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Extension and outreach

New state pollinator protection plan announced

Dean Kathryn Boor speaks at Cornell’s Dyce Lab for Honey Bee Studies in Varna, New York, June 24, at an event to announce recommendations outlined in the NYS Pollinator Protection Plan. (Patrick Shanahan/University Photography)

Dean Kathryn Boor speaks at Cornell’s Dyce Lab for Honey Bee Studies in Varna, New York, June 24, at an event to announce recommendations outlined in the NYS Pollinator Protection Plan. (Patrick Shanahan/University Photography)

Cornell Chronicle [2016-06-27]

State officials and Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell’s College of the Agriculture and Life Sciences, announced recommendations of the New York State Pollinator Task Force at Cornell’s Dyce Lab for Honey Bee Studies in Varna, New York, June 24.

The 2016-17 state budget includes $500,000 to help implement practices and conduct research outlined in a New York State Pollinator Protection Plan developed by the task force and its advisers.

“Pollinators are critical to food production worldwide, and as a consequence they contribute in a very important way to our state’s, our national and our global economies,” Boor said. “Apples, squash, pumpkins, pears, tomatoes, strawberries, cherries all are among the pollinator-dependent crops that annually generate more than $500 million for New York state’s agricultural economy.”

At the same time, according to research, managed honeybees and native pollinators are in serious decline.

Read the whole article.

A digger bee forages on blueberry flowers. Previous research has shown that bees pass parasites and pathogens to each other when they forage on wildflowers, but the details of exactly how disease is spread through diverse communities of bees is unclear. (Photo: Scott McArt)

A digger bee forages on blueberry flowers. Previous research has shown that bees pass parasites and pathogens to each other when they forage on wildflowers, but the details of exactly how disease is spread through diverse communities of bees is unclear. (Photo: Scott McArt)

See also: Scientists to examine spread of disease in bees with NIH grant Cornell Chronicle [2016-06-27]

A team led by Cornell researchers has received a five-year, $2.2 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop an approach to better understand how pathogens that infect bees and other pollinators are spread.

In New York state alone, 13 percent of bee species are experiencing declining ranges and populations. Nationwide, beekeepers are losing close to half of their honeybee colonies every year, in part due to disease.

Scientists have identified key viral, bacterial and fungal pathogens that cause bee diseases and lead to declining populations. This decline is a major concern as pollinators – especially wild and managed bees – are critical to native ecosystems and agricultural crops, providing the equivalent of billions of dollars in pollination annually.

Read the whole article.

Cornell Fruit Field Day, July 20, Geneva, N.Y.

fruit compositeFrom 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

Video: Minisymposium tribute to Peter Davies

Peter Davies, now and then. (Photo: Matt Hayes, CALS Communications)

Peter Davies, now and then. (Photo: Matt Hayes, CALS Communications)

If you missed Friday’s minisymposium in honor of Peter Davies’ 46 years of research and teaching in the Plant Sciences at Cornell highlighting the changes that have taken place in plant hormone biology over the last 40 years and how Davies contributed to progress in the field, it’s available online.

The symposium featured three talks:

  • Hormones and Plant Development – Jim Reid, Distinguished Professor, University of Tasmania
  • Global Aspects of Plant Biotechnology – Sarah Evanega, Director, Cornell Alliance for Science
  • Plant Politics – Ron Herring, Professor, Department of Government, Cornell University

Read more about the symposium in CALS Notes.

Reunion events

Lots of events of plant science interest at the 2016 reunion June 9-12, including:

Tanksley, Martin, Giovannoni, and McCouch

Tanksley, Martin, Giovannoni, and McCouch

In addition, Cornell Plantations will be hosting walks, tours and other events including a plant sale June 11.

Geneva recognitions

Photos from Thomas Björkman from NYSAES horticulture recognitions June 3:

perrine
PhD student Archana Khadgi won the 2016 Perrine Award. The Perrine award recognizes excellence in pomological research by a graduate student. Archana is studying with Professor Courtney Weber (right), using genomic techniques to create phythophthora-resistant raspberries.

 

shaulis
The Nelson Shaulis scholar for 2016, Corrigan Herbert (right), is congratulated by her supervisor for the summer, CCE Viticulturist Hans Walter-Peterson. Corrigan is a student in the wine program at Finger Lakes Community College. The FLCC wine program operates from a new dedicated building at the Ag Tech Park adjacent to the Station.

 

ballersteinx640
Jim Ballerstein, Research Support Specialist, received a 30-year service award from Horticulture Chair Steve Reiners. Jim runs one of the premier vegetable variety trial programs in the country. The program brings in substantial funding, and takes Jim on trips to conferences and company visits at home and abroad.

 

scholars
The Horticulture Section’s Summer Scholars arrived at the Station this week. The Geneva Summer Scholar program brings in excellent undergraduates from around the country for six weeks of research experience and a field course in agriculture. Many go on to graduate programs at Cornell and elsewhere.  Left to right: Brianna Moore (William Smith College/Smart Lab), Lisa Kime (Penn State/Griffiths Lab), Anna Agloro (Saint Martin’s University/Smart Lab), Sofia Gonzalez-Martinez (University of Puerto Rico/Brown Lab), Alexi Nystrom (Newberry College/Xu Lab), Ari Heitler-Klevans (Oberlin College/Smart Lab), Catharina Ortiz-Thomazella (University of Wisconsin-River Falls/Taylor Lab), Carlie Leary (The New School/Smart Lab).

Freezes kill peaches, but apples could rally

In an article at Hot Potato Press, writer Carrie Koplinka-Loehr interviews Gregory Peck, assistant professor in the Horticulture Section, Mario Miranda Sazo, area fruit specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and local farmers to assess the condition of local fruit crops in light of the Valentine’s Day and early April freezes.

Read the article.

Greg Peck dissects fruit buds to assess frost damaage.

Greg Peck dissects fruit buds in his lab to assess damage.

Farm Ops initiative opens new fields to veterans

Anu Rangarajan

Anu Rangarajan

Cornell Chronicle [2016-05-24]:

New York agriculture faces a looming employment crisis, but not the kind that normally leaves job seekers skittish.

A rise in job capacity in the agriculture industry is not being met with enough skilled people ready to fill the expected surge in high-paying, productive careers. An innovative Cornell project is betting that military veterans are the answer.

Farm Ops, an initiative from the Cornell Small Farm Program, is the first of its kind in the country to give returning veterans the opportunity to learn agriculture via their G.I. Bill benefits. The program allows earned military benefits to be deployed in agriculture training, opening the way for young, hardworking men and women with the skills to be successful in a technologically advanced field to become the farmers of tomorrow.

“After leaving the military, our veterans enter the workforce with the dedication, grit and work ethic to succeed in whatever they wish to do,” said Anu Rangarajan, director of the Cornell Small Farm Program and senior extension associate in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science. “Until now, the job-training benefits they earned have not been applied to agriculture. Our program offers pathways, information and support to enter the agricultural workforce.

“It’s a win for our veterans and a win for the New York agricultural industry that desperately needs these talented people,” she said.

Read the whole article.

Relationships drive Cornell Vegetable Program’s reach

Hoover speaks with Cornell Vegetable Program specialist Judson Reid '94 in a climate-controlled high tunnel. (Photo: R.J. Anderson/Cornell Cooperative Extension)

Hoover speaks with Cornell Vegetable Program specialist Judson Reid ’94 in a climate-controlled high tunnel. (Photo: R.J. Anderson/Cornell Cooperative Extension)

Cornell Chronicle [2016-05-09]:

Commercial vegetable grower Nelson Hoover does not own a car, a computer or a degree. In fact, the 28-year-old never attended high school. But for over a decade, Hoover, a member of the Groffdale Mennonite Conference in Penn Yan, New York, has been one of the Cornell Vegetable Program’s (CVP) most trusted research partners.

A Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) regional agriculture team, CVP assists farmers in 12 western New York counties – the largest vegetable-producing region in the state – by helping them apply Cornell research and expertise to their local growing operations.

Two of those counties, Yates and Seneca, are home to the highest concentration of Old Order communities in the state. As their populations grows, the Amish and Mennonite influence on the area’s agriculture markets has followed suit. They now operate 99 percent of dairy farms in the area and own of one of the region’s largest produce auctions, which has grown by $185,000 annually over the last 12 years.

Working to maximize vegetable quality and output in Yates and Seneca counties is Cornell-trained horticulturist and CVP extension vegetable specialist Judson Reid ’94. Specializing in small-farm operations and high tunnel growing, Reid has become a trusted agricultural voice – even within those sects not typically receptive to outside influence.

Read the whole article.

In the news

From Picture Cornell May 4:

Students peruse the colorful offerings by Hortus Forum during an Earth Day display, April 20. (Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography)

Students peruse the colorful offerings by Hortus Forum during an Earth Day display, April 20. (Photo: Jason Koski/University Photography)

Boots on the farm: Helping military vets enter agriculture [CALS Notes 2016-03-03] –  Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and the Cornell Small Farms Program (CFSP) are helping military veterans find new career opportunities in agriculture.

New toolkit clarifies agricultural economic assessment [Cornell Chronicle 2016-03-03] –  A Cornell University economist has teamed up with the Agricultural Marketing Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other researchers to provide a standardized toolkit to evaluate the economic benefits of investing in local and regional food systems.

Jim Giovannoni elected to the National Academy of Sciences [Discovery that Connects (SIPS blog) 2016-03-03] – Jim Giovannoni (SIPS Section of Plant Biology Adjunct Faculty) was among 84 new members elected to the National Academy of Sciences on May 3. Giovannoni, BTI staff member and plant molecular biologist with ARS, researches the genetics and regulation of fruit ripening, with particular focus on tomato.

 

Video: Conservatory ribbon-cutting

If you missed yesterday’s remarks and ribbon-cutting at the Student Open House at the Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory, it’s available online.

Kevin Nixon, Glenn Evans, Alan Collmer and Ed Cobb cut the ribbon.

Kevin Nixon, Glenn Evans, Alan Collmer and Ed Cobb cut the ribbon.

Bonus video: The Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory – History, features, plants.

More information: Visit the Conservatory website.

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