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Plantations lecture series starts August 24

Cornell PlantationsCornell Plantations fall lecture series kicks off August 24 at 5:30 p.m. in Call Alumni Auditorium, Kennedy Hall. Visit Cornell Plantations website for information about times, locations and speakers for this year’s series:

August 24
Literature, Life, Gardens: The Influence of Vita Sackville-West
Molly Hite, Professor of English, Cornell University &
David McDonald, Photographer

September 7
The World Condensed; A Global Pursuit and Passion for Plants
Dan Hinkley, plant explorer and author

September 21
Learning from the Nature of New York: The State and Environmental Policy
David Stradling, Professor of History and author

October 5
Glad to Have Evolved
Olivia Judson, D. Phil., biologist and writer

October 19
Tea’s Flavors : A Celebration of Humans Working with Nature
Michael Harney, master tea blender and author

November 2
Grow the Good Life
Michele Owens, author

In the news

Recent articles of horticultural interest in the Cornell Chronicle:

Starting a vineyard a costly endeavor, economists find [August 1, Amanda Garris] – Dyson School professor emeritus Gerald White’s latest Cost of Establishment and Production of Vinifera Grapes in the Finger Lakes Region of New York report finds that in 2010 it cost $18,880 per acre to establish a vineyard in the Finger Lakes.

Cornell helps Welch’s perfect its purple juice [July 26, Amanda Garris] – In public-private partnership, Cornell food scientists help Welch’s solve problems with “green” aroma and color changes in their purple grape juice.

Retrofits save megawatts — and megabucks — in Cornell greenhouses [July 6, Mary Woodson] – $600,000 greenhouse and growth chamber project financed in part by the New York State Research and Development Authority will reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by at least 667 metric tons, maintenance costs by $458,000 a year, and improve growing conditions.

Also, view more pictures from President Skorton’s tour of CUAES facilities at CALS flickr page.

President Skorton at Dilmun Hill

Raspberry High Tunnel Open House Aug. 25

Raspberry high tunnels at NYSAES in Geneva

Raspberry high tunnels at NYSAES in Geneva

Thursday, August 25, 2011, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Geneva, N.Y.

Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station invites you to a Raspberry High Tunnel Open House featuring a primocane fruiting raspberry trial in a multi-bay commercial tunnel system at the Lucy-Robbins Farm in the town of Geneva, N.Y.

Take the opportunity to tour the facility, sample fruit from the variety trial and the Cornell Raspberry Breeding Program and ask questions about high tunnels, production practices, pest control and other aspects of raspberry culture. Dr. Courtney Weber will host the event and be on hand to answer questions and offer insights into growing raspberries under high tunnels.

The Lucy-Robbins farm of the NYSAES is located approximately 2 miles west of the Experiment Station at 3320 Sutton Rd. (Google map) 0.9 mile south off County Rd. 4 (County Rd. 4 is North St. in Geneva on the North side of the Station). Sutton Rd. runs north and south between County Rd. 4 and NYS Routes 5&20. From Routes 5&20 turn north at the Time Warner Cable Offices approximately 1.5 miles west of the Geneva Walmart.

The Open House is free and open to the public. Registration is requested for logistics and planning. Please register with Lou Ann Rago at (315) 787-2394 or

For questions or more information contact Dr. Courtney Weber at (315) 787-2395 or

View Cornell production guide: High Tunnel Raspberries and Blackberries

They said it: Miller and Rossi

Bill Miller“It is not the soil pH by itself but the availability of aluminum.”

Bill Miller explaining what influences the color of hydrangea blossoms and why a single bush can have different-colored flowers in The Pink and the Blue in the August 1 New York Times.

“As for a multicolored plant, Dr. Miller suggested two explanations: In limey soil, a plant that started out blue may make a partial transition to pink; or near new construction, where fill soil has been brought in, some roots may be in acidic soil, while five feet away, others are exposed to aluminum ions.”

Frank Rossi“Most landscape managers, especially in areas with adequate rainfall take their high quality irrigation water for granted. If the population continues to grow, the leadership effort by the turf industry in using effluent water could be viewed as facilitating ‘smart growth.’ In other words, communities will need landscapes as outlets for society’s waste, whether it is water or compost.”

Frank Rossi in Reclaimed water, cover story in July 27 issue of Lawn and Landscape.

Landscapes and Lawns webinar Oct. 3

Landscapes & Lawns – A Timely Update for Green Industry Professionals

The 2011 Cornell University Cooperative Extension Landscape Webinar Series continues:

Nina  Bassuk
Nina Bassuk

Frank Rossi
Frank Rossi

Date: Monday October 3, 2011 from 5:15 PM – 7:45 PM
Location: Your county Cornell Cooperative Extension office can host this webinar broadcast at their local office. Individual access is not available at this time.

Tree Roots and Tree Health: How Much Space is Needed?
Nina Bassuk, Ph.D., Professor and Director of Cornell’s Urban Horticulture Institute will discuss the latest research pertaining to understanding the soil volume required for growing healthy, pest-free urban trees.

Turfgrass ShortCUTT’s: What’s Up?
Cornell University Associate Professor & NYS Turfgrass Extension Specialist Frank Rossi, Ph.D., will update professionals about timely seasonal pest and environmental stress factors that managers are contending with in the final weeks of the 2011 growing season. Particular emphasis will be placed on using an integrated, environmentally-responsible pest management approach.

** NYS DEC Credits, ISA CEU’s and GCSAA Education Points been applied for these programs**

Update: DEC credits are 2.00 in 3a, 10 and 25 as well as 1.00 in 3b

Contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office find out if they will be hosting this webinar. Contact info is here:

Recording of other programs sponsored by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Sustainable Landscapes-Horticulture Program Work Team are available at:

Eastern broccoli project featured on All Things Considered

Thomas BjorkmanNational Public Radio’s All Things Considered featured a 3-minute story August 8 on the Eastern broccoli project, including an interview with project leader Thomas Björkman (right).


The project was also featured in a story in the August 7 Roanoke Times, Bringing broccoli back East.

Abby Seaman named vegetable IPM coordinator

Abby SeamanVia news release from Mary Woodson.

GENEVA, N.Y. — Abby Seaman, a vegetable crops specialist with the New York State Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program at Cornell University, has been named the Program’s vegetable IPM coordinator. Seaman, a nationally recognized authority, is widely known to New York growers for her real-time alerts on potentially devastating disease and insect pests in their areas. These alerts help them cope with pests with least-toxic methods.

“Abby Seaman has worked extensively with farmers to implement biological control of insect pests,” says Don Rutz, director of the New York State IPM Program. “She is also a well-known pest information resource for organic farmers.”

Seaman, previously the Program’s vegetable IPM educator, brings nearly two decades of expertise in pest management to the position. Over that time she has provided hundreds of workshops training thousands of growers in IPM techniques—scouting, thresholds, biological control, and more—to help them prevent and manage insect, disease, and weed pests.

Seaman is a graduate of Cornell University with an M.S. in entomology. She replaces Curt Petzoldt, the Program’s vegetable coordinator since 1985. “Abby’s vast experience in New York vegetable production will provide a seamless transition,” says Rutz.

Integrated pest management brings together a suite of tactics that help protect the environment—and their bottom line. To learn more about IPM, go to

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