Archive for the “Extension and outreach” Category

apple ipm coverApple IPM for Beginners is a new series of simplified factsheets and scouting guides that make integrated pest management easier for beginners.

Topics include:

  • Choosing Sprays
  • Apple Scab
  • Fire Blight
  • Powdery Mildew
  • Apple Rust Diseases
  • Summer Diseases
  • Plum Curculio
  • Worms in Fruit
  • Aphids and Leafhoppers
  • Mites
  • Trunk Borers

Deborah I. Breth, Cornell Cooperative Extension Lake Ontario Fruit Program edited the publication with contributions from CCE educators, growers and others.

You can download the free online version or contact Breth for hard-copy purchase information: dib1@cornell.edu

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Kenong Xu's research will help researches change tree architecture allowing more high-density planting and transforming the layout of orchards. (Robyn Wishna photo.)

Kenong Xu’s work will help researchers change tree architecture, allowing more high-density planting and transforming the layout of orchards. (Robyn Wishna photo.)

Cornell Chronicle [2015-01-12]

A Cornell-U.S. government research team is poised to transform the shape of trees and orchards to come, thanks to a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Research Program.

The project, “Elucidating the Gene Networks Controlling Branch Angle and the Directional Growth of Lateral Meristems in Trees,” is led by Kenong Xu, assistant professor of horticulture at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, and plant molecular biologist Chris Dardick and research engineer Amy Tabb from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Appalachian Fruit Research Laboratory in West Virginia.

The research team is seeking to uncover genes and gene networks that underpin how apical control – the inhibitory effect on a lateral branch’s growth by the shoots above it – influences branch growth in apple and peach trees.

Read the whole article.

 

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What varieties will perform best in your garden?

What varieties will perform best in your garden?

Just in time for arrival of this year’s crop of seed catalogs, the 2015 edition of Selected List of Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners in New York State is now available online.

The varieties listed in this report should be well adapted for most home gardens in New York State, offer relatively high quality, be dependable, possess disease and insect resistance when possible, and have a relatively long harvest period.

There may be varieties not listed in the report that will perform satisfactorily in your garden, or even better under certain conditions. If you’d like to dive into a larger pool of varieties as you plan you garden, visit our Vegetable Varieties for Gardeners website for detailed descriptions and seed sources of more than 6,100 varieties. At the site, you can compare varieties, read ratings and reviews by fellow gardeners, and offer your own observations of which varieties perform best in your garden.

And if you’re looking for growing tips, check out our vegetable growing guides.

Best of luck with your 2015 growing season.

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Via CALS Notes:

On Nov. 10, Dean Kathryn Boor, Cornell Cooperative Extension Director and Associate Dean Chris Watkins, and more than 100 guests celebrated the College of Agriculture and Life Science’s best and brightest at the 11th annual Research, Extension and Staff Awards.

Part of the program was dedicated to the Core Value Staff Awards, created in 2010 and designed to recognize individuals or teams who have gone far beyond the standards defined by Cornell’s Skills for Success.

“These awards go to staff who consistently go above and beyond the call in their day-to-day activities,” Boor said, “and we are happy to highlight their dedication and accomplishments.”

This year the dean presented two awards for Unsung Hero. The award recognizes a team player whose accomplishments extend beyond the guidelines of a specific category.

 

 Dean Kathryn Boor presents 'Unsung Hero' award to Craig Cramer November 10.


Dean Kathryn Boor presents ‘Unsung Hero’ award to Craig Cramer November 10.

The first Unsung Hero Award was presented to Craig Cramer, an extension communication specialist in the Horticulture section in the School of Integrative Plant Science.

Cramer is a key point person for the communications needs of the new school. He works closely with CALS Communications to help cover events and accomplishments by faculty, students and staff. He keeps websites updated and evolving, writes blog posts and articles, partners with CALS Communications for press releases, and is an excellent photographer and videographer. He is often found visiting classes or attending field days, conferences, and other events to capture Horticulture’s exciting work in action.

In short, he does whatever it takes to get the word out about Plant Science’s exciting research, teaching and extension.

Dean Boor also noted that each year, Cramer learns new skills and takes on more responsibilities, even regularly offering seminars to students and extension educators on topics like “writing for the Internet” and “creating digital art.” Masterful at presenting information in an engaging way, he enthusiastically accepts new communications challenges, such as helping a class produce posters that advertise the quantifiable value of trees to our community or editing the “Cornell Guide for Growing Fruit at Home,” which won an award for best new publication.

 

Dean Kathryn Boor presents 'Unsung Hero' award to Steven McKay November 10.

Dean Kathryn Boor presents ‘Unsung Hero’ award to Steven McKay November 10.

The second Unsung Hero Award was presented to Steven McKay, farm manager at the Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, N.Y.

McKay’s technical role is to support the activities of 20-25 faculty researchers from more than a half a dozen departments who are investigating diverse questions associated with vegetables in New York. He oversees 260 acres of farmland, managing all aspects of land preparation, pest management, staff assignments and equipment purchases.

However, Boor said, his impact and reputation have expanded well beyond a support role.

He works long hours and is available 24/7, sharing his expertise with faculty and graduate students to help maximize the impact of their results. Field experiments are, by their nature, at the mercy of the elements, but Steve cares so deeply about on-farm experiments that he routinely goes beyond expectations to ensure their success.

For example, during Tropical Storm Lee, severe flooding jeopardized field trials at the farm. Due to the mud, it was impossible to use a tractor to apply fungicide treatments to one of the experiments, so Steve trudged through the mucky fields with a backpack sprayer to save the day.

During a time when sustainability and efficiency are key, he is a true forward-thinking leader. He has transitioned much of the farm to drip irrigation to reduce water usage by 80 percent, and he shuttered the Thompson lab building to save thousands of dollars annually on heating and utility costs.

The dean said his curiosity, creativity and ingenuity benefit everyone who depends on the farm – he is a lifelong learner who is always seeking new and improved practices. She noted that McKay even challenged an engineering class with a contest to design improved drainage and irrigation systems, and then implemented the winning design at the farm.

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Processor and seed company representatives sample frozen peas at NYSAES ‘cuttng’.

Processor and seed company representatives sample frozen peas at NYSAES ‘cuttng’ November 6, 2015.

Jim Ballerstein, Research Support Specialist for Steve Reiners’ vegetable research program has released this year’s processing vegetable variety reports.

In November, more than 40 people attended Ballerstein’s cutting at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, N.Y. to sample 168 varieties of frozen and canned vegetables taste for themselves how the corn, peas and beans performed.

Find previous years’ reports and more information on Reiner’s research page.

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Lisianthus planting in the high tunnel, Snapdragon trial in late May, harvesting the Ammi field trial, Eucomis in high tunnel.

Lisianthus planting in the high tunnel, Snapdragon trial in late May, harvesting the Ammi field trial, Eucomis in high tunnel. Click image for larger view.

Chris Wien’s 2014 cut flower cultural practice studies and variety trials report is now available online. This year’s research includes:

  • Anemone/Ranunculus trial
  • Sunflower photoperiod reaction
  • Defoliation of peppers with ethephon
  • Lisianthus spacing and topping
  • Celosia comb deformation
  • Snapdragon overwintering high tunnels
  • Delphinium longevity

Wien also reports on variety trials of:

  • Ornamental peppers
  • Ornamental Alliums
  •  Ammi
  • Celosia
  • Cosmos
  • Delphinium
  • Eucomis
  • Filler species: Bupleurum, Euphorbia, Gypsophilum, Eucalyptus, Atriplex
  • Gladioli
  • Poppies
  • Ornamental Cabbage

To see previous years’ reports, visit Wien’s research page.

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Hellebore watercolor by Marcia Eames-Sheavly

Learn botanical illustration online.  Three courses taught by Marcia Eames-Sheavly start January 26, 2014:

You can view works by students in previous classes on display in the cases in the west wing of the first floor of Plant Science Building. The course webpages also have links to previous students who have posted their works online.

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Brian Eshenaur and Elizabeth Lamb

Brian Eshenaur and Elizabeth Lamb

From Melissa Osgood, Cornell University Media Relations Office:

Still in the market for a holiday tree? Not to worry, two Cornell University experts share their tips and tricks to pick and preserve the perfect pine tree. 

Brian Eshenaur is a plant pathologist, a certified New York State nursery professional and a Western New York-based educator with NYS IPM. Elizabeth Lamb has a Ph.D. in plant breeding and is a senior extension associate with the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New York State Integrated Pest Management program. 

Eshenaur says:

“Despite the subzero temperatures that occurred early in the year and some subsequent winter burn on certain trees, the 2014 growing season was a good one for New York Christmas tree growers.  Moderate summer temperatures and regular rainfall helped the trees at Christmas tree farms put on a healthy layer of growth.

“The mix of trees being grown and available to consumers continues to evolve.  We notice more Fraser firs than ever that are available this year and a nice mix of other firs and in some locations even spruce trees as well.

“The best way to preserve the tree’s freshness is to keep plenty of fresh water in the tree stand. If possible, when you bring it home make a new cut from the bottom of the trunk if you think the tree has spent some time on the tree lot and the cut stump looks weathered and dirty. That way you’re sure to have open ‘pipework’ to keep the water flowing to the needles.”  

Lamb says:

“The fresher the tree the better, which is a good reason to buy local. The branches should be springy and smell good. A few loose needles aren’t a problem but you shouldn’t get handfuls when you brush the branches.” 

Tips for selecting the best Christmas tree: 

  • Firs and pines have the best needle retention and can last for a month or more indoors. However if buying a spruce tree, plan to have it in the house for just a week to 10 days.
  • Look for a tree with a good solid-green color. Needle yellowing or a slight brown speckled color could indicate there was a pest problem and could lead to early needle drop.
  • Don’t be afraid to handle and bend the branches and shoots. Green needles should not come off in your hands. Also, the shoots should be flexible. Avoid a tree if the needles are shed or if the shoots crack or snap with handling.
  • Christmas trees should smell good. If there isn’t much fragrance when you flex the needles, it may mean that the tree was cut too long ago.
  • If possible, make a fresh cut on the bottom so the tree’s vascular tissue (pipe work) is not plugged and so the tree can easily take up water. Then, if you’re not bringing it into the house right away, get the tree in a bucket of water outside.
  • Once your tree gets moved to inside the house, don’t locate it next to a radiator or furnace vent. And always remember to keep water in the tree stand topped off, so it never goes below the bottom of the trunk.

 

County Cooperative Extension offices often have lists of local Christmas tree growers. You can also check the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York website at www.christmastreesny.org/new-york-state.html.

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From Thomas Björkman:

Hundreds of Cornell alumni gathered at the Astor Center in Greenwich Village for Furrows to Boroughs: A Taste of New York State in New York City, a regional sesquicentennial celebration October 22 hosted by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  The event highlighted the link between tri-state agriculture and Cornell. The culinary work and products of local farmers, agricultural businesses and chefs were on display and available to taste.

Horticultural products featured prominently. Many wines of course, a tremendous pastry designed around Susan Brown’s new SnapDragon apple, and fall berries and vegetables raised with techniques and varieties developed at Cornell. The alumni were not only excited by the great food, but also proud to be part of the institution that helps make it all possible.

I collaborated with chef and native Ithacan Tyler Kord, who has been making a big splash in the New York City restaurant scene by highlighting broccoli in new contexts. He operates the No. 7 restaurant in Fort Greene Brooklyn and has two high-profile sub shops at the Plaza Hotel by Central Park and the Ace Hotel in the financial district where he has popularized both the broccoli sub sandwich and the broccoli taco. This year Short Stack published his cookbook  Broccoli.

At Furrows to Boroughs, Tyler served tacos using broccoli provided by Windflower Farm, operated by former Cornell Cooperative Extension educator Ted Blomgren, who continues to be an avid cooperator on Cornell Horticulture research and extension projects as well as a pioneer for providing fresh produce to the food deserts in the outer boroughs through an active CSA.

As part of the Eastern Broccoli Project, I’m leading a team to develop varieties as well as the production and marketing infrastructure to supply New York City with Northeast broccoli for three months of the year, and have other Eastern regions supply the same buyers for the balance of the year.

Our goal is not to supply all of the Big Apple’s broccoli, but enough to provide regional growers with a profitable alternative enterprise and consumers with a fresher, more flavorful and nutritious product.

The project is funded by the USDA’s  Specialty Crop Research Initiative, and is a collaboration with six other universities, the Agricultural Research Service, seed companies,  distributors and growers.

Tyler Kord prepares broccoli tacos at Furrows to Boroughs.

Tyler Kord prepares broccoli tacos at Furrows to Boroughs.

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Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

Permaculture systems meet humans needs while restoring ecosystem health.

From Lori Brewer:

Registration is now open for the online course Permaculture Design: Ecosystem Mimicry, offered Jan. 5 through Feb. 19., 2015 through the Horticulture section’s distance learning program. Space is limited to 25 participants. Registration closes when limit is reached. Registration fee is $600 and to be paid via credit card at registration. See registration link at course info website.

The study of permaculture helps gardeners, landowners, and farmers combine knowledge of ecology combined with its application to supporting healthy soil, water conservation, and biodiversity. Permaculture systems meet human needs while restoring ecosystem health. Common practices include no-till gardening, rainwater catchment, forest gardening, and agroforestry.

View the full syllabus for the course and find registration information at the course info website.

Horticulture’s distance learning program offers two other online permaculture design courses:

Completion of a single class gives students a certificate of completion from the Horticulture and continuing education units*. Completion of all three courses gives students the portfolio necessary to apply for an internationally recognized certification in Permaculture Design though the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. Registration opens about six weeks before  courses begins.

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