

SOHO kicks off semester with winery tour

Tour group at Hunt Country Vineyards, Branchport, N.Y.

Tour group at Hunt Country Vineyards, Branchport, N.Y.

From Franziska Doerflinger:

On the last Sunday before the start of the fall semester, the SOHO graduate student club invited the department on a wine tour around Keuka Lake. This smaller one of the Finger Lakes has a wonderful ambience and fantastic wines.

The tour bus with more than 25 graduates students, faculty, staff and others stopped at Keuka Lake Vineyards, McGregor Vineyards, and Ravines Wine Cellars on the east side of the lake. After those three stops the wonderful lunch prepared by the SOHO social chair Cheni Filios was prepared just outside the tasting room at Ravines Wine Cellar. A wide variety of amazing homemade foods and do-it-yourself sandwiches prepared the group for the second round on the west side of Keuka Lake.

The afternoon went fast with a short stop at Heron Hill Winery and last but not least Hunt Country Vineyards. The last stop surprised us with a guided tour through the winemaking facilities and good explanations of how to make wine. Overall, the tour was a great success with participants from Ithaca and Geneva. Especially appreciated was the participation of so many of the new students.

Learning about wine at Hunt Country Vineyards

Learning about wine at Hunt Country Vineyards

New time for seminar series

Thomas Björkman discusses a project he’s leading to help develop an East Coast broccoli industry at a Feb. 7, 2011 Department of Horticulture seminar.

The Department of Horticulture seminar series kicks off Monday, August 29 with ‘A conversation about connecting with students’ featuring David Way, associate director, Cornell Center for Teaching Excellence.

The seminars will be held most Mondays in 404 Plant Sciences (and via Polycom to A134 Barton Hall in Geneva) at a new time 12:20 to 1:10 p.m.

View full schedule.

View seminar videos.

News roundup

DeAnna D'Attilio '12

DeAnna D'Attilio '12

In an August 18 Cornell Chronicle article, Summer internship gives viticulture senior a taste of vineyard management, undergraduate coordinator for the Cornell viticulture and enology program Kari Richards details the experiences of DeAnna D’Attilio ’12 as an extension intern at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center (LIHREC) in Riverhead, N.Y. D’Attilio took charge of a project to learn more about how undervine groundcovers can reduce herbicide use and vine vigor in vinifera wine grapes. See also the August 2011 issue of Appellation Cornell for more viticulture and enology news.

Cornell Orchards is scheduled to open for the season August 23. More information coming soon.

Congratulations to Polyxeni (Cheni) Filios ‘08, a master’s degree candidate in horticulture. Cheni received the Goldsmith Seeds Floriculture Business Advancement Scholarship from Syngenta. Her graduate studies are focusing on the potential harmful effects that can occur in floriculture crops when passing from the producer to the consumer, as well as post-harvest degradation that occurs throughout the floriculture chain.

Scott Peters

Scott Peters

You can now follow the Cornell Garden-Based Learning program on Facebook. You can also follow the program’s Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners website on Facebook.

Associate professor Scott Peters ‘chat in the stacks’ at Mann Library on Democracy and Higher Education Traditions and Stories of Civic Engagement is now available in both video and audio podcasts.

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