Archive for the “Extension and outreach” Category

From Tim MartinsonNorthern Grapes Project Director,  tem2@cornell.edu:

Northern Grapes Project Director Dr. Timothy Martinson speaks about the training system trials during a field day at Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton, N.Y.

Northern Grapes Project Director Tim Martinson speaks about the training system trials during a field day at Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton, N.Y.

The Northern Grapes Project received an additional $2.6 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative to complete the final two years of the multistate effort, which began in 2011.

The project focuses on growing extremely cold-hardy wine grape varieties that are new to both growers and consumers, creating a rapidly-expanding industry of small vineyard and winery enterprises.  Dr. Tim Martinson, Senior Extension Associate at Cornell University, leads the project team, which includes research and Extension personnel from ten institutions in the Upper Midwest and Northeast.

“New producers are spread across twelve states, most without an established wine industry,” said Martinson. “By working together, the Northern Grapes Project team provides more resources to producers than would be available if each state had its own effort.”

The new varieties have growth habits and flavor profiles that are quite different from well-known varieties. So the project’s researchers have been working to determine the best ways to grow them, turn them into flavorful wines, and market those wines in local and regional markets.

In the first three years of the project, team members invested heavily in field and laboratory trials, conducted consumer surveys and a baseline survey of the industry, and provided outreach programming to an aggregate audience of more than 7,000.

“The continued success of this project in obtaining funding is testament to the team’s exceptional productivity and to how this project has impacted grape production in northern regions across the Northeast and upper Midwest,” said Dr. Thomas Burr, Director of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.

“As a producer, having scientists involved is especially valuable to us as they are conducting rigorous tests to back up our hunches and our theories,” said Dave Greenlee, a project advisory council member and co-owner of Tucker’s Walk Vineyard in Garretson, S.D. Greenlee cites trials of various trellising systems in vineyards and sensory evaluations of wines using different yeast strains in the lab. “These save us time and help us improve our products,” he points out.

The grant was funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Specialty Crops Research Initiative, which supports multi-institution, interdisciplinary research on crops including fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and ornamentals.  The project includes personnel from Cornell University, the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, North Dakota State University, South Dakota State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Nebraska, the University of Vermont, and the University of Wisconsin.

For more information, visit the Northern Grapes Project website at http://northerngrapesproject.org.

High resolution image.

The Northern Grape Project’s webinar series starts November 20, 2014 Steve Lerch, Cornell University and Mike White, Iowa State University on Trellis Design and Construction and Pruning Fundamentals Prior to Your First Cut.

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If you missed yesterday’s horticulture seminar Targeting vegetable crop improvement in East Africa with Phillip Griffiths, it’s available online.

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Nearly 50 growers, educators and others attended the Berry Open House hosted at Cornell Orchards and the East Ithaca Research Facility last Friday. Topics covered by faculty and graduate students from several departments,  NYSIPM Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators included day-neutral low tunnel strawberry systems, cranberries, bird deterrents, spotted-wing drosophila management, biopesticides, soil health, trellising systems, berry varieties, pollinators and more.

Attendees view day-neutral low tunnel production system research.

Attendees view day-neutral low tunnel production system research.

Click on thumbnails for larger view.

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pawpawsHave you ever thought of growing pawpaws? Pawpaw is a native fruit with a tropical fruit-like flavor that has been described as a cross between a banana, mango and pineapple. They are rarely found in markets because the fruit is easily damaged when ripe.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County is offering a Pawpaw Production Workshop on Wednesday evening, November 6, 2014 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The workshop will be held at Vince’s Park at the intersection of Rt 314 and Rts 5+20 in Seneca Falls, NY.

Steven Gabriel, from the Cornell Small Farms Program and owner of Wellspring Forest Farm in Mecklenburg NY will be the presenter. Steve has recently co-authored a book called Farming the Woods with Cornell professor Ken Mudge. The workshop will cover various topics related to growing pawpaws including pawpaw management, site selection and sourcing pawpaw trees.

Cost is $15 per Farm or Family

More information and online registration.

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willow harvestLarry Smart is among the presenters at the Willow Biomass Energy Short Course, Nov. 18-19, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse N.Y.

The two-day conference includes classroom and field training in sustainable production and multiple end-uses of shrub willow for heat, power, & environmental benefits!

  • Discover exciting opportunities for rural development with willow biomass energy
  • See how willow is being applied to reduce environmental impacts
  • Learn the latest best practices and applied research for commercial willow crops and how this is improving returns on investment
  • Familiarize yourself with new financial analysis tools for willow biomass crops
  • Tour innovative demonstration projects on the SUNY ESF campus showcasing cutting-edge biomass conversion technologies
  • See willow harvesting equipment available through the NEWBio equipment access program (www.newbio.psu.edu) in action at commercial willow operations and NEWBio demonstration site in northern New York.

Early registration discount deadline is Oct. 18

More information: Willow conference website.

Or  contact: willow@esf.edu or 315-470-6775.

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low_tunnel_strawberriesx450Friday, October 3, 2014
12:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Cornell Orchards, Ithaca, NY

Part 1 of the program will be held at Cornell Orchards, located on Route 366 in Ithaca across from the College of Veterinary Medicine parking lot. Part 2 of the program will be held at the East Ithaca Farm located just around the corner from Cornell Orchards on Maple Ave. A refreshment break will be provided between program sessions.

Topics include:

  • Low tunnels
  • Cranberries
  • Bird and spotted wing drosophila management
  • Biopesticides
  • Soil health
  • Trellising systems
  • Variety Q&A
  • And more.

The open house is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required to ensure adequate transportation, handouts, and refreshments. Please register by phone or e-mail by contacting Cathy Heidenreich, mcm4@cornell.edu, 315-787-2367 no later than Friday, September 26 30, 2014.

Full program line-up and more information.

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resilient ones posterThe Resilient Ones:
A Generation Takes on Climate Change

Go on a journey with a group of high school students seeking solutions to climate change. The Resilient Ones invites you along to meet with the local leaders and expert innovators as these students work to make a difference in the Adirondack mountains of Northern New York.

Cornell Professor Ken Mudge, Research Specialist Jonathan Comstock, and extension educator Steve Gabriel make brief appearances.

View trailer.

Film Screenings in Ithaca this week:

Friday, Sept. 26th, 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
B25 Warren Hall
Cornell University
Short reception with food & drink starts at 2:30.
Immediately followed by Q&A with filmmakers and local individuals featured in the film.

Saturday, Sept. 27th, 7:30 p.m.
Lehman Alternative Community School
Black Box Theater
111 Chestnut Street, Ithaca
55 min. run time and Q&A with Filmmaker Victor Guadagno and individuals featured in the film immediately following.

Sponsored by the Sustainability Center and Co-Sponsored by New York Youth Against Fracking, The Youth Farm Project, Tompkins County Youth Action Network, New Roots Charter School, ICSD Green Teams

All ages!

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If you missed today’s seminar, Case studies in forest farming, with Ken Mudge, it’s available online.

And don’t forget to pre-order his new book, Farming in the Woods.

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Farming the Woods coverFarming the Woods, by Ken Mudge, associate professor, Horticulture Section, and program aide Steve Gabriel, is now available for pre-order. Official release is slated for October 9, 2014.

The 360-page book will help you learn how to fill forests with food by viewing agriculture from a remarkably different perspective: that you can maintain a healthy forest while growing a wide range of food, medicinals, and other non-timber products.

The authors demonstrate that forest farms can be most productive in places where annual cropping is not: on steep slopes and in shallow soils. They detail how forest farmingcan be integrated into any farm or homestead, especially as the need for unique value-added products and supplemental income becomes increasingly important for farmers.

Farming the Woods covers how to cultivate, harvest, and market high-value non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, ornamentals, and more. Along with profiles of forest farmers from around the country, the book provides comprehensive information on:

  • Historical perspectives of forest farming.
  • Mimicking the forest in a changing climate.
  • Cultivation of medicinal crops.
  • Cultivation of food crops.
  • Creating a forest nursery.
  • Harvesting and using wood products.
  • The role of animals in the forest farm.
  • How to design your forest farm and manage it once
    it’s established.

Read more about the book.

Mudge will present a Horticulture Section seminar Case studies in forest farming Monday, September 22, 2014 at 12:20 p.m. in 404 Plant Science Building.

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nyfvi logoThe New York Farm Viability Institute announced the award of $1 million in funding for 14 projects that aim to help farmers across the state improve their bottom line by reducing inputs, improving yields, testing new production practices, and fighting pests naturally.

One of the highlighted projects is Testing a Promising New Canopy Management Technique to Reduce Management Costs in Vineyards: A novel approach to pruning and vine management, successful in France, could save growers of Vinifera grapes in the Finger Lakes and Long Island grape regions up to $500 per acre.  But how will it affect vine size, fruit composition, wine quality, and production costs in New York?  That’s what Dr. Justine Vanden Heuvel of Cornell University will receive $112,547 to find out.  It’s an important question, as economic analyses suggest that some Finger Lakes growers are losing up to $1,390 per acre per year.

Other projects of horticultural interest include:

View full list of funded projects.

The Institute also announced the opening of its 2015 competitive grants program. Application deadline is November 16, 2014. More information.

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